Cup a Java and a Slice of Pie Before You Head Back Out on the Road

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“Well, what’s it gonna be? Oh, cup a Java. Kinda pie ya got? Banana cream, pineapple cream, chocolate cream—an’ apple. Make it apple. Wait—Kind is that big thick one? Mae lifts it out and sniffs it. Banana cream. Cut off a hunk; make it a big hunk”  From The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

This is an exchange between a truck driver and a diner waitress.  She is always complaining about how she hates the “Oakies” because they never buy anything and she likes the truck drivers because they have money to tip well.  But she also sells 5 cent candy at 2 for a penny to a traveling family because she wants the little boys to smile.  The truck drivers leave her a 50 cent tip each.  It’s nice to think that people can find kindness and pass it on.

This weekend my friends Julie and Richard made me an apple pie.  Richard brought his own food scale to weight his ingredients instead of using measuring cups, and he deciphered some kind of code on a recipe card I couldn’t read.  He claims he will send the recipe to me in an email, but he might also keep his secret close.  Anyway, since I barely lifted a finger, I shouldn’t be the one blogging about it.  (We picked apple since we were celebrating the Middle Earth New Year’s Eve – March 25th is day the men of the West defeat Sauron in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so we thought we’d screen a film and drink some ales.  Apple pie seemed to fit the bill. Yes, we are delightfully geeky.)

Richard’s Secret Crust Apple Pie 

Pie crust made with a touch of salt and actual lard (I was surprised I could find any, but it was Goya brand, so maybe not that surprised) 

3 lbs granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

Cinnamon and Nutmeg to taste

1 cup sugar

1 stick of butter

2 tbsp lemon juice

Richard said that he likes his apples to be very soft, but he usually uses yellow delicious and more lemon juice.  We baked the pie at 55o degrees for about 40 minutes and then lowered the temperature to 350 for an hour.  After that we just turned the oven off and let the pie sit in there while it cooled.  The crust was great but the apples had almost lost their entire shape, which was my fault for getting the granny smiths (they were on sale!  Depressioners know I wasn’t going to spend more for the yellow delicious!).  Still it was eaten to rave reviews.

This was a pretty cheap pie overall, since I had everything but the apples and the lard.  Incidentally, Crisco shortening sticks were $4 and the lard was $1.19.  I will be making biscuits with it in the near future.



Filed under Books, Cheaper Cooking, Cooking and Reading, Food, Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, Literature, Recipes, The Great Depression

2 responses to “Cup a Java and a Slice of Pie Before You Head Back Out on the Road

  1. I always thought Cooking and Reading were best friends 🙂

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