If it weren’t for apple pie, I’m pretty sure I would have been a high school dropout and begun a checkered career involving recycled bicycle parts and horseshoes.
She would buy 30 pound cans of frozen cherries at the end of summer and re-package them into pie-sized bags, sprinkling the cherries with corn starch and sealing each for the winter pie season. That was as close as she got to prepared pie fillings.
Her children were devoted but naive fans of her pies. If we ever got a bowl of the cherries during re-package day, we’d sprinkle our cherries with corn starch just like Mom’s pie filling. Even though the corn starch squeaked against our teeth as we ate the fruit, we couldn’t imagine cherries any way but Mom’s.
Our Thanksgiving feasts were not much about the turkey and a whole lot about the arrangement of pies, from pumpkin to apple to mincemeat. We saved room for an afternoon of dessert.
Mom baked a pair of pies the day before her stroke. Now her left arm hangs limply at her side and we don’t know if she’ll ever make another pie.
I am going to learn to make pies. I have avoided that arena because Mom’s pies are legend in our family. They were beauties with a golden crust sparkling with the sugar sprinkles. Mom’s pies were the reason to invite family and sometimes a lucky neighbor over for dinner.
It seems right to learn. Not to replace Mom’s heritage, for I can’t begin to do that, but somehow to honor it.