Holiday cooking easy as pie

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Holidays are a time for family and friends to gather, traditions to be passed on, food to be prepared and of course, the all important ending to a meal, dessert, or in this case, pie.

Well known for her cream pies, Edna Grimes is a bit of a celebrity in town when it comes to baking pies. Anyone who asks folks around town who makes good pies will likely get Grimes’ name back in reply.

Grimes started baking pies when she was 17, for her brothers and family, she said. Employed by College Drug for 23 years, Grimes, continued to make pies daily as well as doing the general cooking at the drugstore’s grill, she said.

“I love to do it, I love to make pies,” said Grimes.

Over the years, Grimes has made a variety of pies, but her specialty is a coconut cream pie, she said. To this day, she continues to bake pies for her family and friends, for holidays and special occasions. People in the community, have come to expect and anticipate Grimes to bring her pies to social gatherings, she said.

Though secretive with her coconut cream pie recipe, Grimes did share a few things about making a pie crust. Basic ingredients for her pie crust include Crisco and water. Another ingredient that she incorporates in the crust is brown sugar, said Grimes.

“I have done it so long, I can mix the ingredients without having to measure, said Grimes. I learned to make pie crusts by trial and error, and watching my mom and my aunt make the crusts.”

Pep resident Lillie Belle Toombs began baking pies before her marriage and has continued to bake pies for the entirety of her 66 years of marriage. Improvising with whatever ingredients were at hand, Toombs has made a variety of pies over the years. Though she made more pies when her kids were living at home, Toombs continues to make the occasional pie, she said.

“I make pecan pies for the holidays and of course I made a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving,” said Toombs.

In years past, Toombs has entered her pies in the fair. Entering pies such as sweet potato, pecan and peanut, have earned her blue ribbons. Toombs also uses Crisco and water when it comes to making her pie crusts, she said.

Lessons from her mother-in-law set in motion Dottie Lee’s venture into pie baking, that has lasted for many years.

Made with a few simple ingredients, such as vinegar, raisins and sugar, Lee bakes an Allsgood pie for holiday gatherings. Also referred to as

“Poor Folks” pie, the ingredients used are a substitute for the syrup in pecan pies, said Lee.

“It’s really good,” said Lee.

Baking pies for family and friends, Lee also agreed with Grimes and
Toombs that Crisco and water are necessary ingredients for a good pie crust.

“Crisco and cold water are the secrets to a good pie,” said Lee.