Gardening Homesteading In the Kitchen

A Long Time in the Making

My daughter made my Grandma’s Strawberry Pie today. It was a long time in the making. But I’m so thankful we weren’t in any rush at all.

I think that may be the secret to perfect-every-time, made-from-scratch fresh strawberry pie… take it slowly. Something this good truly can’t be rushed…

Grandma's strawberry pie

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We had just finished unloading the contents of the moving truck into our barn. Then she begged me to help her plant her dreams… dreams of her own vegetable gardens (I wrote here all about how she grows her amazing garden from seeds) and her own mini orchards.

It’s not easy, but it’s so important to help a child discover what they’re passionate about.

So the barn stayed full and the house stayed rather empty. We planted a terrace of blueberry bushes, a patch of strawberries, a plot of watermelon mounds, and a line of peach and plum trees. We worked elbow to elbow all week, accumulating dirt under our nails, deepening our passion for our land, and focusing on the promise of the harvest.



After rooting them in the rich soil she had prepared, she tended to her fruits (or the promise thereof) and watered them every day. Until we were blessed with days upon days of fresh, cool spring rains. Those days she could rest and watch the plants soak in their quenching drink from their maker, not their gardener.

Never one to keep her hands idle for long, as the rain danced on her gardens, she turned to her “crop” of strawberries we had purchased the day before.

Grandma's strawberry pie

She was going to make her first-ever strawberry pie. She was going to make her first-ever from-scratch pie starting with her great grandma’s flaky pie crust recipe. Time in the kitchen, along with time in her garden and orchards, is an important passion to her. (Here I wrote about why I always try to encourage my children to fill today’s minutes well, to impact the hours of their future.)

She found the tattered recipe card in the small, wooden caddy on the counter. My friend–the one I have always called “best”– had presented the treasured roll-topped box to me before I married, using it to corral recipes she had collected from friends and family, near and far. Recipes that were now my daughter’s as well.

With her thick blond hair bobbing in the loose knot she had pulled it into on the top of her head, she started rolling out the dough. She stirred the cornstarch mixture over heat, and spoke about the distant future when she would be making a similar dessert with berries planted and tended to by her own hands.

She talked of fresh strawberry pie, so fresh that the berries were still warm from the sun.

I just longed to enjoy the moment. Not rush ahead years into the future when we would be picking quarts full of berries in our own gardens–the fruits of her labors this spring. No, I didn’t even long to speed up the gelling process of my favorite pie. I just wanted to sit on my old wooden stool, in our farmhouse kitchen, on this dreary spring day, and watch my 13-year-old bear fruits beyond her age and across generations.

She was rolling the dough on the pie board her great grandmother had given her grandmother as a wedding present, using her great grandmother’s pie crust recipe that has withstood the test of time, and referring to the worn 3×5 card showcasing her Great Aunt Jeanette’s handwriting for “Easy Strawberry Pie.”

All this in our old farmhouse kitchen. A kitchen that had been the home of genuine, from-scratch food preparation for more than two centuries.

I savored the moment. The rain was gently pounding an irregular rhythm on the back window.

My daughter was rolling out a pie dough from my childhood memories.

Yes, this fresh strawberry pie had been a long time in the making. No need to rush it at all.

Grandma's strawberry pie

Grandma's strawberry pie

Grandma's strawberry pie


I’ve included a beautiful, handy printout of both my Aunt Jeanette’s Easy Strawberry Pie recipe AND my Grandma’s Perfect Pie Crust recipe in my resource library for my subscribers. It’s easy peasy to subscribe. (Seriously. It takes a whole 20 seconds. Maybe.) Just do so here, or type your email in the box at the very end of this post.

Oh, and if you’d like more ideas on what to make with fresh strawberries, I mean other than amazing strawberry pie filling, hop over to this post as well.

GREAT AUNT JEANETTE’S EASY STRAWBERRY PIE

1 cup boiling water

1 cup sugar

4 Tbsp cornstarch

pinch of salt

4 Tbsp strawberry jello (2/3 of a 3 oz box)

1 qt fresh strawberries (I measure out roughly 2 cups, after berries are cut)

Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly add boiling water to the dry mix and return to heat, mixing nonstop until it is almost clear and very thick. Remove from heat. Add jello. Let cool slightly. (We put it in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.) Add strawberries and let chill until almost set. Then put the filling in a baked, cooled pie shell. Cover and refrigerate until fully set. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Make sure you clean the berries BEFORE cutting off their tops, or water will pool inside the berries and keep the filling from setting correctly in the pie.

To pick yummy berries, keep in mind that your nose knows. A sweet fruity smell is more important than appearance if you’re looking for great flavor.

And fun strawberry fact: Did you known a strawberry is not really a true berry? Berries, after all, have their seeds inside. A strawberry, on the other hand, carries its 200 or more seeds around on the outside. The seeds are actually called “achenes,”  and each one is officially a fruit. So when you eat one strawberry, you’re eating 100s of fruits! No wonder they’re so good!

GRANDMOM’S PERFECT CRUST

2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening

4 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until crumbly. Sprinkle with water and blend until mixture holds together. Shape into ball. On lightly floured surface, roll to 1/8-inch thickness.

This makes two crusts, so for one strawberry pie, you will want to half this. I assume grandmom usually made a covered pie. Of course she probably quadrupled her double crust recipe, since she was baking for a family of 12. Pie for 12–now that’s a dessert that would be a long time in the making! But I’m sure grandmom’s pies, like Kayla’s, were well worth waiting for.

In fact, the wait makes the dessert all that sweeter.

 


“May the Lord bless the land
 with the precious dew from heaven above
… with the best the sun brings forth
… with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains
 and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills; with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness.” Deuteronomy 33: 12-16

Some pie-making products we love around here:

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And some necessities if you wanna take your pies “on the road”:

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Grandma's Strawberry Pie

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Please take a second to follow along here on SoulyRested to catch up on a few of my memorable mishaps, enjoy musings about my centuries-old farmhouse, or glean a little parenting/homeschooling insight from this momma who’s been failing at the effort for almost 2 decades. I hope my focus always helps you Keep it Simple while being Souly Rested on Christ.

As soon as you subscribe, you’ll have immediate access to my subscriber library of resources, which I’m continually adding to, and which includes a beautiful, handy printout of both my Aunt Jeanette’s Easy Strawberry Pie recipe AND my Grandma’s Perfect Pie Crust recipe!

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6 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing pieces of your beautiful life with all of us. Your family is a treasure as is your faith in Christ 🙂

  2. Thank you, Stephanie. I find writing very therapeutic. To know a few people actually read it and enjoy it, well that makes it even sweeter (maybe even as sweet as my favorite strawberry pie).

  3. That”s wonderful that your daughter has already caught the gardening bug and is starting her own orchard already. I really enjoyed all of the history in this post from your homestead to the items your daughter used in making the pie. It really made me feel like I was there watching her.

  4. What a lovely moment to share with your daughter with all of those lovely family memories. Thanks for sharing with us at #overthemoon link party. I’ve pinned and shared. Have a lovely week and see you at the next link party.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

  5. Beautiful memories are created in just such moments. And then to share the results – wonderful.
    I do have a question about the pie; I don’t use Jello. Do you think substituting real gelatin would work?
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Great question, but I can only guess… I would assume you could substitute? Please, check back in and let me know your recipe if you do so successfully! I’d love to share it with my readers!

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