Cooking is an expression of my love. Seriously. People say that homemade gifts are better, and that always sounds like an excuse, but really. For me, if I love you, I want to cook for you. And I want to think about you and what you like and what would make your day brighter or happier. I’m terrible at picking gifts. I kind of hate Christmas. Not really, but the pressure to perform overwhelms me. I don’t know what you want, and I sure as hell can’t find it when I’m trying. But cooking… well, little things stick in my head. I used to keep a notebook with my friends names in it. At Sunday dinners, I’d encourage people to write down their love and hate ingredients, and if I could remember after they left, I added the pieces I gathered.
Little things stick in my mind, and I *try* to find them and bring them forth for people. (P.S. Angela should have said she hates mushrooms. or was that Katie Layton, or both? maybe I’m not as good at the little things as I thought!)
In my raspberry buttermilk cake recipe , I wrote about my sweet friends’ love of buttermilk pie. John and Kari are amongst the dearest people in our lives, and I really strive to make things for them on occasion. Kari is a tricky one, probably cause I haven’t known her as long, and somehow, it’s intimidating cooking for women. Men seem to like it all, cause well, as a whole they’re more simple-minded ; ) Back to the story, so John and Kari introduced me to their love of buttermilk pie.
Just after Christmas, a dear friend of Cory’s passed away. I consider her his godmother, because I can’t figure a more appropriate synopsis of the relationship. Irene raised Cory, in a way, and he wouldn’t be who he is without her influence. It’s one of the most profound examples of love I’ve ever seen. After the funeral, Chester entrusted me with Irene’s recipe box. I’ve been through it and pulled all sorts of things to try, but when I saw buttermilk pie, I pulled it for Kari. Chester and Irene lovingly watched my husband every Saturday morning during his formative years. And apparently watched Johnny Carson with him some Friday nights, which I’ve definitely never seen. When I heard Kari had a chest cold today, I had to make this for her. I hope I can channel Chester and Irene and be as loving and supportive of John and Kari’s baby-to-be as they were for Cory. Yeah for babies. I’d like 50. Just kidding.
Buttermilk Pie (adapted from Irene’s friend Zelma Long’s recipe -makes 2 pies)
1 and 1/3 c. 1% milk
6 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 and 2/3 c. sugar
4 tbsp flour
1 stick plus 3 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
In a glass measuring cup, combine milk and lemon juice to make buttermilk mixture. Let stand 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 300. In a mixer combine sugar, flour, butter, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk mixture. Divide between two uncooked frozen pie shells. Bake 1 and one half hours at 300, then an additional 10 minutes at 325, or until center is firm.