vinegar pie

my mom was not a very good cook. she was a lot of things…smart, pretty, educated, and opinionated. but cooking was not her strong point. 

i’m pretty sure she got the ‘not a great cook’ gene from my grandma. i remember Sundays visiting with the kids, taking with us a box of fried chicken from Knott’s…in self defense to her dreaded meatloaf. its  makings were a mystery, but i wager there were far more cracker crumbs than meat in that loaf, and what meat there was, was eighty percent fat. meatloaf aside, no one loved you like Grandma. she made wonderful noodles that i’ve still never replicated. the less than aptly named ‘never fail noodles’.

i have a recipe from my Grandma’s tin, handwritten and a bit faded. it’s for Vinegar Pie. she had won a pie baking contest one year (bad year for fruit??) with this pie. my mind conjures up visions of sour faced judges, fresh from the pickle competition…

we’ve all heard the saying ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’. well, vinegar pie is my lemonade.

we all have vinegar in our lives. it’s useful for some things, usually in small quantities. it offsets too much sweetness, and lends its own tangy flavor. on its own, it is sour and disagreeable. blended with the right balance of ingredients, it turns into something good…like vinegar pie. 

thank you, Grandma Woolverton. your chicken noodles are still the best i’ve ever tasted, though it’s been nearly 30 years. and Mom…you taught me well. maybe not cooking, but i learned how to comment, editorialize, and advocate…from you. 💞


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