Kitchen Krafts


Like Celie and her grandmother, you can spend time with your family making pie dough, play dough, or both.

Grandma’s Play Dough

2 cups water

3 teaspoons cooking oil

1/2 cup salt

1 tablespoon alum

2 1/2 cups flour

food coloring (optional)

Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in other ingredients. Remove from the stove, let cool slightly, and store in an airtight container.

Grandma’s Pie Dough

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup shortening

1 egg

5 tablespoons buttermilk

  1. 1.

    Stir the flour and salt together. Cut in the shortening.

  2. 2.

    Beat the egg and buttermilk together and add to the flour mixture. Mix well, but do not overwork the dough or it will become tough.

  3. 3.

    Form the dough into a ball and roll out between wax paper into a 9-inch (23-cm) circle. Place the crust in a 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan, trim the crust with a butter knife, and set the scraps aside. Press the edges of the crust to the pie pan with a fork.

Note: If you are making a pudding-based pie filling, bake the crust separately at 375°F (190°C) for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. If you are making a fruit or pumpkin pie, follow the pie-filling recipe and bake the filling and crust together as directed. Piecrusts may also be frozen in foil or a freezer bag for later use.

Makes 1 piecrust.

Jumbleberry Pie

1 can (16 ounces/453.6 g) pitted red cherries

1 package (10 ounces/283.5 g) frozen berries (raspberries, strawberries, or mixed berries)

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 piecrust (9-inch/23-cm)

  1. 1.

    Drain the cherries and thawed berries. Reserve 1 1/4 cups juice, and set the fruit aside.

  2. 2.

    In a saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let the mixture boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat.

  3. 3.

    Stir in the butter and almond extract. Fold in the fruit and allow the mixture to cool.

  4. 4.

    Press the piecrust into a 9-inch (23-cm) pie dish and pour the mixture into the crust. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 45 minutes or until bubbly. Cool and serve.

Serves 8.

[illustration] Illustration by Elise Black