Friday, October 12, 2012

That's The Way I Always Do It!

Do you have something you do just because "that's the way I've always done it"?
Maybe you learned from trial and error, maybe you learned from a grandparent or parent. Doesn't matter, you do it "that" way and any other way just feels "wrong".
Well, that sort of got hammered home with me last weekend when the fella had a couple of friends come by after they had gone to the shooting range.
I had fixed lunch for them and dessert was apple pie.
Now, when I make apple pie, I almost always put a layer of walnuts on the bottom.
This surprised our guests who had never had apple pie fixed this way.(Which surprised me!)
I take about a half cup of crushed walnuts, a tablespoon of brown sugar, a pat of butter, a drop of vanilla and a dash of cinnamon, mix all of that together in a pan over medium heat until the brown sugar melts and walnuts are glazed and put that mix in the bottom of my pie crust. Then my apple mixture goes on top, then my top crust and I bake it.
Apparently, not everyone does that with their apple pies.
I've always done it like that.
Because that's how my maternal grandmother did it.
I don't know where or how she learned it. I do know that sometimes she used black walnuts as they were easier to come by. She had a black walnut tree on the small farm she and my grandfather owned.
I prefer my apple pie with the walnut *bottom*. It adds a bit of crunch and a pop of flavor.
When I have apple pie without a walnut bottom, it just seems lacking.
I also put crunchy bottoms on other pies.
Crushed almond pieces (butter, a drop of vanilla and white sugar or light brown sugar) in the bottom of cherry pies.
Pecans or hazelnuts in the bottom of blackberry pies. 
Yeah, so I'm weird, but I like to think it's the good kind of weird!
So...have anything you do just because "That's the way I've always done it"? 


  1. Wow! I've never had a pie with a "crunchy" bottom! Dang, I've GOT to try this. I was drooling a little bit just reading about it! LOL

    1. Never? Really? Huh.....I guess it must be a regional thing (Shenandoah Valley of Va. or Ireland) or possibly just a family thing.
      It is so easy to do and it adds so much in flavor and texture.
      Trust me, after you make a pie with a nut bottom, plain ones lose most of their appeal!

  2. Well, I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but I will say that your crunchy nut bottom may become one of MY favorite things to do. Even though I haven't always done it that way :)

    1. Like I told Sci....once you do this, you'll always want to do this!

  3. I have had to peel tomatoes after marrying William. We always washed and sliced tomatoes for salads or sandwiches. William says they have to be peeled before slicing and you never eat the peeling...why? Because his mom and grandmom always did this so it must be right.

    1. My second husband was like that about a LOT of foods. He only liked his mothers cole slaw (for which I don't blame him, it WAS amazing!). Also tomatoes HAD to be sliced for sandwiches and burgers, but *chunked* for salads. Heaven forbid that I sliced tomatoes for salad! The horror!
      He would actually pick sliced tomatoes out of his salad and refuse to eat them!

    2. Oh...keep your tomato peels, dehydrate them until they are good and crispy and then grind up in a blender or whatever...Tomato powder to add to dips, soups, stews, etc for a nice *pop* of flavor. I have a whole post on for dehydrate or food storage, it should be under one of those key words.

    3. My exhusband said tomatoes had to be peeled and I said they did not. He told me how uncouth I was. So, I told him he could peel tomatoes. Suddenly, it was fine to slice tomatoes that were only washed and still had their peels.

  4. Lamb,

    OMG, your pie sounds delicious. I've never had pie made this way. I must try this with the next pie I make. Thank you so much for sharing your Grandmothers nut crust.

    1. You are welcome, Sandy!
      I am still kinda amazed that no one else out there fixes pies like my grandmother did! I would have shared the idea/recipe a long time ago if I had known. To me, it was "normal", lol!

  5. That sounds soooo yummy! I'm going to try it this weekend! Thanks.

    1. If you make a pumpkin pie, absolutely try hazelnuts or pecans in the bottom. Hazelnuts and the pumpkin work amazingly well together. If you make a sweet potato pie, use pecans!

  6. Sounds really good. I'm thinking it started as a way to "seal" the bottom crust to keep it from getting soggy. I grew up in Texas and learned to cook from my Grandmother (raised in Louisana) and Home Ec in Junior Hi and I had never heard of this before. I may have to try it this holiday season.


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