What Every Mom Knows….About Pie

just bake it

just bake it

Every mother knows that at some point they’ve got to set their kids free. Untying the apron strings is never easy and letting them fly is even harder, but that is what moms do. It starts with the first day of school. A series of good-byes and long days hoping for the best. Suddenly, those long days have turned into years. The kids are ready to fly solo. Gently nudged from the nest we proudly watch them soar. It’s the beginning of a new relationship, but one thing has not changed. No one will ever love you like your mom.

my favorite sandwich

my favorite sandwich

There comes a point in the grief process that one realizes it is time to let go, too. It is the beginning of a new relationship with the one you have loved and lost. This is about the griever who can finally think about their loved one and not feel pain. This is about the griever who can talk about their loved one and not burst into tears. This is about the griever who is ready to take that emotional attachment and invest it in the living. If you are new to your grief this is not about you. In time you will get here because every day is a series of long good-byes.

A visit to Chicago's Navy Pier

A visit to Chicago’s Navy Pier

My William is gone. I recognize that. He can’t hug me or flash me a smile. He can’t call me on the phone at 9 pm or pay me a surprise visit. I can’t yell at him for doing something stupid (isn’t that what moms do) and I can no longer protect him or offer him advice. I can’t cook him his favorite meal or watch him enjoy Sunday morning crepes filled with his favorite strawberry jam. I will never forget him and I will always love him, but I have to let go of all this emotional energy and direct it towards living. Still safe in my heart this letting go of his hand is not a betrayal, but a healthy step forward. It is a Mother’s Day gift.

cutting the first slice is always the hardest

cutting the first slice is always the hardest

Another gift I have is a rolling pin from my mom. I have used a variety of rolling pins over the years, but hers is my favorite. It has comfortable handles and a weight that is perfect for rolling out her buttery pie dough recipe. I love to bake and as the days are getting longer and warmer, baking time is getting shorter. Don’t you just hate when it is too hot to turn the oven on? Yeah, me too. Baking has gotten me through some of my sadder moments. It’s great therapy plus in this case you get to eat pie.

mom's buttery crust

mom’s buttery crust plus her old rolling pin

Strawberry Rhubarb Lattice Pie


3 cups all purpose flour

1-tablespoon sugar

1-teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter (my mom only bought Land O Lakes)

6 tablespoons vegetable shortening

8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

Whisk flour, sugar and salt; cut in butter and shortening forming coarse crumbs with butter bits about the size of small peas. Using a fork, toss in just enough ice water until the dough sticks together forming a ball. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic and chill at least 30 minutes.

see the bits of butter

see the bits of butter


3 1/2 cups diced rhubarb (1/2-inch thick slices) reddest stalks are best

1-(16 oz.) container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)

½ cup sugar

1/3-cup (packed) golden brown sugar

¼-cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

½-teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼-teaspoon salt

that's my mom's old pasta bowl

that’s my mom’s old pasta bowl

Prepare pie dough. Toss all filling ingredients together; let stand 30 minutes. Heat oven 400F. Roll out half of pie dough and fit into 9-inch pie plate. Roll out remaining pie dough into 13-inch circle; cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Drain juices from filling into a microwave safe 2-cup measure. (you should have about 1/3rd cup of cloudy pink juice). Microwave the juices on high for 1 minute; it should come to a rolling boil and thicken. Spoon filling into crust. Pour juice over filling. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges. Transfer pie to foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until golden and filling is bubbly and thickens, about 65 to 75 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

from Penzey's

Finally, thanks to every one who commented on last weeks blog post. Happy thoughts are always good.  Congratulations to “Tracy” the winner. Your gift is on the way. Happy Mother’s Day.

21 thoughts on “What Every Mom Knows….About Pie

  1. “Still safe in my heart this letting go of his hand is not a betrayal, but a healthy step forward.” Here’s to the love you’ve known and to the joy that is this day ❤ Sending you love across the miles!

  2. A beautiful toast for all mothers. Our children will always bring us the greatest joy. Happy Mother’s Day to you dear lady.

  3. Beautifully written (as usual). This journey through your grief is awe inspiring, and that you have shared it with others has surely helped those who are going through the same thing. For me, reading all these posts on William has helped ME get through this unimaginable loss. Your strength has helped ME get through the loss of your beautiful boy.

  4. Well you were like his second mom. Whenever he came home he couldn’t wait to see you. If I have helped you one bit then I am grateful because you have given me so much more.

    • Thank you for those kind words, that means a lot to me. I can still see him standing on my doorstep when he surprised us with a visit, big grin on his face. Lots of memories to hang on to. Sending big hugs to you today!

  5. Great blog entry – Best wishes to all moms today – congrats to Tracy!

  6. A <> to you across the miles for sharing your heart and soul. I just know that your William is so proud of you. In reading between the lines of this blog, I can sense Peace and Hope. Have a wonderful day.

  7. Love your pie recipe and once again your kind words of wisdom this wonderful Mother’s Day evening. Ian came riding in on his motorcycle with flowers popping out of his knapsack. He has such love in his heart for Will.

  8. Your pie looks delish Lisa. I always love reading your words. Hope you had an extra special Mother’s Day!!!

  9. I hope some day I can find my way to living again. I thought I would never survive yesterday, but I did. I guess that’s a baby step.
    A belated Happy Mother’s Day to you.

    • The grief is still so new for you Krista….each day is a baby step forward. I never thought I would get where I am today. The grief will never end, but it does change and you will know it when it happens. Keep taking those bits of joy from those who are living around you and remember what Aiden would have wanted for his mom.

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