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A Glimpse of Me

Pie for Granny 
Oct. 1, 2009 9:35 pm 
Updated: Jun. 25, 2010 7:31 pm

My maternal grandmother (aka "Granny") LOVED chocolate in just about any form, but I think one of her favorites was chocolate pie.  I sometimes suspected that she marked her calender every year for February and October, because those are Marie Callendar's "Pie Months" - the two months a year when Marie Callendar's reduces the price of every single pie to the same low price.  When they first started doing "Pie Months", the price was $4.99 for a whole pie plus a 50-cent pie tin deposit.  The price rose over the years to $5.99 and now it's $6.99, STILL a really good price for a whole fresh pie.  Granny would insist on getting at least a chocolate pie, and usually some kind of fruit pie to share with guests who didn't like chocolate, every February 1st and October 1st...and several times throughout "Pie Month".

Five years ago today, Granny passed away at about 2:00 in the morning.  She spent her last days living in an apartment with my wonderful cousin who quit her job, put her life on hold, and moved here to California from Arizona to care for Granny so she wouldn't have to be in a "home".  Because she passed away on the first day of Pie Month, I often wonder if Granny's first words as she passed through the Pearly Gates were "Where's my pie?!?!"

Many times during my life, I remember Granny commenting on how depressing funerals were.  We always nodded our heads in agreement, but inside we were thinking "Well, DUH.  It's a FUNERAL!"  She made it very clear that she did NOT want a funeral.  She wanted a party!!  AND she wanted the undertaker to make sure she had a smile on her face as she lay in her casket.  These were two requests my mother and I made sure were remembered and honored.  The undertaker did an amazing job of arranging Granny's mouth into the most peaceful smile.  I also made sure (against one aunt and uncle's wishes) that we had streamers and balloons in the reception hall after the memorial service - all in green, Granny's favorite color.  I didn't care what the aunt and uncle said.  Granny had requested a party and I was going to do my best to give her a party.  And yes, we had chocolate pie!

Every year since Granny left us, we have chocolate pie on October 1st to honor her life.  We make it a happy time, because that's the way Granny wanted us to remember her.  We remember some of the funny things she would do and we laugh together.  It is a tradition I plan to carry on for as long as I possibly can...and one I hope my children will continue once I am no longer able to do so myself.

