Pie for my Mom
Today is my mom’s birthday.
We lost her on April 14, 2008, after a three-year battle with cancer. Now, there’s some things you need to know about my mom. She was a natural blonde (part of the reason my father fell in love with her) and quite vain about her hair, extremely stubborn and independent, drank tea around the clock, and she made the best pie.
My mother came from a Russian/German Mennonite background, and that is a pretty rich food culture. I don’t remember much of my grandmother, Sara, who died when I was 3, but by all accounts, my mother’s mother was a fantastic cook. My mother, who left home at a very young age, told me she regretted never learning to make bread from her mother.
Well, I regret that I never learned to make pie from you, mom.
We lived a pretty simple existence, food-wise, growing up. Meat and potatoes, nothing too expensive, but there was usually something sweet to end the meal: cookies, canned fruit that my parents had brought back from the Okanagan and put up themselves, or pie….
Another mother, my son’s grandmother, shared with me her family pie recipe, so that’s the one I use now, and I’ll share it with you. It’s really easy, and vegan-friendly.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I’ve used Olive Oil)
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt thoroughly.
- Add the vegetable oil, and mix. Add the water, and add a bit more if it seems too dry.
- Roll it into a ball and place it on a large sheet of waxed paper. Place another sheet of waxed paper over top, and roll out to the desired thickness and size. Remove the top layer of wax paper and flip upside down into a pie plate. Trim. Use the leftover dough to create the top crust, or a crumble for the top of the pie.
- Fill with your favorite ingredients–Granny Smith apples, peeled, sliced, and tossed with a little flour, vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon is always nice.
- Bake at 350. Time will vary based on filling/no filling.
Now, go call your mom and tell her you love her, and maybe take her out for a cup of tea and a slice of pie.