Family Favorite Sawdust Pie – and the good folks you’ve run into
I get a little long winded in this one, y’all. Feel free to scroll down to just the recipe if you like
If you’ve never had Sawdust pie before, I really do feel it could become a fast family favorite. The taste is rich and buttery, and whipped cream and sliced bananas set it off to sheer perfection. I just use store bought pie shells for mine (ain’t no shame in my game!) but you can make yours from scratch if you prefer. The pie is easy peasy to whip up with only a mixing bowl and a spoon, and bakes up in about half an hour. Put it in the oven as you sit down to dinner and then let it bake for about half an hour before serving warm with the bananas and whipped cream. Mmmmm.
Whats even better is that the day you make this pie is the perfect day to make another one of my very favorite things to eat: Grandmama’s Fruit Salad. You see, the sawdust pie calls for seven egg whites whereas Grandmama’s Fruit Salad calls for six egg yolks. Now if that ain’t a sign that they oughta be made at the same time I don’t know what is! I could eat that fruit salad all day long. Fortunately for me, you can make it with Splenda!
This pie is one of my mother’s all time favorites and a must have whenever we visit Paducah, Kentucky. Have you never been to Paducah? Well goodness, gracious, what are you waiting for? This small town comes alive each April when quilting enthusiasts from all over the world (yes, world!) descend to take part in the American Quilting Society’s annual show. Vendors set up from every fabric line imaginable and sewing notions and such are in more abundance than you could ever dream possible. You have to book a hotel room a full year in advance and many residents go out of town just to be able to rent their homes out for the event.
Mama and I usually drive up with Sue (her best friend and who we refer to as “Aunt Sue” because she’s been in the family long enough to have earned the title!) and spend the weekend spending all of our saved fabric money to purchase enough to usually do us for most of the year, through extensive quilting projects.
~sighs~ I miss Quilting. I used to be an avid quilter but these days just can’t seem to find the time. I gave up my sewing room in the old house when Katy Rose was born and packed everything away. Now that we have space for a new sewing room, I just can’t seem to find the time anymore. I still consider myself a quilter though, my blood runs patchwork with errant threads spread throughout!
There is a restaurant in Paducah called Patti’s that is one of Mama’s favorite places in the world to eat. They have the thickest pork chops you’ve ever seen and serve huge helpings of Sawdust pie topped with whipped cream and bananas for dessert. I think Mama goes there just for the pie! She was so excited to find the recipe years ago so that she could make it on her own but I know she still loves the treat of going to Patti’s.
While I enjoy Patti’s, my favorite part of the trip is when we venture downtown. They have the neatest little coffee shop there and I love their grape salad (the recipe for which I plan on bringing you eventually, of course). I also love going into this little antique shop and seeing if anything “speaks” to me. I read years ago in a book that you should only buy artwork that makes you happy to see it and that has become my philosophy on antique shopping. It has to make me happy, either by silently reaching out to me (you know what I mean) or by bringing back a memory from my own or my mother’s childhood. Whenever I buy anything, I prefer to find something with a little meaning to it if the option is there, even when it comes to my everyday dishes. If I can spend ten dollars and get something new at Wal Mart, I’d just as soon spend ten dollars and get something with a history to it at an antique shop or flea market. These are just little everyday links to the past, a reminder of a simpler time.
I made a big purchase this past weekend and as far as an item having a history and soul to it, I feel like I hit paydirt. Now, I’m feeling a little chatty today after having taken a week off so I hope you’ll bear with me. Sit down and get comfy, we might be here a while. Eventually, I’ll even get to the pie this post is supposed to be about!
It’s no secret that I love my kitchen. Here at Bountiful, it is my absolute favorite room in the house, and I’m pretty sure the rest of the family would agree that its theirs as well. I love, love, love to cook (wow, another big secret revealed, huh?) and as soon as we moved here I started plotting my dream kitchen island to complete the workspace. For months now I’ve had a six foot folding table up, using it as a makeshift island while I shopped online, daydreamed, and hoped to someday have the ideal fit for Bountiful’s kitchen.
Everything I saw was either far too expensive for me to even consider or just seemed too “new” – it didn’t have a soul to it. I wanted something with a history of sorts, something solid and well made by someone who put their heart into it. The easy thing to do would have been to get a contractor to come build one but woweeee, I sooo could not afford that!
