CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Auntie Helen’s Rhubarb Pie

Cooks who are worth their salt know there are some recipes that just can’t be beaten. A lot of those recipes are ones that are passed down generation to generation.

I have some of those recipes. For example, I still make stuffing the way my mom and grandma used make it. The baked oyster dressing I fix during the holidays is one that both Mom and Grandma used to make.

I consider myself pretty lucky to have had those two as kitchen role models (as well as a lot of their recipes). I would have put them up against anyone when it comes to cooking and baking.

I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way about their moms and grandmas. I know my cousins, Gordy and Dick Tiedeman, do. Their mom, my Auntie Helen, was another one of those cooks whose credentials were indisputable.

Auntie Helen was the head cook at the Cathedral School when I was growing up in Crookston, She is legendary with the students who ate there during the 1950s,’60s and ’70s. Friends of mine still rave about the barbecues (Sloppy Joes), oven-roasted potatoes and apple crisps — to name a few of the foods we came to love.

Just recently, Gordy’s wife, Mary, posted a recipe for Auntie Helen’s rhubarb pie on her Facebook page. As soon as I saw it — you guessed it — there was no doubt that we would have to give it a try, especially since we have a nice crop of rhubarb in our backyard.

I expect we’ll make a pie with the recipe Sunday. And for sure, it’s gonna be good. After all, it’s Auntie Helen’s recipe.

Auntie Helen’s Rhubarb Pie
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup of flour
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
3 eggs, slightly beaten
6 generous cups cut rhubarb
Combine sugar, flour and nutmeg. (Mary likes to sprinkle in some cinnamon.) Add this to the beaten eggs. Stir in rhubarb. Line a 9-inch pie plate with your best pie crust, add the filling, dot with butter and bake at 400 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Enjoy!

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