Pie 19.0-19.2

On Thanksgiving eve I was missing my sisters as I planned to bake Pie 19.0, so we all made the same pie in our distant kitchens! In New York, Pie 19.1 was whipped up. In North Carolina, Pie 19.2 was crafted. In the end, we made very similar pies with slight variations. Like sisters, our pies are clearly related, but not precisely the same–due to differences in experience, mood, “help,” and other life demands.

Pie 19.0 was a banana cream concoction named “Banana Cream Daydream Pie” from page 111 of the SUGAR BUTTER FLOUR cookbook. As noted in a previous post, in my kitchen Pie 19.0 and Pie 18.0 were concocted simultaneously.

The recipe called for a blind baked pie crust, but we all made a vanilla wafer crumb crust instead.


The filling was cooked to yummy thickness on the stove. Yes, we licked the pan.


Toffee bits and sliced bananas got layered on the crumb crust before adding the delicious pudding layer. The filled pie chilled for hours in the fridge before I whipped the cream for the top.


I whipped the topping with my mixer. See the lemon, pastry brush, and the green lemon squeezer beside the banana in the picture? I brushed fresh lemon juice on the banana slices for the top to keep them from browning.


In a kitchen in NY, my sister used a whisk to whip the cream. Somehow she churned butter instead.


Here is Pie 19.0, made by me in SC. I brought this beauty to a Thanksgiving dessert and my neighborhood pie-eaters scarfed it up.


Here is Pie 19.1, made by my sister in NY (the one who made the butter instead of whipped cream…looks like Reddi-wip!) Notice that her countertop is the same as mine!


Here is Pie 19.2 made by my sister in NC. My, such a dainty crust.


Next weekend I’ll make Pie 20.0 for a Christmas party!


Pie 15.0

Pie 15.0

Remember that old song lyric “If I knew you were coming I’da baked a cake”? That always sounded so welcoming, so I never do a drop in. I always call ahead before I visit so I’ll be greeted with a cake. It doesn’t work, but I still try. I mean, there’s a song, so somebody must make cakes for expected guests, right?

Anyway, my sister was coming, and I knew she was coming, and it was all a big secret surprise for my other sister, so I baked a pie.

Pie 15.0. Baked late at night in an ill-equipped kitchen. No rolling pin. No teaspoon (but I always have my palm). No whisk. No blades for the mixer (so I brought mine from home). No big bowl (so I used a cereal bowl). No pie pan (so I bought an aluminum one from the stupid market). You get the picture.

Speaking of stupid market–they didn’t sell chocolate covered coffee beans. Nowhere to be found. So I compromised.

Back up the bus. I forgot to describe the pie. It’s officially called “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee Pie” from page 123 of the Sugar Butter Flour cookbook. It was chosen while in the stupid market, when my sister responded to my text question about what we should eat for the weekend we would spend together with this: “Sat morning coffee. Sat evening eat out. Sunday morning coffee. Sunday lunch your choice.” We are Irish twins, live 1000 miles apart, and both love coffee.

Anyway, I started the pie in the dark by crushing the package of graham crackers with my hands and mixing them with melted butter. I pressed the mush into the tiny pan, chilled, baked and chilled. You know the drill by now.


Then I made espresso in my little pot. Drank some, let some cool, and made the filling.

20181012_165534Here is the nasty smelling unflavored gelatin.

20181011_20111020181011_201050I had to whip some egg whites to fold into the cooked coffee/gelatin/other ingredient concoction, but I should have used a bigger bowl.


There was way too much filling for the tiny pie shell.


This had to set and cool in the fridge for many hours, so I went to sleep.

The topping called for Kahlua, but I didn’t have any, so I made some by boiling down some espresso and mixing with whiskey.


Then I whipped the cream and added the yummy tasty ingredients and spread it on the pie filling.


As I mentioned, the store didn’t sell the required chocolate covered coffee beans, so I shredded a tiny Hershey bar and sprinkled it on top. Voila!

Yummy Beige Pie.


I love my sisters more than coffee.

Second-hand stress and the milk coupon

“Can I see your bonus card?” the teenage cashier asked.

“Why?” That’d be me. The grumpy one.

“It says you need to show your card to use this coupon.”

All I wanted to do was to buy a gallon of milk. Actually, I’d rather not buy a gallon of milk. It was at least a half-gallon more than I needed. But the ripped scrap of newsprint which I slapped on the conveyor belt said I could have a dollar off a gallon, so a gallon it would be.

I challenged her authority: “Where does it say that?”

She pointed at her screen. “Right here.”

“It doesn’t say I have to show my card to use the coupon on the coupon, does it?”

I knew it did not, but I watched as patiently as possible while she pulled the flimsy paper to her nose with both hands and proceeded to read the very finest print. For almost a minute. Finally, she looked up, frowned, and said, “No, it doesn’t.”

“Well, then I’d like to buy the milk with a dollar off with exact change, anonymously.”

I felt like I was trying to sneak an incendiary device past security.

She kept frowning. I thought maybe I’d have to leave without the milk. She somehow subtracted the dollar–actually, the computer did it–and I handed her three dollars, one dime, one nickel, and three pennies. She gave me a ridiculously long receipt–which reminded me of going to the gas station with Daddy when we were little and asking in unison a hundred times “what’s a receipt?” and never quite getting an answer which didn’t include the word receipt. But that’s a whole ‘nother story for another day.

I took the receipt and reached into the wet plastic bag to pull out the milk jug because who needs a bag to carry a jug with a handle?

And that’s what broke baby bird’s balloon. Oh, wait, that’s another, equally old, story. (Never try to follow a writer’s TOT (train of thought) on a first draft. Don’t you know that yet?)

Normally, I can expend the energy needed to get along with the other humans on the planet who venture into my path. Today, not so much. I used to be able to explain away these snippets of time with the H-word (hormones) but not today.

Today it’s the S-word. Stress.

And not even my own. My favorite women (sisters and daughters) are bearing burdens. I’d like to support them. Hug them. Hold them up. Instead I exude worry. It wafts off me in slimy waves in the ultraviolet and infrared (not visible) regions. Second-hand stress. I’m carrying it in all my creases and pockets, on my hunched shoulders, between my eyebrows. It doesn’t help anyone at all. But I can’t stop it.

XXOO to all my girls.