FOOD FOR THE SOUL
Growing up we celebrated holidays with the same extended families that we vacationed with every summer. On July 4th we would have a chicken/fish fry at my Aunt Doris and Uncle Shelly’s house, Easter was at my Aunt Lois and Uncle Toms house and Christmas was at ours. There would be at least 40 people crammed into each house as we prepared to eat a feast. My goodness, those women could cook. The food was served buffet style and took up every available space in the kitchens. On Easter and Christmas there was always ham and turkey with all of the trimmings. The men were always served first, the children second and then the ladies. Looking back now, I am not sure how I feel about the ladies, who spent hours preparing the feast, eating last. Then I remember that when I have company for supper, I automatically fade into the background and let my guests serve themselves first. My grandparents always brought “fried noodles” and my Aunt Lois was known for her divinity and fudge, and my Aunt Doris made the best chocolate and white cream pies. No matter how much food you had, there was always that one food that you knew you had to get to early, or it was gone. The white cream pie almost caused a fist fight in my moms kitchen one year. Most people have never heard of white cream pie, and basically you make the pie filling from scratch, but add butter and vanilla at the point when you would have added chocolate, coconut or bananas. Her crust was flaky and tender, and the pies were to die for. Complete with a little whipped topping on top of the pie, and a person is close to heaven. The bad news is that you can’t get 40 pieces from one pie, and that’s where the problem arose that Christmas dinner.
My cousins, Deb (or “stinky” as my dad called her) and Russ, who were young adults, each spied the white cream pie as they were going through the line filling their plates. The problem is that Russ, being a male, went through the line first. Deb followed, after all of the kids received their food, and noticed that there was only one piece of pie left. That piece would never be there when she went back for dessert, so she quietly dished up the pie, and hid it in on the top shelf in moms cupboard, and went into the front living room to eat. Everyone enjoyed their meal and then they proceed to head back to the kitchen for the much coveted dessert. There were pies, cookies, cakes, frosted cut out Christmas cookies, and gooey pecan rolls to be enjoyed. It seemed that Russ wanted that last piece of white cream pie….and it was gone…..plus to make matters worse, his mom was the one who made the pies. I think he felt that gave him squatters rights to the last piece, so to speak. He griped and grumbled and settled on a different dessert before retreating to the dining room in a huff. Since I was younger, I am not really sure what happened next, but I remember a lot of yelling and arguing when Deb pulled that wonderful piece of pie out of the cupboard just as Russ was coming into the kitchen……….but in the end, Deb enjoyed her pie, and for years after that Dori always made more than one white cream pie. Funny what an adult remembers as a kid….the very best times ever, fights and all! Mmmmmmm…..maybe I will just zip into the kitchen and make a white cream pie….. ♥
FOOD FOR THE BO
WHITE CREAM PIE
One deep dish pie shell, baked and cooled.
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups 2% milk
3 egg YOLKS, beaten
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, salt and milk.
Using a whisk, mix well and stir constantly on medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
Continue whisking, while boiling for 1 minute longer, then remove from heat.
Stir about 1/4 cup of the hot filling into the beaten eggs, tempering them.
Slowly whisk the warmed egg mixture back into the filling in the saucepan and return to heat.
Cook for 1 minute longer
Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla, mixing well.
Pour into the cooled crust, cover top of filling with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the filling.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours, top with whipped topping and enjoy!