I was told there’d be pie …

I was told there’d be pie … February 18, 2012

I forgot the pie. (It’s a tradition. Contentious threads must be followed by pie.)

Haven’t got any pie just now, so instead here’s a couple of other things that every right-thinking person enjoys — Martha Plimpton and “Thunder Road”:

She’s not the only actress covering this song on YouTube, either. Here’s Jill Hennessy’s version.

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  • cyllan

    No pie, but I did just finish pulling the most amazing turkey out of the oven, and  wrapped up two fantastic stews.  The Moroccan Butternut Squash soup is  spicy-sweet, and the white-bean stew makes me wish it were about 10 degrees and snowing outside.  I should have written down the recipe for the latter, but I didn’t. 

  • Anonymous

    Here are two more versions worth a listen:

    Springsteen and Etheridge
    Counting Crows, Thunder Road meets Rain King.

  • Anonymous

    Good grief Disqus, why are you insisting on showing that Cowboy Junkies video instead of  Counting Crows?

  • Lori

    This is a tricky time, pie-wise. Most fresh fruit is really pricey, I’m sort of apple-ed out and no one around here will help me eat citrus tart, so no fruit pie. Normally I’d be fine with pumpkin or sweet potato, but this year we’re having such a weird non-winter that it feels too close to spring, even though it’s really not. That points me toward cream and custard pies, so I offer buttermilk pie:


    My experience matches Ms Moore’s in that most people not raised in the South or in Amish country look at me like I’m daft when I offer it, but it really is good.

    I make the less sweet version and I often add a bit of nutmeg. (That’s either a regional thing or an Amish thing, I’m not sure which.)

  • Anonymous

    And speaking of Ms. Plimpton, if you haven’t check out the show she’s on Raising Hope, it’s an utter charmer.

    I bring no pie, but soon I would be residing in the land of Dangerous Delicious pies,  http://dangerouspies.com/home/ , wish me luck on the move gang.

  • Anonymous

    Buttermilk (which I just happen to have some in the fridge, for pancakes), plus eggs, butter and sugar? In a flaky pie crust? What’s not to love. I wonder what sorts of grief I’ll get if I fix it for Sunday brunch tomorrow…

  • Lori

    Nothing. Not one thing is not to love. Some people just have an unreasonable prejudice against buttermilk. IME, if you don’t tell people what it is until after they taste it you’ll get no grief at all. Even if you do tell them, what kind of ingrate complains about being offered pie before noon? :)

  • Lori

    Luck! May your move go better than mine always seem to. (I am not a good mover. I always start out well, but no matter what I do at some point near the end organization totally breaks down things get ugly.)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    no one around here will help me eat citrus tart, so no fruit pie.

    Put some lemon tart in the post, Lori. I’ll help you out :)

  • Lori

    Someone needs to perfect sending physical objects directly through the internet because I would love for someone to help me eat lemon tart. I also have a blood orange tart that’s fabulous and yet gets no takers here.

    I try not to mock Midwestern food preferences (which really have come a long way since I was growing up), but sometimes the lack of adventuresome spirit is a real PITA.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Now I want someone (talented! Not L&J!) to write a novel set in a world where you can send physical objects through the internet.


    I had a flatmate once who refused to eat my curry because her mother used to make curry with sultanas in it, which she hated. “My curry doesn’t have sultanas in it”. “I won’t eat curry because I hated my mother’s curry”. “This is not your mother’s curry”. And so forth.

    I’m not aware of ever having eaten anything with buttermilk in it.

  • Lori

    I’m not aware of ever having eaten anything with buttermilk in it.

    Now I really need the ability to send food through the internet because many tasty, tasty things use buttermilk. Aside from the aforementioned pie, there’s pancakes, waffles, fried chicken, and biscuits and those are just the things I can think of off the top of my head where the best version is made with buttermilk.

