The Gleeful Gourmand: Pie Safes! Keeps Your Pies...Safe!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pie Safes! Keeps Your Pies...Safe!

You may have noticed that I haven't been very good about posting, and believe me, I feel like a blogging slacker. There are a few reasons for this:

1) It's summertime and my brain has turned to a sluggish ball of mush wherein no creativity shall spark forth. Instead, it is replaced by trying to come up with ways to keep 1 preschooler and 2 babies entertained (and thereby using up my quota of creativity), and how best to beat the ridiculous heat. The rest of my brain is occupied with the overwhelming desire to be at the beach, apparently its natural habitat.

2) Our camera broke at the beginning of the summer and we still haven't replaced it (and apparently fixing it would cost just as much as a new camera. Fun!). Knowing that blog posts aren't really that interesting without some sort of picture leaves me floundering. If I can't take a picture of the food, I probably shouldn't blog about it either.

However, I finally had some inspiration that I don't need to even take pictures of! What is this glorious inspiration?

The Pie Safe.

What's a Pie Safe you ask? (Or maybe you don't ask this because you already know what one is and are now snickering at the fact that I didn't know what a pie safe was until recently) Anyway, this is a Pie Safe:




It keeps your pies...safe. Like a vault of money at The Bellagio. Just kidding. Basically, it keeps the bugs out while allowing air to circulate through it thanks to the many little holes in a (usually) tin front, keeping the pies from getting moldy. They first arrived on the scene around the beginning of the 19th century in the homes of Pennsylvania German women who used it to store breads, pies, cakes, and cookies, and have now generally become antiques thanks to a little invention called the ice box (known to you now as the refrigerator). They really are beautiful to behold, and in some homes of people who enjoy collecting antiques they are used as cabinets to store all sorts of sundries.

For the record, if I owned one, I would only put baked goods in it. But I don't own one. Do you know how much these suckers cost?! Thousands. You read that right. At one point in time, most homes in America had a pie safe in the kitchen, which means that they could not have been very expensive. Yet now if you want to own this piece of authentic Americana, it could potentially cost you upwards of $3000. I don't know, to me that is simply ridiculous.

But what made me interested in the Pie Safe in the first place was a featured Pie Safe seen in Garden & Gun Magazine. This new Pie Safe was constructed to look vintage with heirloom type quality, but it was also a simple countertop job. And it was only $42. I've been obsessed ever since.

When I told my Mom about this she promptly related that my Grandma Hazel had a beautiful antique Pie Safe that sat for decades in her basement that was owned and used by her mother. When my Grandma Hazel passed away, my Mother begged my Father to save that Pie Safe, knowing it would be valuable at best, or at worst, a wonderful family heirloom. But I guess my Dad didn't see the beauty in it. How could he have guessed that his daughter would someday be obsessed with not only making pies, but something to put them in as well?

I like to think that somewhere out there someone bought that Pie Safe and cherished it, realizing that a true, beautiful Pie Safe should be put to good use. I hope that person was inspired to bake their little hearts out, and filled the Safe up with the best pies, cakes, and cookies they could muster.


5 comments :

Kiki said...

I never knew (or cared?) what they were for! But I'm glad I now know. I also love that there is a garden and gun magazine. I imagine women in crocs and with mulchy hands holding 45s. I will keep any pies you make next week safe...in my belly. Actually, I'm not much of a pie person unless we are not talking fruit. I'm all up in chocolate and sweet potato and buttermilk and anything frozen and involving chocolate or alcohol. Because I'm classy.

Elizabeth Wilson said...

The Shakers had (still have?) pie safes too. Check out #81 on this checklist: http://www.artsandartists.org/exhibitions/shaker/checklist-Shaker.pdf

Exhibition is currently at the Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA
July 3, 2012 - October 28, 2012

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI
November 17, 2012 - January 20, 2013

I know it's a plug - but pies bring us together!

Jenna said...

That's so cool, Liz! Thank you for posting that.

Keeks, what about cobbler?

Heather said...

So, the fact that I have an old pie safe sitting in my dining area that I think is ugly is a good thing? I have no clue how to clean this thing up so it sits in all its glory...or not...just staring and me, and well, holding everything kitchen except for pies!

Jenna said...

Yeah, it's a good thing! There are tons of businesses in Richmond that specialize in refinishing and refurbishing antiques and furniture. You could have it refinished or even painted and have a real treasure on your hands!

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