Pie to the People

Pie to the People

Discussions among my coworkers range from the cut-throat pricing of air-conditioning installation to now-defunct candy brands. Some issues, such as menopause, as discussed frequently. Others, among them bridal shower gifts, are rarely touched upon. The one common thread of all our conversations is food.

Usually my coworkers merely describe what they’ve been eating. Sometimes they go so far as to say where they ate it. Then, yesterday, my coworker handed me a recipe. It was for Pie. Yes, universe, I hear you loud a clear.

My only option was to make it. Of course I used Aunt Sheryl’s Pie Crust, instead of the sub-par crust the print-out suggested. Other than that, I followed my coworker’s lead.

Crumble Berry Pie

1 9″ pie crust

Berry Filling

4 c berries [fresh or thawed from freezer case]

1/2 c sugar

1/4 c water

2 tbsp corn starch*

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla

dash of salt

*I asked my coworker, a venerable Midwestern balabusta, if I really had to use corn starch. She gave me a definitive “Yes” which brooked no argument. So I asked Ellen, who said I could use flour. Not yet ready to cross my coworker – even without her knowledge – I asked my dad if I could replace the corn starch with flour. He told me a baking trick, as yet untried, of mixing margarine into flour as a thickening agent. Such an agent would be an effective replacement for corn starch, though it could induce cardiac arrest. I opted to follow my coworker’s directive and used corn starch.

Except for berries, mix together filling ingredients in a saucepan. Whisk mixture as it heats over a medium flame, until it thickens [about 5 minuets]. Stir in berries.

Crumble Topping

1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 c flour

1/2 c oats

1/2 tsp cinnamon, or more as desired

1/4 c [I used oil. The recipe called for melted butter [which I automatically read as margarine.] What is melted butter but oil?] Fattening substance of your choice

Sift together dry ingredients, mix in oil/margarine; sprinkle thickly over pie.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.


Pie Week has claimed me, and my coworkers, as its own. It’s also claimed a Los Angeles Radio station, where they make a pie each day of the summer. If you wait around here long enough, Pie is going to claim you too.


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