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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scrabble and pie

We live near a small town (Snohomish, WA), well-known for its antiques and vintage shops.  Visiting makes for a fun day for the girls (my daughters and me). Last week we ventured north for a few hours. 
a big bowl of scrabble tiles, priced at 35 cents each
at Remember When Antique Mall
They also had the wooden racks for $1.50.

Our main goal was to pick up the Scrabble piece we've been missing for years, the letter "I".  We had seen a basket full, the last time we were there, but weren't sure which letter we were lacking. That shop was our first stop. 

Rumaging through the basket, we found an aged letter "I", aged being key.  I inherited my mother's vintage Scrabble set. She received it as a birthday gift in 1953. All these years that I've had it, we've been lacking this one letter (on the board itself they list how many of each tile come with the game).  And to think of all the games that I lost, simply because I didn't have enough letter "I"s. For shame!

We hopped from shop to shop, then headed over to the restaurant that specializes in pie. It's something of a ritual for us. I'd hoped the 3 of us would share just one slice, but hunger got the best of us and we shared 2 slices (1 pecan, 1 marionberry). 

The pie was indeed very good. However, I prefer my own crust. (If you're needing a good pie crust recipe that can be made in bulk and kept frozen until needed, I've included that recipe below.)

There is something about pie that is irresistible to me.  We we didn't have pie much when I was growing up, Thanksgiving and maybe a lemon meringue once or twice a year. So when I was finally on my own, pie was about the first thing I learned to make.

Now who's up for a game of Scrabble?

Fool-Proof Pie Crust (from A Collection of the Very Finest Recipes ever assembled into one Cookbook  -- really, that's the book's name)

(this recipe is from the 70s, when I think pie tins were smaller than they are now.  So the crust comes out a bit thin, but we actually like that.  If you want a thicker pie crust, divide the dough into 4 portions instead of 5)

4 cups flour (if you want to use some whole grain, you can use 1 cup whole wheat + 3 cups white flour)
1 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
1  3/4 cups shortening
1 large egg
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs. vinegar

In a large bowl, stir flour, salt and sugar.  Cut in shortening.  In a small bowl (I use a measuring cup for this, it saves washing a bowl), beat egg and liquids together.  Add to flour mixture until well moistened. Chill dough for 30 minutes. Divide into 5 portions and shape each into a flat, round patty.  Wrap each in plastic wrap.

This dough can handle extra flour, if needed, for rolling. Extra flour and handling will not toughen the baked product. It will keep refrigerated for 3-5 days, or freeze for use later.  If using frozen, thaw, then roll out. (I do this on the counter for an hour, but you could also thaw very carefully in the microwave, or overnight in the fridge.)

This is the recipe I always use.  It's not super flakey, but it is tender and reliable, and I love that I can freeze it to make baking quick and easy.  I've experimented with using part butter for some of the shortening.  This gives it an even more delicious flavor.  


  1. Lovely to see an old scrabble set still in use. Ours is also. Although we are in the UK, ours was bought back over by my Grandma who lived in CA for 14 years during the 60's and 70's.
    It has a really substantial feel to it!

    1. I love playing with a set that I know has seen many years of fun Scrabble games. My mom passed away many years ago. Having this set of hers, allows me sentimental moments, imagining her as a girl, playing with her family, and then years later, all the fun our family had, and now today, many fun, challenging games with my own husband and kids. I'm guessing your Scrabble set is a beautiful reminder of times spent with your grandma, as well.


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