Pie Trivia and a Giveaway

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Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. First of all, I want to wish everyone a very Happy Labor Day.  I hope you all are able to take some time to kick back and enjoy this holiday that’s set aside to celebrate the working man and woman.

The other thing I’m celebrating today is the release of my newest book in the Texas Grooms series, Texas Cinderella. The heroine of this book, Cassie Lynn Vickers, has a dream to one day open a bakery. Her specialty is pies (strange because I love to bake but am no good at pies). So I thought I’d have fun today and give you some Trivia and Fun Facts on the subject of pies.

  • Pies have been around for a very long time. There is evidence that the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks all made pies of one sort or another.
  • The first pies were mostly of the meat pie variety. The earliest published pie recipe came from the 14th century Romans and was a rye-crusted honey and goat-cheese pie.
  • The thick crusts on medieval pies were known as coffyns, which at the time simply meant basket or box.
  • In A Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare includes a recipe for pies that includes ginger, mace, prunes, nutmeg, raisins and, for a hint of color, saffron.
  • Pumpkin pie wasn’t present at the pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving, but it was at the second in 1623
  • The most popular flavors of pies purchased in America are, in this order: apple, pumpkin, cherry, blueberry and Dutch apple.
  • A 2008 survey by the American Pie found Americans consider pie more than just a dessert. 35% have had pie for breakfast, 66% have eaten it as their lunch and 59% have eaten pie as a midnight snack.
  • At one time Kansas had a law on the books that made it illegal to serve ice cream on cherry pie.

So, what is your favorite pie? And do you have any fun facts to add to the list?

Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a copy of Texas Cinderella.




Here’s an excerpt from Texas Cinderella:

22 TC- smallMaking up her mind, she decided to share her plan. “I do have an idea about how I might get around this.”

Mrs. Flanagan straightened. “Well, bless my soul, you do have some gumption, after all.” She leaned back with a satisfied nod. “Let’s hear it.”

Cassie Lynn took a deep breath. “It appears the only excuse my father will accept is if I was spoken for. So that’s what I intend to do—find a man to marry.”

The widow’s brow went up. “Just like that, you’re going to go out and find yourself a suitor?”

“I didn’t say it would be easy.” Cassie Lynn tried to keep the defensiveness from her tone. “And it’s not as if I expect anything romantic.” She didn’t have any notions of finding a fairy-tale prince who would look at her, fall instantly in love and whisk her away.

After all, she’d already contemplated a businesslike marriage once upon a time, so she’d already come to terms with that kind of arrangement.

But Mrs. Flanagan was frowning at her. “You’re much too young to be giving up on love. Don’t you want at least a touch of romance in your life?”

“Romance is no guarantee of happiness. And even if that was something I wanted, in this case there’s no time for such schoolgirl notions. So a more practical approach is called for.”

“I see.” Mrs. Flanagan crossed her arms, clearly not in agreement with Cassie Lynn’s argument, but willing to move on. “Is there a particular bachelor you’ve set your sights on?”

“I’ve been pondering on that and I have a couple of ideas. The main thing, though, is I’ve decided what requirements the gents need to meet.” She’d given that a lot of thought on her walk home.

“And those are?”

“Well, for one, since I want to continue pursuing my goal of opening a bakery, the candidate will need to be okay with having a wife who does more than just keep his house. And it would also require that he live here in town so I can be close to my customers, for delivery purposes.”

“Surely you also want to consider his character.”

“Of course. He should be honest, kind and God-fearing.” She didn’t expect affection?after all, this would be a businesslike arrangement?but she did hope for mutual respect.

“And his appearance?”

Cassie Lynn shrugged. “That’s of less importance. Though naturally, I wouldn’t mind if he’s pleasant to look at.” Like Mr. Walker, for example.

She shook off that thought and returned to the discussion at hand. “But none of that matters unless I can find someone who’s also open to my proposal.”

“And you’ve thought of someone who meets this list of qualifications?”

“Two. But I don’t really know the men here very well, so I was hoping that perhaps you could give me some suggestions.”

“Humph! I’ve always thought of matchmakers as busybodies, so I never aspired to become one.”