    Is cooking with buttermilk an USian thing?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    My exposure to the word is through US literature. I’ve never used it myself or had it growing up, but that could be reflective of my limited food exposure (I was 21 when I first tasted butter on bread) rather than differences between our countries. I’m not aware of anyone I know cooking with buttermilk, but that’s only from observation–I haven’t checked pantries.

    We need someone else to weigh in here.

  • Anonymous

    Buttermilk certainly isn’t unknown downunder. Easy to find in the supermarket and great in pancakes!

  • Anonymous

    I’ll offer up a calamondin pie (kind of like orange key lime pie). With a granola crust instead of the traditional graham cracker crumb crust. And now it’s after midnight and I’m hungry…

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Must be just me, then.

  • Jenny Islander

    Don’t have a pie recipe, but here’s a trick: Cake mix is cheaper than scratch cake, assuming that there’s nothing in the mix that you can’t eat.  Use the biggest eggs you can afford and add one more than the box calls for and people will take it for homemade.

    Little tips like this are on my mind lately because I applied for WIC last week.  Three years ago we called ourselves middle class, and then we both stopped getting raises and he stopped getting bonuses and the price of everything kept going up and then there was one medical thing that took our savings, which it might not have if his employer-sponsored health plan hadn’t been gutted, and if my husband gets less overtime on his next paycheck, we can start getting WIC, plus maybe some government commodities for the middle child.  If anybody dares preach bootstraps to me I will find a way to punch people through the Internet.

    ANYWAY.  If you are trying to make a good cake and money is tight, get cake mix, add one extra egg, and spend your money on really good homemade frosting.

  • Anonymous

    I like that song. ‘funny, about three years ago I did a short piece on its history on a private blog. here’s this–hope someone likes it.

    A few days ago, I found myself listening to old Bruce Springsteen songs on YouTube. One of the surprises of the exploration–if you care about these things, this is worth listening to, and who knows how long it will be up–is that YouTube has a whole series of versions of the song which finally became “Thunder Road”. There’s an early version, title “Wings for Wheels”, different melody, slightly different lyrics, starts folky, ends jazzy, beat relatively lightly stated, Clarence Clemons playing sax through the whole song. Intermediate version: lyrics finished, song’s picking up speed, piano the only accompaniment (Springsteen plays harmonica at points), much more strongly stated beat, slowing and speeding in the middle, the famous hooky driving beat emerging and fading at the end. Finished studio version: after a brief harmonica intro it’s all uptempo. First verse, piano accompaniment only, second verse more piano chords+rhythm guitar, third verse the drums and a driving beat. From there on, more instrumentation and more speed: by the fifth and final verse there’s a bit of vocal accompaniment, and it goes out in that famous burst of piano chords and sax. If you’re up for one more version of it, here’s a live version with an intro which explains some of the lyrics (“and I never saw the movie I only saw the poster in the lobby of the theater”) and Springsteen hamming it up, his voice actually sounding fairly clean for once.

  • Shallot

    No bootstraps here, Jenny Islander.  I used to work in the same building as our county WIC program, and I checked out their income scale.  On my good government salary, I would have qualified if I were single and pregnant.  The folks I worked with were really great; I hope yours are, too.

  • Tricksterson

    Still have some homemade (by me) poeach pie I can contribute.  Only about half left though.

  • I love Thunder Road. I love the version on Born to Run, and slower versions Bruce has done in concert. I like this version. It is a sign of the greatness of this song how it can be sung so many ways. 

  • Disqus ate my post. I just wanted to add that in addition to pie, pancakes, and biscuits, buttermilk can be used in chocolate cake recipes*. It’s also used to marinate chicken pieces and onion rings before dredging and frying them. 

    You can even make a white sauce with buttermilk, add curry powder, sauteed onions and garlic,some chopped tomatoes if you like, and use it as a sauce for shrimp or chicken.

    * I had a link, but I think that’s what made Disqus eat my post. 

  • Lori, have you tried making pear pie? You should be able to find them this time of year. Also you can make pie with butternut squash.

