Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Pie, Pie, Pie! A Celebration of Pie in my Hoosier Family Heritage and in Singable Picture Books

Posted on: April 13, 2013

blueberry pie epg 2013 05 - Copy cherry pie epg 2013 05 - Copy apple pie epg 2013 05 - Copy
Pies by Eloise

This sweet journey began for me Thanksgiving 2012 when a friend asked a question on his Facebook page.  He wanted to know if his Hoosier Friends knew about Sugar Cream Pie.  I wrote SUGAR CREAM PIE!  Of course!!  My mother loved Sugar Cream Pie.  She bought frozen pies (which I later found out were made by Mrs. Wick’s) and baked them and then, yes this is the solemn truth, we ate them for breakfast!

Then a few weeks ago, I was talking to a fellow Brownie Mom as we stood shivering at the Brownie Troop 2740 Girl Scout Cookie Booth we set up outside the Giant Grocery store.  The conversation steered and I mentioned that I grew up in Indiana.  My friend (who is a free-lance food writer and who is a partner in a new online magazine, AMERICAN FOOD ROOTS) said that she had recently written an article about Sugar Cream Pie, but had gotten some guff from a few Hoosier readers who had never heard of such a thing and took exception to her calling it “Hoosier Pie.”  I was like, DO I KNOW ABOUT SUGAR CREAM PIE?  And then proceeded to reiterate what is written above.  Once thawed out at home, I went online to find her article and and think is is quite delightful and a very nice tribute to Hoosier food.  A couple readers didn’t seem to like that she called it Hoosier Pie.  And though I had never thought of it as anything more than the delicious pie my mom frequently baked up for breakfast, a simple Google search reveals all kinds of recipes and references to Sugar Cream Pie as HOOSIER PIE.

cj&gram 1990s
My Mom (Carole Everson) and grandmother (Ethel May Selka, aka Gram) sometimes in the late 1990s.
This looks like Christmas or Thanksgiving, so we just enjoyed Gram’s pecan pie.

This all made me nostalgic.   After all, you can take a girl out of Indiana (even if she did dream her whole life of leaving Indiana and living in big urban cities), but she’ll still be a Hoosier forever.  And I am.  I consider myself a cosmopolitan accumulation of a great many places and experiences, but a big part of me is forever Hoosier.  It also got me thinking about pie.  My husband grew up in the Bronx and said there was never pie.  But I can honestly say, that one thing I took away from my childhood in Indiana is a love of and sentimental memories of pie.  There was always pie.

My maternal grandmother (Ethel May Selka) made delicious pecan pie for ever special occasion.  I think if a holiday rolled around and if there was not a pecan pie, I would have been down-hearted and confused.  But luckily that never happened.  The pecan pie was always there.

We also frequently and specifically went out for pie as a treat. We went to the Dutch Oven restaurant and got pie.  I remember my dad would get lemon meringue or cherry, my grandmother would get pecan or strawberry-rhubarb,  my mom would get chess or cherry and my sister and I would get some kind of fruit pie…probably cherry.  Then it was the filling which stirred my desires and my appetite.  Now, though, it is the crust that matters.  These days, I would gladly have maybe an inch or so of the pie middle, but make myself very happy with a long curve of crust.

As my grandmother got older, I became fearful that we would lose her stories.  She was never one for sharing sentimental memories of the past, so I had to work pretty hard to pull info out of her.  She didn’t give me volumes of info, but she gave me a little and I’m glad now (she had a stroke at the end of 2012) that I was able to gather at least a small amount of what she had to share.  She told me that her mother (Leatha Barnaby Heil Seibert) could whip up a pie like nobody’s business and that she used Crisco for the crusts and filled the pies with whatever fruits were in season.

Leatha Heil Siebert for blog
Leatha Barnaby Heil Seibert
(my Great Grandmother, a great baker of pies)

Even now I love pie and the house always feels like a happier place when a pie is in it ready for someone to enjoy.  My daughter Eloise LOVES pie, especially pumpkin and blueberry.  My husband, son and I both have an affinity for cherry.  I used to love crumble top pie the best, but now really do love and appreciate a good crusty top.

I wrote all this out to my friend (she had not asked, poor thing, I could simply not help myself!) and she invited me to write all this up for the AMERICAN FOOD ROOTS MAGAZINE, which I did as part of the sign-up/become a member of the American Food Roots Community process.  She also asked if I’d be willing to record a two-minute video for their website, talking about Indiana Pie Culture and I was DELIGHTED to be asked since it gives me a chance to preserve a little bit of my family history so my children will have it to share with their children, too.

