Monday, June 30, 2014


Here’s a fun fact about me: I have a Master’s Degree in Existential Phenomenology.

I am not even messing with you.

So when I got my assignment for the First Annual “Pieathalon” Retro Blogging Challenge, I was a little disappointed in myself.

OMG - I can't even.

How could someone fully grasp the writings of Heidegger, Sartre and Nietzsche -- but then stare at this recipe for "Nesselrode Pie", and feel overwhelmingly perplexed and completely baffled almost to the point of mental paralysis? In the Philosophy business, this is what we call an “Ontological Crisis”. But I digress…

Anyway --after reading the recipe about 50 times, Googling the word “Nesselrode” like a mofo, and then drawing a schematic diagram for myself - I felt ready to get to work in the kitchen.

When in doubt - make a Pie Flow Chart

By the way – this particular Nesselrode Pie recipe is from The Betty Crocker 1971 Card Set (you know the one with the attractive moss green plastic box). History tells us that the Nesselrode Pie was named after Count Nesselrode of Russia, and then became very popular in New York bakeries in the 1950’s. It contains rum, heavy cream, chestnuts, candied fruit, chocolate and gelatin. So I guess this is what the Retro Weight Watchers gals were eating when they fell off the wagon??

According to Wikipedia – this Pie is officially extinct.  That’s right I said EXTINCT!

Well -- not anymore, Bitches!!!!!

I began by pulling out every single bowl and utensil in my entire kitchen. Seriously. I needed 2 pie plates, multiple mixing bowls, a beater, a grater, whisks, spoons, saucepans…the list goes on. Needless to say my kitchen was a total freaking mess.

I set up work stations.

There were things happening in my kitchen that have never happened in there before.

A Full Blown Kitchen Catastrophe

I will spare you all the gory details, but let me just say – after a LOT of intense concentration and some horribly offensive swear words, it all came together.  I wound up with two pie plates filled with Nesselrode goodness sitting in my fridge. But I still wasn’t even close to being finished.

Layers of Love and Anger

Jesus, Mary and Joseph! I still had to let these two separate pies chill completely for hours and then carefully place one on top of the other without breaking the whole freaking thing into a giant pile of gelatinous goo. Not too mention the topping. The God-forsaken whipped topping!

OK. Can I be honest? At this point, I really considered buying a can of Redi-Whip for the topping. But these recipe challenges are hardcore, and I couldn’t risk my fellow Retro Bloggers shaming me for not whipping my own cream. Have I mentioned that these people are not to be messed around with? (Let's just say there's a reason I call them the "Jell-O Mafia") So I slapped together my two Nesselrode Pie layers, and got to work on my whipped topping.

Stiff peaks and all.

So here is the finished product.  Not perfect. But I did it. I FREAKING DID IT!!!!

Look Ma, I made an ACTUAL Pie!

Stiff Peaks, Yo!

As the sun set over the horizon - My husband and I sat down on the couch, and I cut us each a huge slice. We sat there awkwardly and ate our pie together like it was our first date or something. My husband finally looked at me and said, “This is so weird. It’s strange how we’re just sitting here eating this weird pie.”

It was very sweet and creamy. The chocolate layer was delicious. The Nesselrode layer, on the other hand, was sketchy. To be honest, we both felt a tad nauseated after we ate it. Maybe it was the rum soaked fruit? Maybe it was the 3 cups of heavy cream and 6 egg yolks? Maybe it was just the fact that we had skipped dinner, and then slammed down a giant gut-bomb of sugar and fat in the form of a pie. Who knows? It was weird.


I want to thank Kelli from Kelli’s Kitchen for challenging me to make this recipe and for pushing me out of my culinary comfort zone.  I only hate you a little bit, Kelli. (just kidding). I also want to thank Yinzerella over at Dinner Is Served 1972 for organizing this whole shindig.  Bloggers sent their retro pie recipe submissions to Yinzerella, she randomly assigned them to the gang and the Pieathalon was born!

If you have the time and you want to get all up in some Retro Pie Business – go check out the other Bloggers and their recipe challenges. Grab a slice of the Pieathalon!

