A Day Late, and a Mom Short.

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23 years later.    

This picture was taken 23 years ago, and is the best of the last of the pictures that I have of my Mom. She died 5 months after I got married, and one week before I turned 30. My sister ended up with a lot of the family photographs, so the photos that I need to take a stab at doing a more Mom-worthy post are not at my disposal.

 I regret that I am a day late even getting this picture up, since everyone else in Blogdom was doing their Mom-salute posts this past weekend. It’s typical of me to be (at least) a day late and a post short.

Suffice it to say that Mom was an amazingly gifted, talented, loving woman – loved by all who knew her. And I’m still just a bit miffed that God didn’t let her stick around a few years longer so that she could spoil my kids.

She was a seamstress par excellence, her cooking was legendary, she was a self-taught artist whose paintings grace the homes of her children, she was a lover of opera and classical music who was known to bust-a-move (CLOGGING) when some hot blue grass was playing in the kitchen.

She was a most amazing woman, who loved her children and her husband with all her heart, and she poured out that love every day of her life.

What worthy tribute can I possibly bring to such an excellent woman?

Well, I have an idea that something that would very much please her would be for me to pass on to you one of the skills that she passed on to me.

The world would be a better place if it had more pie. Is this not so?

And I’m not talking about mediocre pie. I’m talking about pie so good it would make you want to turn around and smack your Mama. (pardon the politically incorrect choice of wording) Pie with a homemade, tender, flaky crust.

I watched my Mom make pie from the time I was the littlest girl. Her pies were epic. She used to keep what she called “pie crust mix” in a Crisco can under the sink. It was homemade, so it wasn’t really a “mix”, but she did pre-blend the shortening/flour/salt mixture in big batches, and then she could pull out enough for a couple of crusts if she wanted to make apple pie for dinner. I don’t do THAT, but I did, as a child, used to dip my greedy little fist into that Crisco can on the sly and eat flour, salt, and Crisco. (Isn’t that disgusting? I can’t believe I’m owning up to that, but I saw my sister do it first. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

She would teach me about the importance of using ice water, and then let me help her roll out the pie dough, and with the scraps of leftover dough, she would make me a pie crust cookie, by sprinkling the little re-rolled out circular wad of dough with cinnamon and sugar and baking it for me. That was one of the best parts about helping Mom make pie: that pie crust cookie.

Anyway, wouldja like to learn to make the world’s best homemade pie crust? What if I told you that once you know the secrets to my Mom’s crust, that it’s really EASY, and YOU CAN DO IT?

What a tease I am. The pie crust recipe is over on the Fun Girls, along with lots of great pictures. Go check it out!

Anyway, I had the very happiest Mother’s Day that a girl without her Mom can have, because of all the sweet ways that my kids and my husband honored me. I’ll tell you about that in another post.

What mad skillz did your Mom pass on to you?


  1. Very sweet! My mom taught me how to love and forgive.

  2. Nota: I don’t think there are any more important skills than those.

    Sending you a hug, because that was a really loving thing to say!

  3. My mom, not so much really. But my Kelly (my dear, late stepMom), gave me a love of reading, and people, and being oneself all the time, and a million other things that I’ve blabbed about on my blog already a zillion times. I’m beyond blessed to have had Kelly in my life.

    I love that your mom made you pie crust cookies when you helped her bake!

  4. What a nice tribute to your mom. Mine taught me many things, but one was definitely not cooking. That was not her thing. 🙂

  5. What a beautiful photo of you & your mom!! ♥

    My taught me a lot about being a hostess and she is a super cook. She baked a mean pie in her day as well. 😉

    I’ve never heard of keeping the premix of pie crust. My mom kept the used paraffin circle of wax from the top of the jelly jars under the sink. She would wash & remelt it for the next batch of jelly at a later date. My brother chewed on it so I did too. Blech! Your sister taught you a better trick! 😉

  6. Your mom passed away just after this picture???? Oh goodness, that is endlessly sad.

  7. You mom sounds truly inspiring – all that talent and great pie too, what’s not to love?

  8. I love that picture. The way she is looking at you melts my heart.

  9. Beautiful. Mom did good.

  10. Going to try your Mom’s pie crust when I get time to cook this summer. Ohhh I am looking forward to times without builders or catching up from having ’em.

  11. I am more than a few days late and posts short, but just wanted to say thanks for that loving tribute to Mom. And I’m guessing I’m probably the one who taught you the nifty pie-dough stealing trick, but I sure don’t remember it!

  12. Judy Hartley Frum says

    Susan, I am enjoying reading your posts. Yes, your Mom was truly a special woman. “Loved her kids and husband with all her heart”….is an understatement. I agree that she was one of the best cooks EVER. If you have her spaghetti sauce recipe…please please share. I would LOVE to have that. She used to fix that anytime I was there because she knew how much I loved it. OMG..the best ever. Keep up with your blog….its a gift to your Mother for sure what your doing. She would be so proud of you.

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