Today, March 14, is National Pie Day. PI is a formula found in mathematical equations. You have probably used it at least a few times in your life, maybe not since your school days, to find the area of a circle. The formula for that is PI r squared. We celebrate pie today because of the date, 3.14, which also stands for the numbers the PI formula begins with. Any reason to enjoy good food, right? PI is never-ending, because the numbers after 3.14 go on forever.
The value of PI was estimated by the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes around 200 B.C. and has been a thorn in the side of schoolchildren ever since. Some say the Egyptians approximated PI up to 1500 years earlier than Archimedes did!
In honor of the PI formula, I’ve chosen a recipe for one of the first pies I ever learned to make, back in Mrs. Peterson’s junior high home economics class almost forty years ago. It’s an oldy but a goody. Home ec classes are long gone from schools these days, sadly; I guess I’m showing my age here. I think home ec taught valuable skills to both girls and boys, as did wood shop, photography, auto mechanics, drafting, and so many other courses that have gone by the wayside.
Anyway, to the pie!
4 cups Corn or Rice Chex cereal, crushed to 1 cup
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped cocktail peanuts (the salted, shelled kind that come in a bag or jar)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1-1/2 cups milk
1 4-1/2 ounce package chocolate instant pudding mix
1 cup dairy sour cream
To prepare the Chex crust, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie plate. Combine the crushed Chex cereal, sugar, and chopped peanuts. Mix well with your hands. Add the melted butter or margarine; mix thoroughly. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake for ten minutes; cool completely.
To prepare the filling: mix the milk and dry instant pudding powder in a large bowl. Beat for one minute with your mixer on low speed until all of the powder is incorporated into the milk. Beat in the sour cream just until blended.
To assemble: turn the filling into the cooled pie shell. Chill for about an hour or till set. Garnish with whipped cream or additional peanuts, if you wish. The pie is best served on the same day you make it, while the crust is at its crunchiest. Enjoy!
About the Author
Jo Elizabeth Pinto was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970’s. In 1992, she received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching students how to use adaptive technology, she earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. She freelances as an editor and a braille proofreader.
As an author, Pinto entertains her readers while giving them food for thought. In her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she draws on personal experience to illustrate that hope is always an action away.
Pinto lives in Colorado with her husband, her teenage daughter, her guide dog Spreckles, and an aging family cat named Sam-I-Am.
Her website is: http://www.brightsideauthor.com.