Grandmas Pie

This past weekend I spent the most amazing afternoon with one of the sweetest souls in the whole world. Great Grandma Velma allowed me into her tiny kitchen for a few hours of pie making and some lessons on legacy for my young Mother's heart. I went there to learn the secrets of her famous apple pie but what I came away with was so much deeper than that.

I think practically the first time I ever stepped foot into my husbands family home for an event I can remember Grandmas pie, it is always there. The gorgeous golden crust sprinkled with sugar, the perfect compliment to any meal I have enjoyed it so many times that I've come to expect it's presence and it never disappoints.
But when I was with Grandma Velma and she showed me how she peels each granny smith apple in one long continuous strip (a contest that her late husband Grandpa Hayes Evans challenged her with over sixty years ago) and how she starts her crust the night before to get just the right flaky texture I realized that her pie is infused with the kind of love and legacy that takes a lifetime to perfect.
Over the course of the afternoon I took in the scent of apples and cinnamon and learned the art of rolling out the dough to the perfect thickness with a special technique of using layers of wax paper and flour. Grandma let me do an entire pie by myself as she watched and gently guided me to make sure the edges were just right.

But something else was there in our midst. So much more than the ingredients on her counter or the way she labored intensely over her craft. I sensed her deep love and satisfaction in serving her family in this way. Making amazing pie is a way that Grandma shows her love. I tried to figure how many pies she has made over the past sixty years and into the thousands is what I came up with.
"I made thirteen for Bryan and Rachel's wedding that was the most I ever did at one time"

It's the sacrifice she makes to create this gorgeous gift. The pies are so linked to family time spent together that having the pie at weddings and holidays and birthday parties evokes such a sense of security and love  it would be a shame if it wasn't there it wouldn't feel complete. This whole experience was truly amazing to me. I long to be a woman, a mother with a legacy. To serve my family for so many years that it becomes common place and simple. God has called us to use our gifts in this way not for our own glory but for the glory of His kingdom. If I could make my family feel safe and loved with the single bite of pie just as Grandma does than I would die a happy woman.

Proverbs 31 talks about this woman working with her hands in delight, getting up early to gather the food, serving the poor and needy. This is Great Grandmas legacy. I know of many times members of her church without any family will call her and ask her to make a pie or cake for their birthday and she does it every time with gratitude for the ability to serve in this way. I was so struck by her life it's beauty and simplicity and deep wisdom. By her gifts of prayer and quiet service. Grandma Velma is a woman I long to emulate a Mother with many many more children than the ones she birthed herself.  In fact most folks that know her know her as simply Grandma. It was such an honor and blessing to my heart to have the chance to spend time in her home doing something as simple as making pie for the family. It was in this time that God deeply encouraged me I am blessed to be counted as one of Grandmas and I long to not let her legacy be forgotten.

I love you Grandma Velma.

Grandma's famous pie crust recipe in honor of Mother's day:

4 cups of flour
2 cups of shortening mixed and placed in the fridge overnight

in the morning mix together with a flour cutter and then add your moisture

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons of water
1 egg
pinch of salt

Beat together and then slowly add to the flour/shortening mixture. when it comes together split into four equal parts. Enough crust for two pies. Roll out bottom crust and place in pie dish fill with your favorite filling and top with second crust.

Cover edges with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees then lower the temp to 400 degrees and continue baking another 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Sprinkle with sugar and enjoy!
 May your heart be full and blessed this weekend - Happy Mother's Day!


  1. Love you Grandma! (And those delicious pies!!!)

  2. Love those pictures of her hands at work. So sweet ... wishing I lived closer to my grandma's. So glad you got to spend that time in the kitchen with her. What a gift. Thanks for sharing her recipe too! Happy Mother's Day :)

  3. wow, what an amazing post with incredible insight into this great woman's life and encouragement to all the moms reading.

    i love you too Grandma!

  4. Oh my! What a treasure you have! All my grandparents have passed away... I do miss them! I love how you documented her baking :) Beautiful!

  5. such a beautiful tribute to a truly beautiful woman. we are so blessed to know her and be counted among her grandchildren now that we are married to her grandsons. i love that you had this special time with her, rebekah, and so wish i could have been there to enjoy the afternoon with you two (with attention undivided!)! i am so deeply touched by your photos and your writing--again, what a precious tribute to grandma evans!

    great grandma, we love you dearly and deeply, and yes, we always enjoy your pies!! i agree wholeheartedly with everything Rebekah so eloquently wrote here. we are blessed to have such a wonderful grandma to look up to, and it is an honor to keep your legacy alive as we strive to love our families and friends as you do so beautifully and generously and with such evident joy. happy mother's day!

  6. SO sweet! My great grandma is still alive, which means that my daughter has a great-great-grandma still living. Thanks for sharing...I bet you made her day!

  7. this is lovely, rebekah. thank you for sharing.

  8. Grandma Velma is a treasure, for sure- she has blessed our little family so many times- great post :)

  9. Oh my goodness! She is the cutest thing...I love Grandmas, and am blessed to still have both of mine! Your photos of her hands were beautiful...I sure hope I am baking like that at her age. Wonderful post Rebekah!

  10. Absolutely beautiful. What a beautiful woman. +Chelsea

  11. Such beautiful pictures of her hands and arms working...there is poetry in the years of work those hands have done. Spending that time, showing thorough your actions how much you appreciate your grandmother, must have meant a great deal to her. Makes me miss my own grandmother. I can still clearly see the paper -thin skin covering the backs of her hands.
    Happy Mothers Day~

  12. Oh wow ! I love love love these photos : the light so natural ! And I love your Grandmas, she's so beautiful ! I want a same grandmother ! ^^
    Thank you so much for recipe !

  13. what a lovely post!! Toatally heartfelt and special.....loves
    those pies look yummy


  14. Lovely!

    Happy Mother's Day, Grandma Velma, and a Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!!

  15. beautiful hands at work and lovely photos you captured!

    there is nothing quite like Grandma's pie!


  16. I lover her hands. They look like my own Grandma's hands and I treasure the memories of her doing the same thing - making beautiful, homemade pies infused with love. Happy Mother's Day!

  17. Rebekah, this was so beautifully articulated. I can relate to the desire to be a mother with a legacy of love and service. Grandma Velma is so loving and generous. I didn't realize she had made so many pies for our wedding. Thank you Grandma! I love that you got to spend this time with her and I know you will soak in and use all the wisdom she imparted through her words and her rolling pin!

  18. I remember clearly, even after 10 years since my Grandmother's passing, her sweet hands. I also remember her pie crust, the best I've ever had. I love your post and Grandma Velma and that you had the blessing of an afternoon baking pies, what a gift!

  19. I really really love this post :)
    Greetings from Austria. maria

  20. This is one of the best posts I have seen in a while...

    the way you write about learning from her.
    the recipe. :)
    her hands.
    her sweet sweet smile.


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