“Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.”….Sing a Song of Sixpence (Roud Folk Song Index 13191)
On the basis of etymology, “Pie” came from “pastry” of middle 14th century or older “piehus” referring to bakery (12th century) or the Medieval Latin of pie or pia of meat or fish enclosed in pastry. The popularity of pie can be attested by its’ use in nursery rhymes to popular holiday or pot luck dinners as well as references to slap stick humour, pie-throwing contests and the like.
“Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry,
When the boys came out to play,
Georgie Porgie ran away.”….Georgie Porgie ( Roud Folk Song Index number 19532)
From the very early days of man’s existence, With long travels, difficult storage and introduction of baking, reliable food sources were needed. This lead to the Egyptians “dhourra cake” (flat brittle bread loaf of millet bread) and Romans biscuit known as “buccellum” being in popular use especially among the sailors. Yet the Ancient Greeks were believed to have first made use of the pie pastry concept. From then on, Romans slowly evolved the art of pie making which later spread over to Medieval Europe and hence has stayed on.
“Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating his Christmas pie…” from Little Jack Horner ( Roud Folk Song Index number 13027)
From being savory or sweet, pies were the answer for middle, working class people for besides being easy to make, they can be made with the locally available ingredients based on the locality, weather and the time of the year. For pie enthusiasts, any filling can be put into a pie from meat fillings to fruits, cheese and even the basic vegetables. Sometimes, porcelain ornaments have graced the top of pies, primarily to release steam, identify the contents as well being an eye-catcher. With the lack of time and need for quick homemade meals and ready made pie pastry, pies are an answer for quick, healthy, nutritious meals or delectable desserts. Above all, pies encompass feelings of homeliness, togetherness and experimentation laced with traditions, experiences and nostalgia.
Doing projects really gives people self-confidence. Nothing is better than taking the pie out of the oven. What it does for you personally, and for your family’s idea of you, is something you can’t buy. Martha Stewart