Monday, July 28, 2008

Memior- The Secret’s in the Penicillin

I come from a long family line of cooks and bakers. It’s in my blood, so naturally, I have a gift in the kitchen (though my husband has his own opinions)… One of my most shining moments was when I was about 14 or 15. We were going to have a BBQ and invite a few family friends over to enjoy the beautiful day. The berries around the place were perfect for the picking. Blackberries, raspberries, wild strawberries, and salmon berries were plump and sweet. And so my dad and I decided that we would make a few homemade pies. He would make the filling with the delicious berries and I would make a flaky crust. Never have I seen more beautiful pies that the wild berry pies that we made that day. We were the best pie makers in the land. Not only were the pies beautiful, but they were so good that one of our guests had four pieces. We brought empty pie tins back to the house and congratulated our own genius and began to make plans for opening our own bakery. That’s how good the pies were. Now, I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat for the recipe and secret to making the best pie ever but I’m afraid I won’t be sharing that with you. I’m truly sorry.
Several weeks later I was in need of butter and so I went to the freezer to get some. Now keep in mind at that time, we made our own butter. We had an old fashion butter churn which kept us busy for hours churning away, waiting for that cream to turn to butter. After the butter was ready we would form it into thin flat pancake like shapes, wrap it in plastic and put it in the freezer for future use. As I grabbed the butter out of the freezer, my dad looked up from the kitchen table and asked me what I was doing. “I need butter” I said. “That’s not butter” my dad informed me. “Yes it is” I told him “that’s what I used in the pie crusts I made.” The room fell silent as my best friend, JD, my brothers, sister and mom all took a moment to ponder this turn of events. The flat butter like pancake that I was holding in my hand and had used to make my winning pie crust was none other than the Crisco, powdered sugar, and penicillin bee patties that my mom had made to medicate her honey bees. All of a sudden many mysteries were solved. The guy who ate four pieces of pie had been fighting a cold for weeks; it cleared right up after the BBQ. None of the rest of us who had eaten the pie had gotten sick since the time of the pie. I wondered why my crust was so flavorful and flaky; now I knew the secret…it’s all in the penicillin.
I gave up dreams of pie crusts and opening my own bakery after that. I would never live down the story of the best pie ever and to this day, I start to tremble when I think of making a pie crust.


gigi said...

Oh my, oh goodness, girl you have really lived a full and crazy life! I've never even tried apie crust. I figured Betty Crocker could do it better so I just buy pre-made.

Aramie Randall said...

My friend Rosemarie made a blueberry pie for my parents recently, only they never got a taste because I ate the whole thing! It was made in a small, oven-proof dish, so not a big pie tin. It was so completely delicious! I never wanted it to end!
I know a crooked pharmacy down in Mexico where I could be your go-between on huge quantities of penicillin. My cut will only be 25%. What do you think?

Betty Jo said...

You are a great story writer.