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Addendum 4/28/2013

American Food Roots Online Magazine just published the clip of my sharing my experience of growing up with pie in Indiana, plus I got to share a song by my son Mo:
http://www.americanfoodroots.com/50-states/pie-is-a-slice-of-life-in-indiana/

The video, here:
https://vimeo.com/64826360

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And OF COURSE all this leads me to SONG!

I’m collecting Singable Picture Books that mention PIE here:

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Bake You a Pie

Words and Music by Ellen Olson-Brown and Brian Claflin
Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler

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billy boy richard chase glen rounds
Billy Boy
Traditional Words and Music
Verses Selected by Richard Chase
Illustrated by Glen Rounds

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Billy Boy is featured on pgs. 10-11 of:

A Treasury of Children’s Songs: Forty Favorites to Sing and Play
Illustrated with Art from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
Music Arranged and Edited by Dan Fox

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Billy Boy is featured on p. 42-43 of:

Jim Along, Josie

A Collection of Folk Songs and Singing Games for Young Children
Compiled by Nancy & John Langstaff
Illustrated by Jan Pienkowski

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I like Jan Pietkowski’s silhouette illustration for Billy Boy from “Jim Along Josie.” The cherries are there just waiting to be put into a pie.

Billy Boy Jan Pienkowski - Copy

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Calico Pie (and Other Nonsense by Edward Lear)
Poems by Edward Lear
Music by Various Artists
Illustrated by Dale Maxey
This volume includes the poems:
CALICO PIE, a poem by Edward Lear, set to music by various artists (including Natalie Merchant and Lucy Simon)

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CALICO PIE, a poem by Edward Lear, set to music by various artists (including Natalie Merchant and Lucy Simon) is featured in,

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat and Calico Pie
Poems by Edward Lear
Illustrated by Irma Wilde
This volume includes the poems:
CALICO PIE, a poem by Edward Lear, set to music by various artists (including Natalie Merchant and Lucy Simon)
The Owl and the Pussycatpoem by Edward Lear, set to music by various artists

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Cottleston Pie,” in

Winnie-the-Pooh
Written by A. A. Milne
Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard

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COTTLESTON PIE little song sheet sbwe
COTTLESTON PIE
Poem by A. A. Milne
Music by Harold Fraser-Simson
To view or print this sheet, click here:
COTTLESTON PIE little song sheet sbwe

Sing the song with Emily’s sing-along track, here

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COTTLESTON PIE book sbwe cover only

COTTLESTON PIE
Poem by A. A. Milne
Music by Harold Fraser-Simson

Sing the song with Emily’s sing-along track, here

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In “Grandma’s Feather Bed,” they all eat chicken pie at Grandma’s House,

Grandma’s Feather Bed (John Denver’s)
Words and Music by Jim Connor
Adapted and Illustrated by Christopher Canyon

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“Agatha Fry she made a pie, and Christopher John helped bake it…”
helping silverstein FTBY&M sheehan - Copy
HELPING
P. 74 of Free to Be You and Me (Special 35th  Anniversary Edition)
Pgs. 104-105 Print the Music for this Song
Words and Music by Shel Silverstein
Illustrated by Monica Sheehan

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I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

Traditional Words and Tune
Words Adapted by Alison Jackson
Illustrated by Judy Schachner

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Poor Grandma!

Late for School

Words and Music by Steve Martin
Illustrated by C.F. Payne
Published by Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group, New York, 2010
ISBN 978-044-6-55702-3

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If you let the bird fly free, Little Birdie will bring you a blueberry pie,”
Little Birdie by MPG
LITTLE BIRDIE
Words and Music by Mo Gleichenhaus
Picture assembled by Sing Books with Emily
View or print this page, here:
Little Birdie by MPG 2013
Listen to the scratch recording of LITTLE BIRDIE (by Mo Gleichenhaus), here:

https://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/little-birdie-by-mo-2013-02-03

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little jack horner childcraft for SBWE
Little Jack Horner
Traditional Words and Tune
Sing to the Tune of LITTLE MISS MUFFET
Illustrated by Leonard Weisgard in Childcraft, Volume 1, The Poems of Early Childhood (1954)
To view or print this song sheet, click here:
 little jack horner childcraft for SBWE

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A page for the Sing Books with Emily SINGABLE ADVENT CALENDAROVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOOD
SBWE Advent Calendar Over the River (Christmas)
Over the River and Through the Wood
Traditional Tune
Poem by Lydia Maria Child
To view or print the SBWE Singable Advent Calendar sheet for “Over the River and Through the Wood,” click here:
SBWE Advent Calendar Over the River (Christmas)

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Of course Grandma says, “Bring pie for everyone,” when the sleigh comes into view and they all holler “Hurray for the pumpkin pie,” at dinner.

