Maybe it’s more for remembrance than convenience sake that I find myself cutting the shortening in to the flour, using a fork instead of a pastry cutter in making home baked pie. Making pie after all really is a labor of love. A time consuming culinary work made much easier I am sure using the proprietary pastry cutter. But I raise my fork here in honor of my late great mom-in-law, Pauline.
Here! Here! Mom, to you and your impeccable pie making skills.
We were in her kitchen in my early twenties, so very long ago, when she taught me (the clueless cottage woman) the finer skills of pie making. It was my first pie. EVER! We followed her pie dough recipe, I did anyway, I am sure she knew it by heart, for two 9″ pie crusts. When we got to the part that says, “cut shortening into flour until it looks like meal”, Mom whipped out an everyday dinner fork from her kitchen drawer and with amazing skill, deftly produced a perfect flour mixture that resembled pea sized meal oh so perfectly. I also learned that the water must be very cold before adding it, and to remember not to handle the dough too firmly and especially not to take too much time in getting it rolled out and into the pie plate or the pie dough will become tough.
Out of curiosity, a few years back, I bought a pastry cutter, (sorry mom). You know, just to see what I was missing. NOT MUCH!
Mom Paulines muffin tins and pink pyrex mixing bowl are put to good use regularly in my cottage kitchen.
It’s over 30 years later, and I still follow in her footsteps, the old paths, and still prefer using an everyday run of the mill dinner fork for most recipes that call for “cutting in” ingredients. I couldn’t possibly do it any other way! It just wouldn’t be right somehow. The old paths! Amen.
Thus says the Lord:
“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths,
where the good way is,