Everyone remembers the story of George Washington and the cherry tree. It’s sad, really, that we celebrate the fact that President George told the truth. Does that mean that we expect people to lie and when they tell the truth it is cause for celebration? In any event, even though we have changed his birthday a lot of times, we eat lots of cherry pie in his honor every February. Last week I was attending an business function and I was sitting next to a grown man, a professional. He was telling me wistfully about how his mother always made him a pie for his birthday instead of a cake. He loved that pie, looked forward to that pie. Some time in his junior high years she started using Pillsbury ready crust instead of making it herself. He forgave her for this shortcut. So do I. This is a revolutionary product that is foolproof every time. You will never cry when you use it or have to remake your crust three times. It doesn’t tear, it’s exactly the right size and makes a latice crust a breeze.
But later, during his high school years his mom discovered Costco! Now she BUYS his birthday pie. He told me this story with the most crestfallen look. So in his honor, today I am telling mom’s everywhere, IT’S NOT THAT HARD, bake your kid a pie no matter how old he is!! Go ahead and use the Pillsbury crust but NEVER use the canned pie filling. It’s a fact, according to the American Pie Council, three out of four Americans overwhelmingly prefer homemade pie. 90% of Americans consider a slice of pie one of the simple pleasures of life. It takes about 3 minutes to make the filling yourself using Oregon Canned Red Tart Cherries and you will definitely notice the difference.
I brought some of these cherry pies to my daughter Allison’s class when she was in second grade in celebration of good old George. Many of her classmates told her they didn’t like cherry pie. It was all goopy they said. She refused to let them off, she insisted they try her mom’s pie made with Oregon Fruit. She proudly announced that she had converted most of them to cherry pie lovers with that pie. Several years ago, my niece Anna baked a beautiful latice topped cherry pie with her mom. That pie was so beautiful the photo of Anna and her pie is still on the refrigerator about 7 years later. So I say to you, let Anna be your inspiration, if she can do it, so can you. I really love tart cherries just as they are. I don’t use flavorings or food coloring but if you like your cherry pie filling bright red then you have my permission to add a bit of red food coloring. If you like a little almond flavor then by all means, use it. JUST BAKE IT!
This last bit of pie trivia made me laugh out loud:
6 million: The number of American men ages 35-54 who have eaten the last piece of pie and denied it….