“Oh, I don’t want a matchmaker—I intend to make up my own mind on who I marry. I’d just like to have the benefit of advice from someone who knows the townsfolk better than I do. And who has experienced what a marriage involves.”

“Well then, much as I’m not sure I approve of this plan of yours, I don’t suppose I can just let you go through it without guidance of some sort.”

“Thank you so much. I can’t tell you what a relief that is.”

“Now don’t go getting all emotional on me. I said I’d help and I will. Tell me who these two gents are that you’re considering.”

“The first name that occurred to me was Morris Hilburn.”

“The butcher?”

Cassie Lynn nodded. “From what I can tell, he meets most of my criteria. Of course, I won’t know how he feels about having a wife who runs a bakery until I talk to him.”

“Morris Hilburn is a God-fearing man with a good heart, all right. But he is not the smartest of men and he’s not much of a talker.”

“Book learning and good conversation are not requirements.”

“Think about that before you rule them out. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with a man whose idea of conversation is single syllable responses?”

Cassie Lynn paused. Then she remembered the fate her father had in mind for her. “There are worse things.” She moved on before her employer could comment. “The other gentleman I thought of was Mr. Gilbert Drummond.”

“The undertaker? Well, I suppose he might be someone to look at. Then again, he strikes me as being a bit finicky.”

“There are worse qualities one could find in a man. Besides, a woman in my position doesn’t have the luxury of being choosy.” More’s the pity. “But I’m open to other suggestions if you have any.”

“I’ll need to ponder on this awhile.”

“Unfortunately, my time is short.” She hesitated a heartbeat, then spoke up again, keeping her voice oh-so-casual. “There’s actually a third candidate I’m considering.”

“And who might that be?”

“I met a newcomer to town while I was at the livery. He just arrived on today’s train.”

“A newcomer? And you’re just now telling me about this? You know good and well part of the reason I hired you is to have someone to bring me the latest bits of news.”

Cassie Lynn laughed. “And here I thought it was for my cooking.”

“Don’t be impertinent. I want to hear everything. How did you meet him? Is he a young man or more mature? Is he handsome? Is he traveling alone.” She waved impatiently. “Come on, girl, answer me.”

She decided to respond to the last question first. “He’s traveling with two children, a niece and nephew. I met the little boy first. Noah is about seven and such an endearing child—intelligent, curious, outgoing. The little girl, Pru, seems shy and quiet.”

“Enough of the kids,” Mrs. Flanagan said with a grumpy frown. “Tell me about the uncle.”

Cassie Lynn paused a moment to pull up Mr. Walker’s image in her mind. “He has hair the color of coffee with a dash of cream stirred in, and his eyes are a piercing green.” A glorious shamrock-green that she could still picture quite vividly. “He’s lean but muscular, if you know what I mean, like he’s used to doing hard work.”

“And his age?”

“I didn’t ask.”

Mrs. Flanagan made a disapproving noise. “Don’t be coy with me, Cassie Lynn. Take a guess.”

She hid her grin. “I suppose I’d put him around twenty-four or twenty-five.” Though there was something about the look in his eyes that spoke of experience beyond his years.

“How did you come to meet him?”

Cassie Lynn explained the circumstances as she crossed the room to retrieve an apron that hung on a peg near the stove.

“So what was it about him that made you decide after only ten minutes in his company that he might be the husband you’re looking for?”

“I only said he might be worth considering.” Then, under Mrs. Flanagan’s steady gaze, she shrugged. “I suppose it was the fact that he had two young children in his care—it made me think he might be a man in need of a woman’s help.”

“I agree with you there,” Mrs. Flanagan said. “A single man in charge of two young’uns sounds like a gentleman in need of a wife if there ever was one.”

Purchase at Amazon here: Texas Cinderella



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Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author or email her at winnie@winniegriggs.com.

58 thoughts on “Pie Trivia and a Giveaway”

  1. Interesting trivia. I miss Marie Callendars, but now we have Nation’s. No trivia to add, but my all time favorite pie is the lemon meringue my grandmother used to make.

  2. My uncle owned a restaurant and as a you child he taught me to make cream pies. Two of the most important tips: A) Use an egg turner to stir. It works better than a spoon to keep the ingredients from scorching.
    B) When the egg turner leaves a “trail” in the mixture, its ready to turn into the pie shell.