    I read somewhere online that eating cherry pie for President’s Day is good luck. I guess you’d have to use canned ones. I had only heard of Lincoln Log cake (like a Yule Log). I guess you can make one with cherry filling and honor two presidents at once.

  • Jenny Islander

    Ooh, yes, buttermilk chocolate cake is divine!  You can also make a super-moist chocolate cake with plain yogurt.  Make sure it doesn’t have any ook in it.  Buttermilk and plain yogurt both make fantastic northern-style cornbread too.

  • Anonymous

    Weird things is, the pie thread appears to be more contentious than the preceding thread!

  • A blood orange tart sounds incredible, and must look lovely! I imagine the tart to be heart-shaped, but that would be too much to hope for, wouldn’t it?

  • Lori

     If anybody dares preach bootstraps to me I will find a way to punch people through the Internet.  

    I’m sorry that things aren’t going better for you and your family. If anyone gives you any of the bootstraps crap I’ll help you figure out how to smack them through the internet. 

  • Lori

    I read somewhere online that eating cherry pie for President’s Day is good luck. I guess you’d have to use canned ones. 


    I have no objection to canned cherries for pie so that might actually be a good plan. FSM know we could use some good luck. 

    I’ve had pie with butternut squash, although I’ve never made it myself. It was very good, but it suffers from the same problem as pumpkin and sweet potato—it tastes like fall/winter to me and right now we’re having weather that’s more like early spring. (It has been a weird, weird winter here. Almost no snow and unseasonably high temps most of the time. Strangely, I haven’t heard a lot of “Ha! What global warming?” jokes the last few months.) 

      I had only heard of Lincoln Log cake (like a Yule Log). I guess you can make one with cherry filling and honor two presidents at once. 


    I had never heard of this and I’m amused by it. Yule Log is yummy, so I’m in favor the chocolatey goodness finding its way to more holidays. 

  • Lori

    I got my blood orange tart recipe from smitten kitchen and it’s a rustic tart, not a shaped one:


    I wouldn’t see why you couldn’t adapt a shaped tart recipe to work though. 

  • Anonymous

    @Jenny Islander, as far as I’m concerned applying for WIC *is* bootstraps, you work, times are tough, and you are using every tool in your tool kit, which includes taking advantage of the social safety net you’ve spent your entire working life paying into. So to put this as politely as possible, people who have a problem with that can go fuck themselves. 

  • Brandi

    Now I want someone (talented! Not L&J!) to write a novel set in a world where you can send physical objects through the internet.

    Flame wars and forum trolls become infinitely more disgusting.

  • hapax

    No pie here, but I just made myself buttered toast with Scotch marmalade.

    I can’t imagine picking a fight with anyone whilst eating marmalade toast.

    If nothing else, it would be unmanageably sticky.

  • Will Hennessy

    I wanna be related to Jill Hennessy.

  • It’s been warm here, too. We went from Christmas to spring with a sprinkling of hard freezes. The odd thing is, a lot of the bad weather coincided with Mardi Gras parades. We didn’t even go to the Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade yesterday (which is the biggest parade in Baton Rouge) because it was raining so hard. Tuesday is supposed to have a high of 73, but it sounds like that’s going to be early in the day and then temperatures are going to drop. We’re going to NO so I’ll have to dress in layers.

    If you like chocolately goodness, why not make a chocolate pie? Black Bottom Pie is a bit of a project, but is worth it. I’d post a link, but that’s what made Disqus eat my post last time.

  • P J Evans

    on the weather – I cut flower stalks off one pot of rhubarb this morning. It shouldn’t be blooming this early in the year. (The grapes haven’t even leafed out yet – heck, the buds haven’t started to swell.)

  • Lori

    I’m jealous of your trip to NO. Have a wonderful time. 

    I think I’m going with cherry, in honor of the holiday. The next pie will probably be buttermilk. I haven’t made it in ages and talking about it has created a craving.