So, to you dear Granny - This Pie's For You!  We love you!!
Pie for Granny
Photo Detail
Oct. 1, 2009 9:54 pm
I'm sure she is smiling down on you. This is a very sweet(no pun intended)memorial.
Oct. 1, 2009 9:58 pm
I always wanted to start a business of funeral "parties"! I think it should be a celebration!!!! I believe you should plan your own funeral with the songs you want and the color you want. It is "your" day however... right? My favorite pie is chocolate... my grandma made the best and I have her recipe. I might just have to make it this weekend in honor of our grannies, Keri! Thanks for sharing!!!!
Oct. 1, 2009 10:01 pm
That is such a nice way for you to remember your grandmother. I am sure Granny would have loved her memorial.
Oct. 1, 2009 10:18 pm
What a great story and wonderful idea to honor your grandmother every Oct. 1st with chocolate pie.
Oct. 1, 2009 10:30 pm
Awww, sniff sniff. Right there with you Keri. My mom's bday was yesterday she would have been 71 and October 8th marks my brother's 20th year from leaving us as well. I SO ching ching a fork at chocolate pie with you!
Oct. 1, 2009 11:00 pm
awesome! she was very lucky to have a family who loved and cared for her. cheers to you keri for honoring your grandma in such a special way.
Oct. 1, 2009 11:04 pm
What a wonderful tribute to your granny. I am sure she is smiling down on you from heaven. Enjoy your chocolate pie!
Oct. 2, 2009 4:01 am
What a sweet memory! Carry on her desire her desire to be thought of as someone who loved to enjoy the fun things in life! She sounds like a remarkable character! Cheers!
Oct. 2, 2009 5:09 am
How wonderful that you are able to still have a piece of your Granny with you always. Such a wonderful way to celebrate her life as well!
Oct. 2, 2009 5:31 am
Hi Keri :) That is a wonderful tradition you have started in honor of your Granny. I'm sure that your kids will carry on the tradition.
Mel K 
Oct. 2, 2009 8:15 am
Such a sweet tribute to your Granny! She had to be a very special lady to have impacted your life in such a meaningful way. Enjoy the chocolate pie, remember all of those special memories.Thanks for sharing.Blessings, Mel
Oct. 2, 2009 8:29 am
Thanks for sharing, Your Granny impacted your life in a loving and special way. So along with you I to say Granny this pie is for you!
Apr. 16, 2010 8:11 am
Keri! Thank you SO much for your response to my plea for help with my sourdough starter. I've taken your advise and read every word on your blog and I thoroughly enjoyed it - especially enjoyed reading about Granny and her love of all things chocolate and Marie Calendar's pie months in Feb. & Oct. She is truly a gal after my own heart! I feel like I know her and you! Thanks again so much! Jackie Callaham
Jun. 25, 2010 7:31 pm
what a truly amazing story of granny, she sounds like my mamaw,,,mamaw drank 16oz cokes every day and lived to be 92yrs old,,she has been gone now 22yrs and i still miss her so much!!!!
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About Me
I have loved cooking since I was a young girl helping my mother make dinner or bake cookies during school vacations. My favorite class in elementary school was "Nutrition", because we cooked almost every day. I have two daughters who love cooking and baking as much as I do and my husband is even getting interested. He recently started making bread from scratch and he's doing an awesome job of it! We share our home with pets of all different kinds, including birds, cats, dogs, rabbits, a rat, snakes, frogs, a tarantula, and a turtle. We also provide foster care for a local dog rescue, taking in abused, neglected, abandoned dogs and giving them a safe, loving environment to live in until they find their "fur-ever" homes.
My favorite things to cook
Rosemary garlic roasted chicken with roasted garlic gravy; Skillet cabbage; Almost any baked goods; Anything I can make in my slow cooker! Somewhere around September 2008 I decided I was going to start baking all the bread my children and I eat. I'm COMPLETELy loving it and my kids like to brag that "my mommy MADE this bread!" Their favorite is when I make bread items that aren't your traditional loaf of bread, like hamburger buns, bagels, and soft pretzels.
My favorite family cooking traditions
For several generations, my father's family has made a "family tradition" dessert item at each major holiday. At Easter, it's Italian Cheesecake, made with ricotta cheese and anise flavoring (published as "Italian Cheesecake II", if you'd like to check it out). At Thanksgiving, it's "Roly Polies", which were invented by my great grandmother when she had leftover pie crust dough she needed to use up. My absolute favorite, though, is Christmas, when we make Birds Nests. These are made out of walnut-sized balls of a sweet pie crust type dough rolled out very thin. Then we cut slits in the dough without cutting through the edge, gather every other strip, twist them up into a jumble, and then deep fry the pastries. When they are cooled, we sprinkle them with powdered sugar. It doesn't matter how many we make, they all get eaten!
My cooking triumphs
I managed to make decorated sugar cookies for Christmas 2008 that turned out awesome!! I've NEVER gotten sugar cookies to turn out good looking enough to warrant decorating them. They always turn into shapeless blobs. This particular time I reduced the amount of butter in the recipe by 25% and chilled the cut-outs for 15 minutes immediately before baking them. They turned out beautiful!
My cooking tragedies
My first attempt at making Fairy Food candy (also called seafoam candy) was a disaster! I tried cooking it too quickly over too high of heat, so it burned, smelling up the entire house for DAYS. Thank goodness I still had enough ingredients (and courage!) to try again, and everyone at my family's Christmas gathering was impressed with my second attempt. I conveniently "forgot" to tell them about the first batch :-)
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