My family loves pie! And summer is perfect time of year to make fresh fruit pies. With all of the fresh produce, it’s easy to gather up some berries or stone fruit and whip out a delicious pie in no time!
My grandma Elva was the pie maker of the family. She lived at Lake Tenkiller in northeastern Oklahoma, and it took us 2 ½ to 3 hours to drive to her house for a visit.
When I was a child, my family would always play a game in the car while driving to see her. We would try to guess how many pies she would have ready upon our arrival and what kind they would be. She usually made the same kinds each time—pumpkin, egg custard, lemon and chocolate. Occasionally, she would throw in a “special request” flavor like pineapple, and there would never be less than four or five pies.
When the extended family would get together at holidays or family reunions, my older cousins would arrange for all who were interested to have a Pie Making Day. Those participating would gather at one house and spend the whole day baking pies, sharing stories, laughing and of course, pie tasting. My cousin Debbie would make her famous Coconut Cream pie, and lots of love and memories were established around those pie plates.
Over the years, I bet our family has had literally thousands of conversations about pie. My dad enjoys trying new pie recipes and even makes up his own versions of the classics. We’ve sat around the table and shared recipes. Late at night, we’ve laid in bed and talked about pie, and each of us granddaughters were diligent to have multiple conversations with our grandma to make sure that we all knew how to make her pies after she was gone.
Over the course of my life, I have written down her egg custard recipe more times that I can even count! These were important things to us, so we wanted to make sure that we each had it down. One of the greatest compliments that can be given around my dining room table is when someone tastes one of my pies and says, “That tastes just like Grandma’s!”
When our daughters were very young, they loved playing and baking with their Easy Bake Ovens. One day, I asked my grandma to reduce her pie crust recipe, so that it was just the right size for their tiny pans. We still have that recipe that she carefully tested and then wrote for them in her precious handwriting. She’s been gone for a while, so to us it’s a treasure. Now I have my own granddaughters, and we love to strap on our aprons, drag out the Easy Bake Ovens and make pies. The tradition continues.
As important as family traditions are, there is nothing more important than sharing with your family members what God has done for you. As a matter of fact, in Deut. 6:5-9 we read, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. And you shall repeat them diligently to your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk on the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. You shall also tie them as a sign to your hand, and they shall be as frontlets on your forehead. You shall also write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
How much time are you (and I) spending on handing down the right things, the important things? The idea communicated in Deuteronomy 6 isn’t some therapist’s good idea on how to create strong families. No! It’s God’s commandment, and God tells us in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
In this difficult and broken world that we live in, the best thing that we can do for our families is live out Deut. 6:5-9, and it probably doesn’t hurt to bake some pies for everyone as well!