Mamaw’s Pie Crust

My pie story doesn’t involve actual pie; rather, pie crust, the memory of going to my great-grandparents home on Sunday afternoons, and how every visit we made to their farm ended.

Estella Minnie Hoppes was born December 8, 1885.  I was her first great grandchild and she was pretty proud of everything about me, including my name.  I’ve been told she did not speak to her sister-in-law for several years following speculation that my parents might call their next child Nutmeg.  I love that story, and I loved my Mamaw.

Mamaw baked a lot of pies, and she baked the extra pie crust dough topped with sugar and cinnamon for us kids to enjoy on Sunday.  I imagine Mom and Dad had pie, but I remember the cinnamon sugar crust she gave to us.  It was melt in your mouth flaky and so delicious.

Like most people of that generation, Mamaw and Papaw had worked hard for every single thing they had.  They had a front “parlor” and everything in it seemed exotic and wonderful to me because we were not allowed to touch any of it.  One of the items that I especially loved was a little tin wind-up pig and I almost had to sit on my hands to keep from holding it.  He was so cute and so enticing.  Every time I approached that little pig, my Mom would clear her throat, and since I knew what that meant, I reluctantly sat back down.  But as our Sunday  visits concluded and we were headed out the back door, Mamaw would get her pie tin out of the cabinet and even though I was expecting it, my eyes would light up and I could barely stand still.  She would open the oven door and place the pie tin on the open door because we were not tall enough to see if she used the kitchen table or the counter top.  Then she would retrieve the little tin pig, wind him up, and set him to dancing on the pie tin.  She could usually be convinced to wind him up two or three times before we were bundled into the back seat of Dad’s Oldsmobile for the drive home.  I was the happiest little girl on the planet when that pig was dancing on Mamaw’s pie tin.

I feel really blessed to have known her, to have been loved so deeply by her, to have eaten my weight in her delicious pie crust, and to have been delighted so many times by that dancing little pig.  Her pie tin and the tin pig live with me now.  He no longer has his leather ears or tail, but he’s still pretty cute.