NO SOONER DID I get the Christmas tree plucked clean of all decorations and hustled out the front door to the porch, sweep up the small truckload of needles that it had wept all over the floor, gather up much of the Christmas paraphernalia that had served to infuse the house with holiday cheer and tote it back to the attic... than it was time to go to another Christmas gathering!
Sometime in late December, one of my yard man's sisters had emailed this message to her siblings and nieces and nephews :
After much discussion and consideration it has been agreed that Saturday, JANUARY 8, 2011 is the date we will be gathering to celebrate Christmas, eat chicken corn pie, and generally enjoy each others company. Let me know if you can attend.
Ah. It's a tradition that cannot be allowed to die--the eating of Chicken Corn Pie! I've been eating it myself--with most of the descendants of the yard man's parents--since that very first December that I knew the man, when his mother wielded that rolling pin like a magic wand and I stood by with sudden trepidation (a few more months and it would be MY job to feed this woman's son!)
Fortunately for us all (those who meet to carry on this fine tradition), the master maker of these pies had five fine daughters. Three of them live in this area. And all of them, I do believe, are adept at making chicken corn pies.
I've even made them myself a time or two. But sad to say, the little card onto which I copied directions is clean as a whistle--no splashes or splatters to prove its good use. Here's what I jotted down in my long-ago lettering, as the woman who would be my mother-in-law told me she had no recipe, but I could just do this:
Chicken Corn Pie
--Turkey or Chicken
--Good roasted in oven
--Can put in onions
--Saute onions & celery in butter
/carrots, too, if you want
--Heat corn (or at least thaw)
--Mix altogether, pour off juice
--Put into pie crust
--Put daubs of butter over top (under top crust)
--Brush top with milk
5 Cups flour
1-1/2 Cups white crisco
1 egg or 1 egg white beaten
Ice water in with egg to equal about 3/4 Cup
roll as thin as you can
(It sort of breaks my heart, Dear Reader, that I actually wrote that down--"roll as thin as you can.")
The sis-in-law's pies were delicious tonight.
Three generations enjoyed each others' company.
And I do so hope the Little Actor will be eating
chicken corn pie at Christmas time when
he is a very old man.