Well, a few months back I went to the Nashville Flea Market with my friend, Lara. She and I were walking around and happened upon a man who made furniture. It was there that I spied the most gorgeous kitchen island I have ever seen. It was absolutely perfect. I didn’t have the money for an island then, though, so I just looked there a few minutes and moved on, not wanting to make myself heartsick over it.
Now that I knew what I wanted, I could start saving. So, two months later, as I had a little bit of a showing in my kitchen island savings, I asked Mama to go back to the Nashville Flea Market with me to talk to the man about my island. He and his wife were some of the nicest folks you could meet I talked to him a bit about exactly what I was going to be using the island for and what I’d need, asking if he could do a few things differently. He said he’d custom make mine, no problem, and deliver it to the flea market the next month. I didn’t order it then, though, because I didn’t quite have all of the money I needed even though he said it would be fine to pay him the next month. Instead, I took his card and went home and started counting my pennies.
Two weeks later, I called him to officially order my island. He asked all kinds of questions to make sure it was customized to my kitchen and needs. Bless his heart, he even sat through my talking all about my Pyrex bowl collection and how I wanted to display them.
Then came the part of the conversation I was dreading. I had saved up enough to meet the original price quoted but had just asked for a few modifications and pretty much let this man know that his island was my heart’s desire. My ship was kinda sunk when I asked “Can you tell me about how much this is gonna run?”
“How much did I tell you at the flea market?”
Oh great, here we go. My daddy is the king of wheeling and dealing and after watching him most of my life, I realize I’ve just made a supreme mistake. He knows how bad I want this and is about to take me to the cleaners.
I told him the price he quoted me and his immediate reply was “Oh no, Ma’am, this one will be a lot cheaper than that.”
I said “Really? Now that’s something you don’t hear every day!”
And he went on to tell me how he always did the right thing by people and he’d make sure he took care of me. Wow.
Over the course of the next month he called me a few times to make sure he was making my island to my specifications. One call focused on the space in my kitchen, how long I wanted the island to be. Another focused on width and the exact type of doors I wanted and then he even called to see how wide my biggest pyrex bowl was, because I had told him I planned on using the front of the cabinet for displaying them, but the back to hold baking items. I had planned on just keeping the baking items out of sight by having them closer to the back but when I told him what I planned on doing, he added a wall in the center, making sure to leave enough space for my largest bowls to still fit in the front.
He called me last week to let me know that my island was ready and to give me the final price, which did end up being lower than the one I had originally saw – even after all of that customization.
I went to the bank and got the money out for him, putting a little extra in the envelope to help cover all of the phone calls . My brother and sister in law, Stacey, went to pick it up for me because it was so big they had to drive my daddy’s truck to get it.
I asked Stacey if she’d explained what the extra money was for to the man and she shook her head and said “He didn’t even open the envelope to count it.”
Now if that doesn’t make you shake your head and smile at the good folks in the world, nothing will. I now have a custom piece of furniture made better than any I could have ever hoped for by a man of integrity who took pride in his work and the fact that he always does right by the folks who buy his creations. To make matters even better I can tell my kids and grandkids that not only was it made just for me, but it came all the way from Paris, too…Paris, Tennessee, that is.
Sometimes we lose sight of all of the wonderful people doing business in our world today and their acts of kindness and “doing-the-right-thingedness”, even though I feel pretty confident that we’ve all encountered these great folks (and I know all of y’all are among them!).
I’d love to hear your stories of encounters with some of these good folks in the comments section below.
It would be a great addition to our season.
~squeals~ Oooh! Can I show you pictures now?
My island from the front. He put in a wall in the center so that I can use the front for display and put baking ingredients in the back. He even called to see how big my largest bowl was to make sure there was plenty of room.
I chose a rich, barn red and then he distressed it a bit for a more farmhouse feel. Much of the wood and doors used in his furniture are reclaimed wood.
This is the back with my other set of doors.
I just grabbed some things to put in for the pic to show you how nice it is inside.
The top is so beautiful!!
And look how thick it is! The corners are rounded very nicely, too…
Now that I’m done telling you how proud I am to have this island, I reckon we oughta get to cooking something we can set on it!
Wow, have I got a cornucopia of ingredients here or what?
Great Value brand whipped topping, Kroger brand coconut, name brand, name brand, and then my beloved local eggs. My product selection usually revolves around “Where is the sale this week?”.
