Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Pi/Pie Day!

 Created in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw, Pi day is celebrated on March 14th. For those who snoozed during math class (or doodled dinosaurs chasing your math teacher) pi is 3.14 (an so on and so on....) pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. Pi= C/D. In 2009 the United States House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution declaring March 14th as Pi Day.
  Pi Day is celebrated in many different ways, most of them involving contests to see who can memorize pi, talking about pie, who can figure out pi to its longest decimal....and eating pie. We prefer the eating pie, so we have for you two very bizarre pie recipes when you need to shake up the pie party at your office (if you happen to be working at Fermi Lab).

Pigeon Pie 

from Rand McNally's 1914 publication "Wholesome Cooking"

(This is Mrs. Abraham Lincoln's Recipe)

Make a fine puff paste; lay a border of it around a large dish and cover the bottom with a veal cutlet or a tender steak. Sprinkle with half a teaspoon of salt, a half salt spoon of cayenne pepper, and a salt spoonful of mace. Prepare as many pigeons as can be put in one layer on the dish, breast downward. Sprinkle the birds with a half of teaspoonful of salt and a quarter of a teaspoonful of cayenne pepper, dot with butter, and cover with sliced hardboiled eggs (six). Add a cupful or two of veal broth, cover with a crust and bake slowly for one hour and a half.

Wondering where to get pigeon? We were too...since its probably not all that legal to go shooting pigeons in the park....D'Artagnan's website offers a wide variety of meats, including pigeon. Right now fresh pigeon is out of season (?!) but, frozen pigeon goes for about $12.99 a bird. How many birds does it take to fill a dish, your guess is as good as ours. Also, we would think a baking time of around 350 might be a good place to start.

RITZ Mock Apple Pie

RITZ used to print this recipe on the box, it first appeared in 1934


2 cups sugar
2 tspn. cream of tartar
1 3/4 cup water
Pastry for 2 crust 9-inch pie pan (pre made or your own recipe)
36 RITZ crackers, coarsely broken
Zest and 2 tblpsn juice from 1 lemon
2 tblspn butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


MIX sugar and cream of tartar in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in water. Bring to a boil on high heat; simmer on low for 15 minutes. Stir in lemon zest and juice and let cool for 30 minutes.

HEAT oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out half of the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 11-inch circle. Place it in a 9-inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in the crust and pour sugar syrup over the crumbs. Top with butter and cinnamon.

BAKE 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool. 

Country Mink made this one time at summer camp and swears that it tastes almost like the real thing. Cracker pies got their start in the Depression, when cooks needed to be creative about getting food on the table.  
   A mock apple pie might be the perfect pie for Pi Day. After all, it was Carl Sagan that said, "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." Really, Carl? We think it just takes ripe apple and really cold vodka for the perfect crust, but what do we know? We're not rocket scientists.....

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