Pies for Pavement: Rhonda’s Minced Meat PiePosted: October 10, 2013
Sometimes we can overlook the creativity of everyday things. Take pies, for example.
As part of our Pies for Pavement Fundraiser, we have been asking area pie makers to tell us the stories behind their pies. (Want to know more about why we’re doing this fundraiser and what in the world it has to do with pavement? Read more here).
In many ways food and stories are inseparable. And in this region marked by the foothills of the Ozarks, the edges of the Ouachita Mountains, and the banks in the River Valley, we really like to make pies. And these pies don’t come out of nowhere. They’re often passed down from generation to generation, changing over time as each pie maker brings in their own ideas to the creation.
Here’s Rhonda’s story in her own words. Rhonda Owen is the creator and owner of Wordsense Creative Services, and you can read more of her work here.
I started to “cook” when I was two or three years old. Mom says even though I couldn’t see the top of the stove, I somehow managed to put an egg in a pot, set it on a burner and turn it on. Unfortunately, I didn’t add water since I couldn’t reach the faucet. Fortunately, Mom saw what I’d done and saved us from a smelly and messy outcome.
I’ve been cooking all my life. My mom let me help in the kitchen, plus I spent countless hours hovering at my grandmother’s elbow as she rolled out dough for biscuits, dumplings and pies. My first memory of pie is of my mom making just the dough, cutting it into to pieces that she covered with sugar and cinnamon before baking.
Mom makes fantastic fruit pies with incredibly flaky crust. Her favorite is cherry while mine is dried peach. She not only made regular pies but her version of fried pies, which meant she cooked them on a cookie sheet instead of dunking them in hot oil. Grandmother, whose love for her family was expressed through food, always had pies sitting on a sideboard in her back room. Her meringues were mile-high and her crusts never seeped. Her coconut pie was creamy and thick — made from scratch, not a pudding mix.
While cream pies were her specialty, my favorite was minced meat. I loved the spiciness, tang and texture. When I was little, she made them with real minced meat, but that’s not what I remember. I only recall the later ones that contained finely chopped pears, apples, citrus peels and raisins. We topped them with whipped cream or Cool Whip.