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Gentlemen, roll your crusts

When he is not taking dictation from the Comintern, Andy Green, the editorial page editor of that notorious lefty socialist Obamination The Baltimore Sun, occasionally discourses on topics that do not dangerously increase the blood pressure of right-thinking Americans. Yesterday, it was piecrust.

Surprisingly, Mr. Green, for a dedicated stooge of the totalitarian conspiracy to undermine all traditional values, is a strict-constructionist traditionalist about pie. Store-bought crusts, no matter how convenient or highly recommended, will simply not do. Piecrust must be handmade, and handmade by traditional methods. Leave the food processor on the shelf. (Well, perhaps not entirely traditional; he can’t quite bring himself to endorse lard, though no fat makes better crusts.) And he presents those traditional methods in meticulous detail.

You will note, however, that he not only advises using vodka in crust, a technique my wife embraced during the past year, but also explains the chemistry of it. Perhaps there is something to progressivism after all.

Clip this editorial if you still have yesterday’s print edition, or retrieve it while it is still available online. The holidays are upon us, and you have little time left to begin your baking. Remember: Cake is good, and cheesecake is better. Pudding is satisfying. Trifles and syllabubs are festive. But to round out that holiday dinner, to remind us that the world is full of good things that a beneficent Providence meant for us to savor, nothing beats pie.



Posted by John McIntyre at 2:53 PM | | Comments (6)


I thought at the time I read this, "Call out the well-ordered militia, this is the most socialistic Chardonnay-drinking effete Eastern op-ed I've ever seen!! How dare the Sun fly in the face of traditional American family values like this? Green is...well, just too green for America."

My mother used to make the best, richest, most perfect pecan pie I ever had the pleasure to consume. The secret is dark molasses: if you see something that looks like pecan pie but is the color of yak urine, that is NOT pecan pie.

He's right that it must be handmade, wrong that the food processor should be eschewed, and right about the vodka. And all that said, I'm serving gingerbread crepes with glazed apples.

Good thing I wasn't drinking coffee when I read this: "if you see something that looks like pecan pie but is the color of yak urine, that is NOT pecan pie." That's the sort of instructions cookbooks need!

My mother is the best piecrust maker in the family. I think it has something to do with not overworking the dough and having cool hands.

So the adage "cold hands, warm heart" has even greater meaning for those making pie!

Clearly Green's article wasn't routed past the McIntyre editorial eye, unless "contestents" is a new form of the word "contestants". Never mind. It was an enjoyable article, despite the lattice crust of ads that overlay the contents.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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