“Mama, I know you are making a peanut butter pie for the American Legion Auction, but Ben’s Uncle Amos, just called and wanted to know if I could bring two pies! I’ve never baked a pie in my life! You’ve got to help me! Do you have a really easy, really good pie you can help me with?” Jenny looked panicked. “Do you still remember how to make that caramel pie you used to make? That was my favorite. Was it real hard?”
“Sure, I must’a made a thousand of those. It’s real easy, just takes a while. Do you have any Eagle Brand milk?” Asked Lucille. “Do you want it with pastry crust or graham crackers?”
“Graham cracker is best, but we have to go to the grocery store anyway. What do I need for the pies?” Jenny took out her pencil and pad.
“Let me think,” said Lucille. “You’re gonna four cans of Eagle Brand milk and a quart of whipping cream. For the crust, you need graham crackers, butter, and sugar.”
“That’s all? Jenny was shocked.
“Oh yeah. It’s a real simple pie. All you do is boil the Eagle Brand Milk in the can for three hours and pour it in the crust, chill till it’s set, then top with whipped cream.
“Okay. Do you want to ride down to the A & P with me? We can stop by on the way and have lunch with Ben and let you see the what he’s done at hardware store. You haven’t been down there since he did all that work down there, have you?”
“No, but are you sure you don’t want me to stay here and keep the baby?
“No, we could be a while and Lucy will need to nurse. Besides, Ben wants you to see the store.
“Well, all right. Let me change my dress and put on a good apron.” When Lucille got back, she smelled of Cashmere Bouquet Dusting Powder in her crisp floral print dress with an immaculate lace-edged white apron. Her white hair was freshly combed and held back on either side by tortoise shell combs. The seams of her stockings were straight. She also changed into her perfectly shined lace up black oxfords with the two-inch heels. She held her enormous black purse on her arm.
“Mama, you look so pretty. I always loved seeing your in your Sunday apron.”
“I just don’t feel right without my apron. I know not too many women wear them all the time any more, but I take such comfort in my apron. The pockets are so handy, you never get caught without a hanky. I guess I’m ready if you are. Do you want me to carry the baby?
“Oh no. You don’t have to wag her around. She’s getting so heavy. Besides, you look so pretty I want to show you off.”
“Land’s sakes, Jenny. Ain’t nobody said I was purty in years.”
“Well, you are, Mama. I’ve always thought you are beautiful. Let’s go.”
Lucille admired the neat buildings as Jenny circled the courthouse square. “This is such a purty town. Oh my! I didn’t recognize y’all’s hardware right off. This is so nice! Y’all must really be doin’ good. I am so proud.”
Ben was waiting to show them around. “Jerry, can you take care of things? I want to show Miss Lucille what we’ve done down here.” Ben proudly took the baby from Jenny.”
“Come here pretty girl. We need to show Grandma what we’ve been up to.” With that, Ben launched into a guided tour of the remodeled store. His pride was obvious as he showed her around. Near the back, he approached an older gentleman. “Uncle Amos, I want you to meet Miss Lucille, Jenny’s mother.”
Lucille found herself face to face with Amos Jones, Russell’s old friend who’d given her a dollar and a ride to the bus station so many years ago. He recognized her as well. “Lucille, I have wondered about you so many times. It looks like you are doing fine.”
Caramel Pie Recipe
Remove the label from two Cans of Eagle Brand Milk
Put in large pot, cover with water and keep at low boil for 3 hours. May have to add water. I always set timer for 1 hour so I remember to check. After 3 hours, remove from water and allow to cool 10 minutes before opening. If you wait longer, caramel will cool and be difficult to pour. Use caution when you open. Can will ooze and spill over as you open. Pour into 10 inch Graham Cracker Crust. Allow to set 2-3 hours and top with whipped cream.
Caution: This recipe is neither non-fat nor low calorie. Best to make when you have company. You don’t want this sitting around to tempt you.