Grandpa's Pie

An impromptu dinner happened on Saturday night. Grandpa and Grandma came for dinner with very short notice.

Abby said, “I’ll make the pie, Mom!” knowing well that Grandpa loves cream pies.

A Costco chicken saved me again – as I rummaged through my refrigerator, finding lots of veggies and herbs.

I sautéed garlic, onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and fresh peppers – with parsley from our garden and delicious smelling thyme. I added it to stock, pulled the chicken apart and cooked some brown rice. It simmered on the stove until we were ready to eat. It all came together as we put freshly grated Parmesan on top and served the soup with hot wheat bread.

Abby pulled out her favorite crust recipe and made the entire pie – without my help! I’m trying to teach my kids to be as independent in the kitchen as possible! (Find easy piecrust recipe here – simple for kids, as there is no rolling out and the fun part is fluting the edges!).

She baked the crust, made the vanilla pudding – adding coconut extract – and layered the bananas before pouring the pudding on top. Then in the fridge it went, to chill for an hour.

I learned how to make desserts about the same age as my daughter. My mom gave my sisters and me permission to delve into the cupboards, and also her cookbooks, and come up with whatever we wanted. We knew way back then that our Dad loved pies!

I also asked Abby to set the table, so she went through my napkin hutch and found pre-ironed napkins, ready for serving! (This is also another job that I’ve taught my daughter – to keep the napkins ironed and ready for company.) I got a steal on this cabinet (sold to me as a liquor cabinet) and I turned it into a napkin hutch! How fun is that!?!

The doorbell rang, and we enjoyed a wonderful evening with Grandpa and Grandma, with a yummy fresh dinner of soup and bread, and then the most spectacular dessert to top it off!

I like impromptu and casual.

It makes everyone feel at ease … it takes the formal feeling away and at times that is exactly what we need.

I call it real entertaining for real people!


Lovella said...

Sandy, your quick dinner idea sounds a delight. I love it that your daughter enjoys helping you in the kitchen and that you give her free reign. Smart momma.

Okay, last night we were coming home from the city and had Focus on the Family on in the background and now I'm kicking myself that I didn't pay closer attention. We were so busy chatting that I nearly missed the names of the guests but I was sure it was you. Was it? I'm going to look online to see if I can rehear the broadcast.

Lovella said...

It's me again. . .Yes it was you on Family life.

linda t said...

What a clever use for that video/dvd cabinent! I am sooo going to keep an eye out for one and repurpose it too! Great menu idea!

Jen said...

I love your cabinet and am looking for one for my dining room. Maybe I'll come across an old one at a yard sale this summer and re do it. I love the fact your daughter helps you so much. I'm envious....

Pam said...

Fabulous "a-ha" use for the cabinet. I love it and now plan to look for one for myself!

I also love the idea of having my daughters iron the napkins so they are always ready.

Another wonderful get-together for the memory book, both mine and yours.

Thanks for the crust recipe, too.

Have a great weekend, dear Sandy.

La Tea Dah said...

What a lovely dinner! And Abby is looking more and more like her mama! Very pretty! Thanks for the napkin hutch idea. I love it! Was it originally intended as a CD chest?


Sandy said...

Hi Ladies - I added to my post that the cabinet was sold to me as a liquor cabinet, but I turned it into a fun napkin/entertaining hutch. It orignally came from Target - but I bought it from a friend because it was low-profile and fit in my dining room (and matched my other furniture). Thanks for the fun comments!

Hope said...


I will have to say that your posts are soooo inspiring! I've subscribed to your blog recently and look forward to your posts. I've had an "aha.." moment and realized that for years that I have made entertaining hard and did it out of responsibility (formerly being in ministry). My goal this year is to really connect with new and treasured relationships through opening my home more often and enjoy every moment.

Elizabeth said...

It sounds like a wonderful evening, and I love the way you seem to breeze through these impromptu events. God bless Abby for that yummy-looking pie!

melissa @ the inspired room said...

So inspiring, love your napkin chest! I have found that the more things I have ready in life the more I am able to serve and love others freely when the opportunity arises! I love the idea of having the table cloth pressed ahead of time, my least favorite task!

Happy Day,

Org Junkie said...

Great cabinet, that is fantastic!! I've also bookmarked the pie recipe, thanks!!

Lovely :)

Tammy said...

Loved reading about the casual dinner with the grandparents! And I'm so impressed that your daughter volunteered and then made the whole pie herself!
(Even today, baking a pie from scratch makes me nervous!)
The evening sounds so nice, Sandy!
Have a blessed weekend!

Nadine said...

It may have been impromptu but it looked great (the table and the food). I think it's wonderful that your daughter made the pie by herself.

BTW - I finally answered your question in my post...I know you probably forgotten about it...I almost did.

momrn2 said...

My comment won't appear to have much individuality this time around as I am also going to comment about the cabinet! What a great and creative use of that space!

It looks as if the top unfolds for more serving space as well. Is that correct?? I might just have to keep my own eyes open for such a find!

Julie said...

Oh, I LOVE spontaneous get-togethers! It just removes all the pressure. For me, that just multiplies the fun factor.

The pie is lovely and I'll bet it was delicious! How sweet of your daughter to make it.

And I really like your napkin cabinet. I have an antique secretary that holds all of my tea cups on top, and tablecloths, napkins, etc. in the drawers on the bottom.

ValleyGirl said...

I'm so excited to find a pie crust recipe that doesn't involve rolling! I've tried to make my own pie crusts before, but invariably, I handled the dough too much and it just didn't turn out that great. Will DEFINITELY be giving this a try! If kids can do it, surely I should be able to manage as well!! (You'd think anyway!)

I can't believe you have a cabinet for napkins! It looks beautiful.

Christine said...

WHat wonderful ideas and encouragement you provide! You're a blessing!

Becca said...

haven't been commenting much lately. Abby's pie looks scrumptious. James and I were just talking about desserts we would like. I think that cream pie would work for us...

YETTE said...

oooooh! I love the cabinet!! and you have a lovely family...

just dropping by... =D take care!

windycorner said...

Hi Sandy,
Thanks for visiting windycorner. Come back anytime.
You definitely have the gift of hospitality. So many thoughtful and doable ideas for those of us without that gene.
Isn't it wonderful to have a helpful daughter? There's nothing like it.

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Sounds delicious and that's so neat your daughter can whip up a pie! I love your napkin chest!

see you there! said...

What a wonderful feeling it must be for the Grandparents to know they would be welcomed for an impromptu meal. And pie? My favorite dessert too.


A Woman Who is: said...

Impressive Abby, what a great job you did fluting the crust! Our grandfather loves pie too.