This March writing challenge is organized by Two Writing Teachers
Happy Pi Day!
My mom used to make pies fairly often. Fruit pies usually, but also the occasional cream pie or--my favorite--lemon meringue. It didn't need to be a particular occasion, she'd make pies if she was in the mood for some pie. After rolling out her dough (made with Crisco), she'd make tarts with the scraps. She had shallow tart pans, two sets of six, that she'd apparently gotten from her mother-in-law. She'd dab a bit of leftover filling, or some of her homemade jam. Occasionally she'd fill the tart shell with chocolate chips, or just with butter and cinnamon sugar. I claimed for years that I never actually tasted one of these tarts until my older sisters moved out when I was in middle school, as they'd snack on them after school while using the "you'll spoil your dinner" argument against me partaking. Still, I can remember the taste and texture of those tarts clearly enough to make me suspect I exaggerated the extent to which I was denied them.
I make pies rarely, if at all. I did inherit Mom's pie plates, mostly because the other members of the family already had their own long before she died. Good pies aren't difficult so much as time-consuming, and I always figure you get much the same flavor with a quick-n-dirty cobbler. Then I'll chance upon a slice of homemade pie--the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, or one of my sisters' pies at some other family event, and I'll remember how delicious pies really are, and vow to test my skills again soon.
I've never attempted a lemon meringue though, and I've rarely had a decent one outside of the house I grew up in. The ones served at diners and pie shops are lousy, not to put too fine a point on it. Flavorless, greasy meringue on top of jello-pudding, neon yellow lemon filling.
I made no pie for pi day. My daughter worked hard at memorizing the digits for the 4th grade competition, but her 60 digit feat didn't even get her in the running for 3rd place. I suggested her coach take her out for pie all the same, and that's where they are now.
I think I just came up with a plan for spring break though. I'm going to make a lemon meringue pie the way Mom used to.