Making of the pie

Published on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 01:26 - Written by Joan Lawson, Guest Contributor

After being married for over two months, I knew it was time for me to learn how to bake a pie.

What brought this decision on was when my husband casually said after our dinner the night before, “What kind of pie do we have?”

I looked at him as if he had lost his mind. “I don’t know how to make a pie,” I wailed. I couldn’t believe he said that … especially after I had just served him a delicious meal of fried spam, baked potato and a nice salad of one slice of pineapple topped with grated cheese.

For the past two months he had been more than patient with my lack of cooking techniques, which weren’t considered the gourmet type. After our engagement, we started making plans for our wedding, so learning how to cook wasn’t No. 1 on my priority list. I had more important things to think about like going to my bridal showers, picking out a wedding gown and other things to make our wedding beautiful.

After my outburst about not knowing how to bake a pie, Bob just smiled, patted my hand and said, “You’ll learn.”

The next morning after he left for work, I decided it was the day for me to make a pie. At a recipe shower, I had received numerous recipes from family and friends, so looking through them, I found one from my mother titled “Fool Proof Pie Crust.” This was the one I would try!

Luckily I had all the necessary equipment to start on my project … bread board, rolling pin and a measuring cup. Then I read over the recipe and the directions: 2 cups of flour, 1 scant cup of Crisco, pinch of salt. Work the Crisco into the flour a little at a time and add just enough water to make it the right consistency. I carefully measured the flour into a mixing bowl and added the pinch of salt.

But I came to the scant cup of Crisco. What did that mean, I asked myself. Grabbing one of my cookbooks, I looked up measurements, finding several mentions for cups, teaspoons and tablespoons … but no explanation about “scant.”

Thumbing through the dictionary, I quickly found the word “scant” and definitions; there were three: 1.) Only not quite, 2.) Just about, 3.) Just below a particular amount. Mr. Webster was as vague as my mother. I decided on the third one.

Following the directions, I worked the flour into the Crisco very gently, then added the water thinking three-quarters of a cup would do the trick. My hands were a sticky mess as was the bread board and rolling pin. What a mess!

By this time tears were rolling down my cheeks, feeling sorry for myself, but I was determined not to give up. What to do next?

Well, I did the only thing possible. I called my mother, getting the sticky flour mixture all over the phone. With tears still flowing, I explained to her what a terrible predicament I had gotten myself into. As usual, Mother consoled me and said she would be right over to help. Bless you, Mother. With her expertise, she went through step by step and showed me how to make a pie.

Over the last year, I couldn’t tell you how many pies I have made with much success. Even today, I can’t bring myself to buy a prepared crust in the grocery store. I often wonder if our marriage has lasted 68 years because I learned how to make a pie.


Joan Lawson, 89, was born in Kellyville, Oklahoma, later moving with her family at the age of 3 to Sapulpa, 8 miles away. After she graduated from high school in 1942, she attended William Woods college in Missouri and the University of Oklahoma. In 1945 she married Bob Lawson and they have two children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. They will celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary in September. They are residents of Meadow Lake Senior Living community.