It is a foolproof pie crust. It came from a farmer’s wife, and maybe the saddest woman I’d ever met.
Barbara was the manager of a small office where I took a temp job.
It was customary to bring in home-baked treats on Friday.
Her specialty was strawberry rhubarb pie, with fruits fresh from her farm, and a crust that was exceptional.
She was proud of her pies, but the smiles that came with the many compliments were covering something else. Something darker. Something painful.
It was almost 20 years before. She was backing her car out on a summer afternoon when her toddler ran onto the driveway.
He did not survive.
It was an unimaginable pain that overshadowed all her success; at home, as a farmer, as a businesswoman.
I was proud to know her for those few months, in awe of her strength of spirit.
And for many years since, I’ve shared her simple recipe for a perfect pie crust.
Blend 1 cup lard (or shortening) into 2 cups flour. Add a pinch of salt, 1 TBS apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup milk. Blend well, divide in half. Roll into 2 crusts.