I was born and raised in south Louisiana and now live in College Station, Texas. Thanks to Texas A & M’s conference change, I am able to live in SEC territory once again without moving. I grew up on homemade food that was a combination of my mother’s Heartland upbringing and all she learned when she moved to Baton Rouge in the 1970s. I’ve always liked to bake, but pie crust just intimidated me. So, I left pies up to my mother. When my oldest child was born, she started talking about all the homemade rolls and pies she would bake her granddaughter.
In 2004, my world was shaken when Mama passed away unexpectedly. I cried when I thought of all the things my daughter would miss without Grandma in her life. I was determined that she would at least have homemade pie, so I set about learning to make my own crust. It seemed like the one thing I could “control.” Along the way, I discovered a knack for making pies and a connection to Mama, for me and my children.
Pie-making, once so common in American kitchens, is becoming a lost art. Cookbooks from the 1950s – 1970s were usually full of pie recipes. By the 1980s, the pie recipes were fewer and when they did appear they usually began with a store-bought crust. Somehow, along the way, we’ve forgotten our pie heritage in home kitchens. Many people have never even tasted a homemade crust, let alone attempted to make one. Through my cooking, I want people to experience true homemade taste. Through my classes, I want to show people that homemade pies are not intimidating or impossible! My proudest Pie Belle moments are when students tell me, “Never again will I buy another crust. I will only make my own.”
Stop and explore the site! Check out my latest stories and recipes, get a glimpse of some of the baked goods I offer, or find out more about learning to make homemade pies at one of my pie classes or parties.
–Terri (the Pie Belle)