A Genealogist, a Rolling Pin and a Pie… It Doesn’t Get Much Better

We have reached the holiday season and so has our genealogist Joan Shurtliff. Whether you are gathering research or family at this time, heirlooms and mementos along with their wonderful memories are much appreciated and well used.

November and December are family times for this genealogist. November is here with the Thanksgiving feast and December has Christmas and all its trimmings. It’s a time for giving, sharing, remembering and traditions. What a perfect setting for the family history researcher!

This RecordClick genealogist has some wonderful memories and they are all about a rolling pin.

My paternal grandmother was a baker. She was known for her dinner rolls–No rolling pin needed here.–and her noodles.

The noodles were her own special recipe. This genealogist remembers that they were rolled out and cut by hand.  Then, there were the pies. She made wonderful apple pies with lard in the crust and cinnamon and sugar mixed in generously with the apples. The crusts were neatly trimmed and crimped keeping in all of the pie’s juice. More of those pies than I can count wound up in a church food booth at the Nebraska State Fair.

I have fond memories of watching my Grandma Nellie working the dough and then, letting it rest. Her rolling pin was wooden and constructed so that the handles could be held firmly while the roller moved.

When the genealogist thinks back on her own history, this heirloom holds lots of meaning and memories.

When the genealogist thinks back on her own history, this heirloom holds lots of meaning and memories.

The dough always seemed to come out perfectly. But then, Grandma Nellie had probably been making pies for the better part of fifty years.

She wasn’t wealthy when it came to money but her pies were worth their weight in gold–and love. When she died, I only wanted one thing:  her rolling pin.

And I got it.

My mother preferred cherry pies. When we kids were old enough, the family would take a trip to the cherry orchards in Nebraska City and get a bushel of un-pitted cherries every spring. When we got home from our trip, we kids had the job of pitting those cherries.  It was messy and tedious.  But, we all new that fresh cherry pie was so much better.

My mom would make up the pies. She preferred Crisco in the crust. And then, she would freeze them so they could be savored at any time of the year. Mom’s rolling pin was also wooden – one piece with handles. It was nothing like the rolling pins so many chefs use now.

As for me, your lucky genealogist, I like to eat the pies but have never mastered the crust. I didn’t really have to for a long time because of my mom and Grandma Nellie. Although I might make a pie, it’s a store crust for me. But, we kids know– they’re not the same.

Now, there’s a new generation. I have a daughter-in-law, Nichole, who loves to bake pies. She’ll bake them for her own family, making the dough for the crust and rolling it out, just so, with her rolling pin. Her crusts aren’t as neat as my Grandma Nellie’s, but they taste just as good.

This time of year, my daughter- in-law will bake them for anyone willing to pay the price. They’re worth their weight in gold–and love. So far this season, she’s up to fifteen.

The genealogist savors family names, dates and places as well as family traditions and stories. When you hire a professional genealogist at RecordClick, you will get amazing insight and help with your family history.