Women in our family have a tradition with pies.
My Grandma Virtue was a great pie maker. She knew the recipe for good crust by heart from many years of experience. Grandma worked in the kitchen at the Whiteside County old folks home. There she was known for making pies for the residents. She also insisted on making pies when she would volunteer at the soup kitchen with her oldest son. Our family of course enjoyed her pies when we gathered for Thanksgiving. It was important to her that folks has a piece of good pie, be they the elderly, the poor, or her family.
I can remember stopping by the family place one time when heading back to Minnesota after a trip to visit my mom. We tried to plan our return trip such that we could make a quick stop to visit my Great Aunt and Uncle. On this trip, Aunt Leola had 3 pies, rhubarb, berry and the third escapes me. The crust in these pies were likely made with lard and they were flakey.
My mother never mastered the traditional pie crust, but she became the queen of the oil crust. A pie crust that used liquid vegetable oil and is rolled out in between layers of wax paper. It was her signature pie crust.
For years I hosted Thanksgiving. Family and friends would come from near and far to our home. My house would be full for than just one meal, many of my guest would stay for the whole weekend. I used this an an opportunity to make pies. Lots of pies. One pie for every two people. Enough that you could expect to eat pie with every meal all weekend, including breakfast. Pumpkin, apple, rhubarb, pecan, French silk, blueberry, were a few of what you could expect.
I am carrying on a tradition, grandmother, mother and now me. Thanks to all the women before me in my family who baked pies, who gave me the belief that I too could be a master pie maker.