  3. Interesting post! The first thing that struck me was about meat pies, because on my first trip to Scotland I quickly learned pies were more likely to be of the meat variety. For dinner one might get a shepherd’s pie made with mutton and “tatties’, or a cottage pie with minced meat and tatties. Depending on the cook, “neeps” (turnips) might be added or substituted as well as carrots, and maybe beans. FYI: Turnips, potatoes, carrots and peas are seen more often there because they are colder weather crops to grow. Turnips, potatoes and carrots can also be kept for the winter in cold storage. Last, Steak and kidney pies are dinner dishes too.

    The “scotch” pie is only about 4 inches round with straight sides that can be eaten on the go like at football matches and are made of mutton, sometimes tatties, eggs, beans, gravy, etc. And the last one I recall is a “bridie” which is a circular flakier crust turned in half and crimped around the open side–with meat inside of course. And the spices all depend on the cook.

    My favorite type of pie though is a dead heat between pumpkin or apple with raisins and plenty of cinnamon.

  4. Interesting post! I knew about the meat pies, but found out yesterday from a friend about vegetable pies. She is going to get me a copy of a spinach pie to try. My favorite pie is a pecan pie.

  5. I have two favorite pies. One is Lemon Meringue and my absolute favorite that I can find in Indiana is Boysenberry Pie ala mode. I am a native Southern Californian and live just a few miles from Knott’s Berry Farm and I loved their Boysenberry Pie. Yummo! Now I have to resort to Blackberry or Razzledazzle pies in the frozen food section.

    Congratulations on your new book Texas Cinderella. I love the cover and title.

    Cindy W.

  6. Fun post, Winnie. I was surprised that blueberry is one of the top favorites pies in America, but pecan didn’t make the list. My favorite pie when I was a kid was my mom’s butterscotch pie. Mmm… My fav now is French Silk. Your new book sounds good!

  7. Illegal to serve ice cream on cherry pie???? What was Kansas thinking? Pie a la mode is the perfect dessert! Although I prefer blackberry or apple to cherry. Fruit pies are definitely my favorite. I don’t want the custards or meringues. I want the flaky crust and sweet, juicy fruit filling. Yumm. Hmm, I’m starting to think pie for breakfast might not be such a bad idea. 🙂

  8. My favorite is tart lemon meringue! I make a pretty good coconut cream since it was my husband’s favorite!

  9. can’t believe they left off pecan & chocolate–my husband’s favorites. Another type of “pie” is the “pastie” that we ate in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which is thought to have originated in Cornwall England. It is similar to our Natchitoches meat pies, except the pastie has vegetables in it similar to a meat stew.

  10. Even though I hardly ever make pies, I have lots of favorites……Key Lime, Lemon, Apple, Cherry, Blackberry, Pumpkin, Brown Sugar Pie, and Peach Cobbler.
    When I visit the local Mennonite store, they have Pecan Pie Bars–like very thin pecan pies. They are wonderful!
    I hope I win that book. I have enjoyed that series. Historical westerns are my favorites now!

  11. Hi Winnie! You’re talking about my favorite dessert….pie 🙂 I never knew it was illegal to serve cherry pie with ice-cream on it, I think I would have protested…lol!

    Also, my mom lives in New Zealand and they serve a lot of meat pies. I think I even read an article not to long ago about McDonald’s menu items around the world. Some of the ones over there in NZ serve some type of meat pie, but I forget the name of it. I also read a historical article about why meat pies were invented. The wives made smaller ones that their husbands could carry with them to their factory jobs (or whatever type of work they did). Kind of like a hand-
    held pot pie. I’m not sure if that was her in the US or not though. I found that fascinating!

    It’s almost pumpkin pie time….yummy!! I love making my from scratch ones. I go to the farmers market to buy my sugar pie pumpkins to use. Ever since I’ve learned how to make them from fresh like that year’s ago, I’ve never returned to canned pumpkin 🙂 So much better!!

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of Texas Cinderella! I loved reading the excerpt, now I want to read the rest of the story. 🙂 Blessings!

  12. My aunt used to make a pie using figs and pecans from her trees. Instead of topping it with pecans the way you generally see pecan pies, she’d fill the crust with chopped pecans and pour the filling over it. She did pecan pies the same way.

