I used to moonlight at an urgent care clinic. Mother called me at my regular RN job one day to complain of an earache. Like I always do when people ask advice, I recommended she see a doctor. She decided to go to the urgent care clinic where I sometimes worked. I called to speak to my friend, Judy, who was working that day. I asked her to surprise Mother by telling her she had to have a full internal pelvic exam. She knew Mother, and was delighted to pull a little trick on her. Sure enough, she showed Mother to the OB/GYN exam room, telling her to prepare for a full exam. Naturally, Mother was stunned, protesting she only had an earache. Of course, my friend quickly gave the joke up.
They turned the tables on me. Judy, the nurse called me. “Linda, your mom was so shocked she fell and her head. She’s gonna have to have stitches. You are gonna have to come see about her.”
“Oh my God, I never dreamed that would happen! Let me get someone to cover for me. I’ll be there as soon as I can. At that, They started laughing. The last laugh was on me.
“Oh Mama, this apple pie is so good. I never will get this baby weight off if you don’t quit baking pies like this. I just can’t say no.” Jenny pushed her plate back. “I am going to save some out for Ben and freeze the rest if you don’t mind. It will be wonderful to pull it out for a treat one day.”
“That is a good idea, Jenny, but your weight is coming off real good. I been here two weeks and I can tell a big difference since then. Breast-feeding really helps. After my babies was born, I breastfed as long as I could ’cause some folks said it helped keep from gittin’ another baby too quick. Didn’t seem like it helped too much, but I guess it might a’helped some. I got thataway as soon as your daddy got home and had three babies two years apart. I never had no trouble keepin’ my weight down, workin’ in the cafe and chasin’ young’uns. You was a big help, though. I don’t know how I’d a’got by without you. I kind a’hate to tell you, now, but I was gonna bake two peanut butter pies today. I promised one to the American Legion Bake Sale, but I guess I can send ’em both if you think I ought to.”
“Ooh, don’t you dare! Ben would have a fit if he knew I let you send off his peanut butter pie. I’ll just make myself stay out of it! I lost two pounds this week and I don’t want to put it back on. How did you learn to bake such great pies? Seemed like everybody that came in our cafe was crazy for your pies.” Jenny took one final bite of her pie, then put her fork down.
“Bessie Sears got me started making pies when I was a dishwasher at the Peabody Cafe. She ran that boarding house and I went down to help her make pies ever’ mornin’ between the breakfast and lunch shifts. It got to where she got more orders than she could handle, so she passed ’em on to me. Mr. Peabody let me bake in the cafe kitchen, long as I furnished him first. ‘Course, I bought my own supplies. Mr. Peabody gave me fifty cents a pie and sold it for fifteen cents a slice, so we both made money. I charged ever’body else seventy cents a pie and couldn’t keep up. Sometimes I sold as much as much as fifty pies a week. That’s how I was able to save up enough for us to get a restaurant when your daddy come home. I was right proud.” Lucille smiled proudly.
“I liked living over that cafe when y’all first opened it. I didn’t want to move. It always smelled like apple pie when I was going to sleep at night.” Jenny grinned.
“Yeah, I always ran up to tuck you in bed right after I put the pies on to bake at night. Then me and your daddy would clean up and do the books while they baked. It worked out good we could live over the cafe…..and the price was sure right, fifteen dollars a month for that buildin’. It was nice and warm in winter, but hot as blazes iin summer.”
Southern Peanut Butter Pie
2/3 cup white sugar1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup dark corn syrup 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter 3 eggs 1 cup salted peanuts 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Combine all ingredients Pour filling into pie crust.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
Center may be soft but will firm up as it cools
Flaky Vinegar Pie Crust
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter, cold and cut into several large pieces (may substitute shortening)
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vinegar
6-10 tbsp ice water
Vinegar makes this crust flaky and sugar helps it brown. You won’t taste vinegar.
Mix flour, fat, salt, and sugar with pastry cutter or blender till it is grainy and well-mixed. Mix in vinegar and ice water until it makes stiff mix that can be pressed into a ball. Wrap and chill 1-2 hours. Roll out on floured surface and transfer to pan. Makes one double crust or two nine inch crusts. I make half a dozen up ahead of time and freeze dough. Must thaw an hour or so before rolling out.
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