Over the River and Through the Wood
Traditional Tune
Poem by Lydia Maria Child
Illustrated by Matt Tavares
Post for this special illustration:
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/a-new-ride-over-the-river/

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Over the River and Through the Wood
Traditional Tune
Poem By Lydia Maria Child
Illustrated by Christopher Manson

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Over the River and Through the Wood
Traditional Tune
Poem By Lydia Maria Child
Illustrated by Brinton Turkle

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Over the River and Through the Wood
Traditional Tune
Poem By Lydia Maria Child
Illustrated by David Catrow

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“Four and twenty blackbirds” are baked in the king’s pie…

Sing a Song of Sixpence
Traditional Words and Music
Illustrated by Jane Chapman

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Sing A Song Of Sixpence
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Lois Lenski
Published by Harper & Brothers (1930)

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AMERICAN FOOD ROOTS MAGAZINE

http://www.americanfoodroots.com/

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PIE EVERYWHERE!

Once I started thinking about it, I found pie all over the place (including my own fridge!)

And:

My dad (Morgan Everson) has always been a great athlete.  He was inducted into the DePauw University Athletics Hall of Fame in May 2011 for his excellent performance in Basketball.  He was also a terrific cross country runner and baseball player.

Here’s a caricature of my dad running (and winning) a pumpkin pie race as a member of his college fraternity in the early 1960s:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Addendum 7/4/2013

I left this comment on the American Food Roots article, PIE IS A SLICE OF LIFE IN INDIANA:

Greetings in July! NY Times Dining Section, on 7/3/2013: THE PIE ISSUE
Article: THE ONLY WAY TO TOP IT? WITH ANOTHER (p. D5)
The article is about stacked pies. The photo captions reveal that the bakers stacked a fruit pie on top of a HOOSIER SUGAR PIE! How ’bout that?
Article here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/dining/stack-pie-rediscovered.html

**********************
Addendum 11/3/2016

My son Mo was singing this yesterday. I said, “Mo dear, please tell me everything you know about this song.” He told me it’s from Family Guy.

It’s now my new favorite thing and a sweet addition to my collection of songs about pie.

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Related Posts

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FOOD

Food Glorious Food, a List of Singable Picture Books about Food
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/food-glorious-food-a-list-of-singable-picture-books-about-food/

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EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

A list of SPBs with fun and sneakily educational content.  The kids won’t even know they’re learning!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/singable-picture-books-with-sneaky-educational-content/

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MOTHER GOOSE COMPILATIONS

A list containing compilations of Mother Goose Singable Picture Books and resources for learning, singing, and playing the tunes
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/mother-goose-singable-picture-books-rhymes-and-songs-in-compilations/

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LITTLE SONGS, A NOTEBOOK OF SWEET LITTLE SONGS (MOSTLY SINGABLE POETRY) FOR TO SING WHEN YOUR BRAIN FEELS FUZZY
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/little-songs-a-notebook-of-sweet-little-songs-mostly-singable-poetry-for-to-sing-when-your-brain-feels-fuzzy/

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POETRY SINGABLE POETRY IN COMPILATIONS

An list of  singable poems from compilations of poetry for children
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/singable-poetry-a-list-of-poems-that-can-be-sung-from-illustrated-compilations-of-poetry-and-singable-picture-books/

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POETRY, SINGABLE POETRY IN INDIVIDUALLY ILLUSTRATED SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
A list of individually illustrated poems that have been set to music and can be sung
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/poems-individually-illustrated-spb/

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SING WITH ME SONGBOOK FOR SINGBOOKS WITH EMILY (ON PINTEREST)
http://pinterest.com/singbooksemily/sing-with-me-songbook-sing-books-with-emily/

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Singable Picture Book Lists for Special Occasions & Interests
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/song-book-lists-for-all-occasions/

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