Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Best Mud Pie Recipe


I’ve used many, many recipes in my life.
Starting with simple: crackers and cheese.
And, believe me, you have to get that one just right . . .
To more complicated: hot dogs.
And I’m sure you must realize the vital importance of the meat to bun ratio. And I won’t even go into the selection and/or serving size of condiments.
But my very first recipe was not nutritious.
Or even edible.
In fact, though it smelled rather good, I wouldn’t have fed it to the dog.
Well, actually I did try.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
I was staying with my friend/cousin, Jean.
It was summer.
Her mother had kicked us outside to play.
We had played.
 Now we were looking for something a little more . . . constructive.
“Let’s make mud pies!” Jean said.
Mmm. I like pie. “Okay.”
She found an old pot and we started adding ingredients.
I should mention here that, as we didn’t have all of the ingredients for pie, and really didn’t know what those ingredients were, we . . . erm . . . substituted.
Back to my story . . .
Dirt. (For flour)
Water. (For water) And I should tell you that you have to get this ingredient just right. Too much and your mud pies are sloppy. Not enough and you can’t do a thing with them.  Just FYI.
Rocks. (Those were the raisins)
Two eggs that she stole from the kitchen. (For eggs)
Grass. (For coconut)
We didn’t mix any awful things into it, though I did find some dog doo that I was tempted to add.
Jean stopped me. “Diane! If you put that in, no one could eat it!”
Important point.
Finally, we mixed our wondrous concoction and formed it carefully into little blobs on the wall of her mother’s flower garden.
Right in the sunlight.
Where our pies could cook and get nice and toasty.
Mmmm. They even smelled good.
I never got to taste our pies.
We were called in to dinner and my Mom picked me up just after that.
But I remember them. And how they would have tasted . . .
Last night, our good friend, Shirley was over visiting.
And told us about her ‘mud pie’ story.
She and her sister had found an old pail.
Added their ingredients.
Stirred well.
Now they were ready for the ‘cooking’ part.
But here, Shirley’s story takes a different turn from mine.
When she was young, her family had a chicken coop.
With a little wood stove inside to keep their feathered friends warm in the cooler months of the year.
Hmmm.
Why bother to set their mud concoction into the sun, where the actual ‘baking’ would be iffy, at best.
They would set their creation on the little wood stove.
And boil it.
Genius.
No sooner said than . . .
I probably don’t have to tell you that the flaws in their preparation technique were almost immediately apparent.
In Shirley’s words . . . “It really stank!”
So, a note to all mud-pie enthusiasts out there.
Bake.
Don’t boil.
You heard it here first.

5 comments:

  1. My 'eyes perked up' at the mention of mud pies. I know that as a wee tiny girl, much to the horror of my Mama, I loved making them. Me thinks you girls were far more creative at them than I. Thankfully, I knew enough NOT to eat them, just to abundantly make them. I still like digging in the dirt, sometimes making a lotta mud growing flowers, but alas I'm beyond making 'mud pies' now. Have you gotten to 'splashing mud puddles' yet? or is it a post I may have missed ~ cuz that was TOTALLY FUN too! (mmmhuh, that one also horrified my Mama). Your friend Kaye ~ @grammakaye on twitter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brought back memories I can tell you.....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, so funny! Probably one of those stories that is funnier in the retelling than at the time :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. When travelling between Red Deer and Edmonton after graduating High School, I would phone Mom 'person to person' upon arriving safely home in Edmonton. Of course I would ask for me and she would say that I wasn't home. The phone call would then be free, but Mom would know that I got home safely. (Michelle)

    ReplyDelete
  5. "meat to bun ratio"...hello Sheldon Cooper!

    I remember making mud pies that I decorated with flower heads, usually dandelions that grew in abundance along the fences out by the footpath.

    ReplyDelete

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