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Pie, Pie Anybody Want to Learn the Secrets of Pie Baking

By Jane Butel  November 14, 2023

That phrase, "Pie, Pie--Anybody Want Pie?" was a favorite with my Mother's Father.  As a young man from Sweden, he helped with the threshing crews harvesting wheat in Central Kansas.  In those days, several men were required to create a threshing crew.  It was in the days before combines.

He helped his oldest sister and husband in Central Kansas, where the wife of the farmer whose wheat they were threshing was assisted by the wives of the men assisting with the crew.  The story goes that one of the wifes was a lousy cook and did not want any help with cooking the meals to feed the crew.   She made one "ceremonial pie" and at the end of each meal, she would come out and quickly offer "Pie, Pie, Anybody want Pie--I guess no one wants pie" and quickly rush back into the kitchen--not feeding anyone a piece of pie.

Grandpa thought that was pretty funny and liked to tell this story often when Grandma would serve pie at the end of a meal.  She was an excellent cook and a graduate Home Economist--which was rather rare in those days. 
Eating her pies was not a problem as she was an excelllent cook and she never got bothred by his recolletion. 

I remember pumpkin, mince and sometimes a fruit pie such as cherry or apple were all offered after Thanksgiving dinner.  As a kid, it was always hard to decide which one to eat.

I still have openings for this Thursday evening's Perfect Pies class where I will share a never fail French Pie Pastry recipe I learned from my Aunt who got the recipe from her classes at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.  I am still offering the special price of $95.00 down from $115.00 or two for $175.00.  I hope you can make this fun baking class.

The week after Thanksgiving, I am offering our always popular Southwestern Holiday class featuring traditional New Mexican favorites such as Tamales, Posole with all the Trimmings, Guacamole, Red Chile Beef Open Faced Enchiladas,  Bizcochitos and Perfect Margaritas.

Here's a couple of recipes for appetizers--


These  appetizers are typical of Oaxaca and are pre-Columbian.  They are very similar to the Clayuda—only more festive with a variety of possible toppings.  They are also similar to a tostado except the Memelitas usually are made from fresh masa—not a previously made or commercial tortilla.

Yield : 8  memelitas

½ recipe corn tortilla

½ recipe refried beans made with black beans

1 Tablespoon bacon drippings or lard

¼ cup chopped onion

1 medium  tomato, chopped and divided

1 clove garlic chopped

1 green chile, parched and peeled and chopped

1 ½ cups cooked chicken, beef or pork, shredded

¾ cup finely shredded Cabbage or Romaine

Queso Blanco or Feta cheese

Crema, optional

Salsa of your choice 

  1. Prepare the tortilla masa and bake thick (1/8 to ¼ inch) thick tortillas that are about 4 inches round.  Set aside. 
  1. Prepare refried beans by melting bacon drippings in a small skillet, add the onion and cook until clear, then add the green chile, tomato and garlic and cook until a thick sauce is created.   Heat  the meat and cook together.  Taste and add salt if desired. 
  1. To create the Memelitas, add a thick layer of the refried beans, top with a few spoonfuls of the  meat, then sprinkle with the cabbage or lettuce, cheese and garnish with crema.  Serve with Salsa on the side.


These delightful, refreshing appetizers are so quick to prepare and great fun to eat! Use grape or cherry tomatoes—both red and yellow if possible to create a very festive look. You can prepare the spice mixture ahead of time or use a spiced salt mixed with freshly ground lemon pepper or dry salad dressing mix. 

Yield: serves 6 

1, 6 to 8 ounce basket of grape or cherry tomatoes

2 shots of tequila or vodka

2 Tablespoons of dry seasoning mix for salad dressing or prepare your own mix with a spiced salt and freshly ground lemon pepper. 

1. Wash the tomatoes and pierce a hole in the bottom of each with a sharp knife. 

2. Place the tequila or vodka on an attractive serving plate. Place the tomatoes bottom side down in the liquor. In the center of the plate, place the seasoning mix and to the side of the plate, place a small vessel with toothpicks for the guests to take a tomato and dip into the seasoning mix and pop in their mouths.






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