Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Potluck Pie

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending another gathering of the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers (MLFB) which is a group of Michigan women that like to blog about food (or someday soon would like to blog about food). This is the 4th time the group gathered for a potluck - this time we met in Livonia at Shayne's house. I got there first and got to tour Shayne's garden and she made us some wonderful mojitos from mint she grew herself. She prepared toppings and dough for us all to grill our own pizzas, which is something I've always wanted to try. As a band mom (my kids both play the trumpet in band) I really enjoyed being serenaded by the award winning Livonia Franklin Marching Band rehearsal across the street at the high school. They were practicing when I got there at 4 pm, and still at it when I left around 7 ish. Who says that high school kids are lazy?

I always bring pie to potlucks, because no one bakes pies anymore. I think it is because a pie is a big commitment - a pie serves 8 people, and how many of us cook for 8 people anymore? But a dish that serves 8 is great for a potluck. I buy pie pans at garage and estate sales whenever I see them, so when I make a pie, I can leave the pan in the hopes that someone else will make a pie in it some day. I'm hoping it will make the art and tradition of pie making live on.

The particular pan I brought to Shayne's was one of three from a Dearborn estate sale that my friend Phil and I attended last winter. On Fridays, Phil and I hit garage and estate sales during our lunch hour. At estate sales, it might seem creepy, but we always try to figure out who died - the husband or the wife. You can usually figure out who was the spouse that died last by what is remaining in the house to sell. At this particular sale, it was in mid winter and the kitchen had lemon yellow 1950s style tile on the counters and walls. It was a tiny kitchen in an immaculately kept tiny house. Besides these pie pans, there were yards of vintage fabric, and closets full of women's shoes. Clearly it was she who died, and given the lack of men's stuff, such as fishing tackle and tools (always remaining at a male estate sale) the husband was gone long ago. See, if the wife died, the husband would have gotten rid of the shoes and the fabric and the pie pans already. It's not to say that men don't hang onto their wives things, but they only hang onto items that they think have value. Therefore, at a dead man's estate sale, you will find canning equipment and women's junk jewelry, because he thought they were "worth something".

These lovely glass pie dishes were a bargain at $1, so I bought them for potlucks. One went to Patti at the last MLFB get together, one went to my daughter's friend's house with a pie in it yesterday, and one went to Shayne. Patti and Shayne, please make a pie in them. I am sure the elderly lady who owned them will be thrilled that you did. After all, she hung onto those dishes, because she knew how everyone loves pie. Don't worry that it serves 8 - if you have left overs, you can have pie for breakfast, like I just did.

Here's the pie I made for the MLFB potluck. I actually made 3 of these beauties yesterday, because I had a lot of really ripe peaches. It is from the cookbook of the Family Parish Circle and Friends of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Hubbardston, Michigan. I bought it in the early 1990s at a farm stand near my future in laws house in Carson City, Michigan. I first made this peach pie on that September day at my in laws while we were visiting. It is the best peach pie I have ever had. It's a great "first pie" for a kid or an adult that's never made one before, because it has a press in crust. No rolling required.

Peach Pie
printer friendly

1 1/2 c flour
2 t sugar
1 t salt
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 T milk

Combine ingredients to form a soft pastry dough. It will be really soft, not like a rolled out crust. Press evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9" pie pan with your fingers


1/2 c powdered sugar
1/3 c flour
4 cup sliced peeled fresh peaches

Combine and spoon into unbaked crust.

3/4 c flour
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/3 c soft butter

Combine for form a crumb mixture, spoon over peaches. Also, adding ground mace or pumpkin pie spice to the cinnamon is tasty, too. For the MLFB gathering, I added 1/2 t of pumpkin pie spice just for kicks. I also love adding mace to peach desserts - I learned this trick from an excellent soul food cook named Irene who was a member of the Society of Women Engineers with me in the late 80s.

Bake at 375 for 40 - 45 minutes.


TeacherPatti said...

I did use your pie pan for something, but I can't remember what. It wasn't a pie though. But I did think fondly of you, like I do when I use my Chico bags :)
Thanks for being my date. I'm pretty easy, aren't I? :)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm glad it was a nice time. Wish I could have been there!

TennZen said...

I love your idea about the pie pans! I might just have to try that and start looking out for pans when I go junkin' (as we call it down South).

Thank you for posting that peach pie recipe, it looks fabulous!

Maggie said...

The pie was delicious! I wouldn't have guessed it was a press in crust. I made great crusts back in my butter days but it's been something I've struggled with since going dairy-free for my son. I'll give yours a try soon. It was great to meet you too!

Shayne said...

is that 1/2 cup oil? I hope so cause that is what I am going to do

Mom said...

Yes - it's a 1/2 cup oil. I just fixed my typo - thanks for pointing it out to me.

Liz Neil said...

Looks wonderful! Can't wait to try it (may sneak a piece before Tom gets home this afternoon!)