Monday, September 29, 2008

Folksy Wisdom; Pie Crust

Depression Era Recipes doesn't limit itself to recipes. No, it also faithfully reprints advertisements and folksy wisdom pieces of the day, including this one that frankly reminds me of my kooky grandma.
Her Ten Commandments

These are the new commandments ten
Which wives now make for married men

I. Remember that I am thy wife,
Whom thou must cherish all thy life.
II. Thou shalt not stay out late at night
When lodges, friends or clubs invite.
III. Thou shalt not smoke indoor or out,
Or chew tobacco round about.
IV. Thou shalt with praise receive my pies,
Nor pastry made by me despise.
V. My mother thou shalt strive to please,
And let her live with us in ease.
VI. Remember 'tis thy duty clear
To dress me well throughout the year.
VII. Thou shalt not be a drinking man,
But live on prohibition plan.
VIII. Thou shalt in manner mild and meek
Give me thy wages every week.
IX. Thou shalt not flirt, but must allow
Thy wife such freedom anyhow.
X. Thou shalt get up when baby cries,
And try the child to tranquilize.

These my commands from day to day
Implicitly thou shalt obey.

These Commandments are from Grandma Signe's recipe book much one could say about that. I'm going to focus on Commandment IV. If anyone ever receives pie from me with anything other than praise? Badness will occur! Harsh thoughts and feelings! No more pie for that person ever!!! And who would ever despise my pastry?

But, let's face it: lots of people get freaked out at the thought of making a pie from scratch. Most of the hangups come from the crust making. Lucky for us, Depression Era Recipes has several foolproof pie crust options for us all. Let's take the first one, conveniently on the same page as Her Ten Commandments.
Pie Crust

4 T. boiling water
4 T. lard
1 1/4 cup flour
1 t. baking powder
Pinch of salt

Melt lard in hot water. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and stir this into the liquid. Place in the ice box until cold. Roll out thin and line tin.
I know, I know. Lard. There, I said it. Use lard. I said it again. (Heck, turn the page, and Depression Era Recipes will tell you how to render your own...)

What I like about this recipe (besides the unapologetic use of lard) is the method. Melting the fat, instead of trying to keep it cold! No cutting the cold fat into the flour, and trying to figure out when the globs are pea-sized! No food processor! No vinegar! No admonitions to chill your rolling pin, chill your board, chill your spoons, chill your forks, chill your everything. It seems so darned easy!

I have no clue how well it works. I'm intrigued.

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