  13. I would love to find out the reason why ice cream on cherry pie was illegal. Laws like that are a reaction to something – sounds like it might make a good story! lol – I picked my copy of Texas Cinderella yesterday!
    Being from the Texas Hill Country I have to give a shout out to Pecan Pie – It’s not Thanksgiving or Christmas without one or six.

  14. Hi Winnie, oh, wow! Texas Cinderella sounds like so much fun! Congratulations.

    I don’t have a sweet tooth, so dessert pies aren’t my thing. But if Cornish pasty counts as pie, then that’s my favorite.

      • Margaret, I bet you that’s what I was trying to come up with in my comment above! Here’s a snippet of the Wikipedia article about the pasty:

        “In contrast to its earlier place amongst the wealthy, during the 17th and 18th centuries, the pasty became popular with working people in Cornwall, where tin miners and others adopted it due to its unique shape, forming a complete meal that could be carried easily and eaten without cutlery.[13][14][15] In a mine, the pasty’s dense, folded pastry could stay warm for several hours, and if it did get cold, it could easily be warmed on a shovel over a candle”

        Fascinating stuff! I’m sure it was filled with some sort of meat and veggies, maybe potatoes too.

      • It’s funny, I don’t even know where I had read that article originally about the pasty! It might have actually been in a book I read. It really made me think of how those miners and their families lived everyday and how the miners themselves would have put in many hours of the day in a dark, dirty, and dangerous environment. I think I even read a historical fiction book about how young boys were put to work in those same jobs. And how many lost their lives!

        It’s funny how food can spark a conversation isn’t it? 🙂 I think I would love to try a pasty someday, I bet I could find an easy recipe!

  15. oh, I am a pie girl. I’d take pie over cake any day. Love the trivia facts thanks for the chance to win a copy of your book.

  16. Love this post Winnie! My husband’s parents were just talking about the years his mom spent torturing them in her quest to make a good pie crust. I gave up early and stick with the roll-out ones in the fridge section at the grocery store. 😀

    • 🙂 I’m with you Glenda! From scratch pie crust is beyond my capabilities to do well and the pre-made variety, while not as good as momma’s, is just too easy not to use!

  17. I love pie and make them whenever I can, which hasn’t been much lately. Our favorites go with the season. In the Spring, it is strawberry rhubarb. Over the Summer, I love berry pies – blueberry and raspberry. In the Fall, it is apple all the way. For Winter, we love mincemeat. I use the None Such brand (block or jar) and add diced apples,walnuts, and brandy. I have a Cranberry Brandy which adds a nice flavor.
    There is a pie my paternal grandmother made that I love, but my family doesn’t care for so I rarely make it. It likely comes from her French Canadian heritage. It is Sugar Cream Pie. It is make with sugar (browned – not brown sugar), cream, butter, walnuts, and a piecrust. It is so rich, a bit like fudge. When I was in the Peace Corps, she mailed one to me for Christmas. It got there in remarkably good condition. I was terribly homesick and it was the perfect thing to cheer me up.. I may have eaten the whole thing in one day.
    We are big pie for breakfast people. I always make extra fruit pies when I do bake so we will have them for breakfast. We rarely have them for dessert except when we have company.

  18. My saying is…”I never had a pie, I didn’t like!” I am a pie gal. Peanut butter pie and chocolate pie are my favorites!

  19. My aunt belonged to a Newcomer’s Club when she moved to New Jersey which is mostly made of displaced persons or in other words, not native to the area. A real neighborly thing is is to welcome with a casserole or dessert to introduce yourself to new neighbors. When my uncle died, all the ladies at the church made their favorite pie and they spread over 3 tables. I got my fill of pie that day and everything seems to taste better and look better after having pie. My favorite is old-fashioned apple pie with a crimped double crust served with vanilla ice cream or a slice of sharp cheddar cheese.

  20. My favorite pie is Pineapple Pie. It is a 2 crust pie that is so flavorful and smells so enticing! The recipe has been handed down through 5 generations of my family. It won a Blue Ribbon in the Colorado State Fair and has been published in several national Cookbooks. If any of you readers want a copy, I would be happy to share with you. Just send me a note.

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