Brian of Caker Cooking – Chess Pie
Ruth of Mid Century Menu – Avocado Lime Pie
Erica of Retro Recipe Attempts – Curried Egg Pie
Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers --Mile-High Lemon Chiffon Pie
S.S. of A Book of Cookrye -- Upside Down Chicken Pie
Sarah of Directionally Challenged Cooking --Simone's Pet Strawberry Pie
Kelli of Kelli's Kitchen --Butterscotch Pie
Ashley of A Pinch of Vintage --Schoolteacher Pie
Poppy of Granny Pantries --Black Bottom Pie
Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl --Chocolate "Pie"
Emily of Dinner is Served 1972 --Seafoam Cantaloupe Pie

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Another Sad Pie

When you think of Pie, what's the first thing that comes to mind?

I would imagine for the average person it would be stuff like: Boston Creme, Key Lime, Lemon Meringue or Custard. Maybe a great big Apple Pie a la Mode. Or even Pizza Pie or Chicken Pot Pie if you're feeling hungry. Am I right?

But if you hear the word "Pie", and instantly think: Salmon! Canned Peas! Button Mushrooms!

Well then, you might be a Retro Weight Watcher...

You might think the "Salmon Pie" will be filled with delicious fresh Salmon. But alas! The Salmon Pie has a CRUST made of Salmon. Canned Salmon. Mixed with bread crumbs and canned mushroom liquid.

And the filling is made from a can of peas and a can of mushrooms.

Oh, the humanity!

But the entire Pie is one serving! Come on. When does that ever happen?

What are we waiting for? Grab a fork and dig in!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Life of Pie

As I mentioned in my last post, there will be a HUGE Retro-Blogging Challenge at the end of June called "Pieathalon". This involves a bunch of Retro Food Bloggers each choosing a Vintage Pie Recipe which will then be randomly assigned to another blogger, and each blogger must then bake it and write a post about his/her assigned pie recipe.

Initially, I was really excited about this challenge.

Then I got my assignment, and realized: I have no clue how to bake a real pie.

No clue.

You see, I am a Retro Weight Watchers gal - and here is an example of the type of pies we make on the Retro Weight Watchers plan:

They don't have a crust. They don't have fillings or toppings. They really don't resemble a pie at all.

But they typically involve my two favorite ingredients in the world:

And they often contain instructions like:

"Top with dry milk sprinkled evenly", or

"Soften gelatin with beverage in pie pan", or

"Bake for 30 minutes. Pie will be browned but runny."

Seriously. What in the actual Hell?

Pie of Despair

So you will make this brown, runny pie. You will slice it up. It will be sad and very upsetting. You will tell yourself, "It's not that bad I guess". You will eat a few bites, and life will seem a little bit better.

You will then realize when you hold it up, it kind of resembles plastic vomit.

Be Honest. Would You EVER Eat This?

You will throw the rest of it in the trash, and just eat an apple.

This is how we do pie in the Retro Weight Watchers world.

I have no idea how to make a real pie. I don't even know where to begin. But something tells me it is going to be an emotional experience for us all.

Oh, and a special note to the blogger who was assigned my Retro WW "Pie" submission: I am so very sorry.

Monday, June 2, 2014


"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back IN!"  - The Godfather Part III

I haven't posted anything on this blog since March. (Has anyone even noticed?) At the time, I kinda made a half-assed "grand-finale" post and then disappeared into obscurity for a while. To be honest, I basically just lost my blogging mojo.

But a few weeks ago, my friend Yinzerella sent out an email to my little circle of retro blogging pals (AKA The Jello Mafia) asking if anyone wanted to participate in a NEW Retro Blogging Challenge. This would be similar to the Knoxapocalypse or the Church Lady Cooking Challenge or the Vincent Price Cookalong. But this one would have a new theme: PIES. And it would be called PIEATHALON.

Hellz. Yeah.

So here I am. And not only will I be participating in the Cross-Blog Retro Pie-Baking Challenge on June 30th, but I have decided to devote the entire month of June to RETRO WW PIES!

So....Here's a quick walk down memory lane at some of the Retro WW Pies I have made over the years. (Click on the title above photo to visit the posts):

Totally Not Worth the Effort

A Day at the Ballpark

Almost but Not Quite

Quite Possibly the Worst Pie EVER Made

 But there are oh-so-many-other Pies to be had. And I shall begin my Pie Extravaganza later this week.

In the meantime--please do tell, what is YOUR favorite pie?