May

18
May
2012

Is Cool Whip™ Cool?

What do you think?

Is Cool Whip™ Cool?

Is it a cool ingredient to use in pie?  Now, whipped cream, that’s a tasty ingredient.  Yum.

But back to the whipped topping question.  The recipe might call for a carton of it, defrosted, to be stirred into your peanut butter or key lime pie.  I have to admit; it does taste good and offers a consistency that holds up.  It’s also convenient and quicker than standing around whipping a carton of cream, and there are no dishes to wash unless you want to keep that plastic container for leftovers. 

Read the ingredients on the label of a whipped topping container.  It’s a long list, full of many things.  I didn’t say food ingredients, I said “things.”  In my opinion, whipped toppings are more plastic than food and I’m concerned for all of us.

And it’s not just because of the artificial ingredients.  It’s because I value authenticity.  I value using real food that nourishes us on some level -- beyond just the calories – because it’s:  fruit in season from a local source, cream from an organic farmer (who’s keeping the soil healthy for future food along with providing healthy food in the present), chocolate from fair trade sources, lemons from a relative’s tree.

I know, I know:  shortening and sugar don’t nurture us, so why care about the other ingredients?  Because where we can, paying attention to the ingredients is just like paying attention to the process:  put love in, get love out.

Love you,

Rebecca, Pie Pal

P.S.  Yes, I did put whipped topping in one of my recipes.  Once.

04
May
2012

Mother's Day, Grandmother's Aprons

Functional Art

Mother's Day, Grandmother's Aprons

I still love being in the kitchen with my Mom.  She’s the first to admit she wasn’t crazy about cooking but, having four children, she gave it her best shot.  She had favorite recipes and did them well, including the special rum ball cookies she and I made together every December for years.  Now, living alone, she cooks as she cares to and that’s enough!

My grandmother, however, was quite the farm wife cook.  She could wring a chicken’s neck and serve up chicken and dumplings in no time.  And pie.  Apple pie.

Women are always creating:  new recipes, how to teach children, new ways of doing business, and functional beauty.  Take aprons, for example. 

My mother wears aprons in the kitchen.  I know right where to go to find one when I’m there, a practical one with big pockets.  Grandma’s aprons were usually practical, too, designed to cover dresses but serving so many more purposes – gathering eggs from the hen house, wiping tears, taking hot pots off the stove. 

But some of Grandma’s aprons were very special.  They were lacy, or sheer with delicate bows, or cross-stitched works of art.  Luckily, I inherited some of those and I treasure them.

Now that it’s almost Mother’s Day, those of us lucky enough to have fond apron memories might want to get a new apron, perhaps for our Mother, another favorite person, or ourselves.  In the Pie Shop, you’ll find two options, both sweet as a pie.  One has the more practical aspects, a cover-your-front design with the Pie Pal logo and lots of big pockets.  The other features cherries, cherries, cherries and darling buttons, made by a seamstress who’s started her own microenterprise to help support her family.  Here’s to women’s creativity!  And to homemade pie, made with an apron on.

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