I have a few brand loyalties but very few, although if I’ve had an opportunity to work directly with a company and see that it is family oriented and genuinely cares about their consumers, I buy their products whenever I can. I’ve always had great experiences with Kraft Foods, in all of their divisions, and if you live inthe South I have to tell you that the folks who run Moon Pie and Milo’s (a very popular fast food chain that most of us know for the gallons of tea they sell in all local grocery stores), are about the finest people you’d ever hope to meet. I just love good people, don’t you? It’s always heartening to run into them, especially in the business world where it seems so many companies and folks are getting more cutthroat by the day. Whenever I am fortunate enough come into contact with one of the good folks who has their head glued on straight, its just another assurance of what a wonderful world we all really live in, populated primarily by good old folks.
Don’t worry over graham cracker crumbs if you have graham crackers on hand, just put some in a plastic bag and crush them yourself and they’ll be fine. Likewise with the pecans, which the original recipe called for. Goodness, have you looked at the price of pecans lately? I have a tendency to leave nuts out of anything I can but this time of year I try to splurge and buy them. Still, walnuts are half the price and so that’s what I’ve been baking with. Since this recipe is pretty sacred to Mama, I called her to ask how she would feel about eating it with walnuts versus pecans and she was pretty dern happy that I was planning on sending her some, with full blessings on the substitution.
I separated my eggs and placed just the whites in a bowl, saving the yolks to use in the sauce for my fruit salad.
Add walnuts or pecans. As I said, recipe called for pecans but cheapie me went for Walnuts instead.
Here at Bountiful, I was delighted to find not one, but TWO huge pecan trees! This year they just didn’t want to yield for me though, I reckon they need time to get to know me a little better . I’ve bought them some nice fertilizer and have been talking real sweet about all of the yummy things I’ll bake should they decide to ante up next go ’round.
Add in coconut.
Mama usually gets her coconut in a can on the baking aisle and I usually get mine in a bag on the same aisle. Either works. Get the sweetened kind, it’s yummy! I found it on sale recently for a dollar a bag and picked up a few to freeze for more holiday baking.
We use an awful lot of coconut during the holidays down south!
~sings~ Sugar… Aww, honey, honey! You are my candy girrrrrrl!!!
Come on, you know you wanna sing with me. ~grins~
Add in graham cracker crumbs.
I went to two different places looking for these things and they were out at the first place (or else I wasn’t looking in the right place, Kroger’s seems to be the most oddly arranged grocery store I’ve ever been in) and at the other place I just plum forgot them! So I went to the pantry resigned to just crush up some crackers rather than go out of my way to make a trip and lo and behold, a brand spanking new box sitting right there!
Mix all of that up good with a spoon.
and spoon it into an unbaked pie shell. I used deep dish but Mama says she always uses regular.
Bake at 325 for about thirty minutes, or until it looks done all over the top.
It will look kind of like a pecan pie with a thick coating of streusel on it.
Cut slices while warm and add a dollop of whipped cream and some slices of bananas.
Trust me, this pie is delicious but the bananas and whipped cream just MAKE it!
I used store bought whipped topping but if you’d like my recipe and instructions on how to make it from scratch (which is even better), just click here.
With the holidays in full swing I wanted to let y’all know that I have a TON of homemade gift ideas on Southern Plate, starring homemade mixes because they are my very favorite thing to give. When you give a homemade mix to someone, you are not only giving them a gift that will taste wonderful from your heart, but you are also giving them a convenient block of family time, either when they make it together or when they sit down to enjoy the final product. I posted several gift mixes and homemade ideas last year along with inexpensive packaging ideas and here are those for you to browse through now if you’d like. All of the mixes for last year include printable tags as well. I’ll be bringing you more as well so stay tuned!
- Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix and Snowman Soup kits
- Pecan Pie Muffin Mix
- Chocolate Gravy Mix
- Sugar Free Cappucino Mix
- Fruit Crisp Mix
- S’more’s Kits
To keep posted on more links to Christmas candies and baked goods, join our Facebook Family!
Life is good, and if you let it, it gets even better.
~Me. To submit your quote, please click here. Lots of inspiring ones to read, too!
Kick off the season with the Southern Plate family by telling us some stories about good folks you’ve run into and how they showed you kindness or helped strengthen your faith in the world around us.
Do you have a story from your childhood of a good hearted person who made a difference? Have you met someone lately who showed you a kindness or perhaps the cashier at your favorite grocery store just always manages to make your day a little brighter with their smile.
Please share with all of us in the comments section.
It’s a wonderful world filled with some awfully good people, I look forward to hearing your stories!