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On Your Table Blog

November 16, 2021

Rolling in the dough

Rolling in the dough

Editor's note: Last year, Brenda Gorseth wrote this blog post and shared her pecan pie recipe with On Your Table. Until she and her husband moved to Florida, earlier this year, she was a member of the NDFB Promotion and Education Committee. We miss her smile and her wonderful recipes, and felt compelled to share this tasty treat again we all prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday.

by Brenda Gorseth

I love to make pies. There is something about the texture of the dough while rolling it out that makes me happy, until I realize the number needed for Thanksgiving is a lot. Then it becomes a mental game of rewards/punishments if they don’t keep rolling off the counter and into the freezer. Yes, I could buy pre-made crusts, but when making a meat pot pie, there is no comparison to the flakiness of a crust made with lard. My sister-in-law makes lard for me and I appreciate it each and every year; creamy white, soft as butter when it’s at room temperature. Ah, the way it makes a crust feel as I’m rolling. That sounds a little personal right now. I just cleaned up the kitchen and sat down for the first time in I don't know how long and realized my triceps are killing me from the pushing down/rolling. Who knew beach body was missing this important workout?!

Pie is simple and requires so little; a good rolling pin, flour shaker, and a ton of Saran Wrap. Right now there are over a hundred crusts in the freezer, waiting for the week of Thanksgiving to transform into meat and dessert pies. I’ve learned to do things in steps or the process becomes overwhelming, so the meat is already chopped, measured, and in the freezer as well. If asked what my favorite pie is to make and eat, pecan wins the race, but pumpkin is the one I am most proud of because I grow the pumpkin as well, so it feels more invested. Let’s be honest, I never met a pie flavor I wouldn't eat.

Making pie brings back great memories of my grandma teaching us how to roll out crust; we’d all stand around her and watch. Sometimes she let us help, but when we were younger, that was a terrible idea and so we just watched. The best part was the last of the crust; she’d roll it out flat, put it in a pan, and sprinkle cinnamon/sugar on it. In the oven for a little bake and we’d get to sample that goodness while the big pie baked longer. I still do that, but now that I’ve found little pie pans, I also like to make one or two for my granddaughter. The next time she comes to visit, we are going to get out her rolling pin, little pie tin, and make our own memories.

It’s the holiday season; since we’re stuck inside more than ever these days, make some memories with your little (or big) ones by making pie.

Here's a recipe from my kitchen for Pecan Pie.

Pecan Pie


One unbaked pie crust

3 eggs

1 c sugar

1/2 c honey

1/2 c corn syrup

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbs melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 c pecans (can chop or leave whole, I leave whole)


Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place pie tin on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil (to avoid burning oven bottom/drips) and pour mixture into it. Cover crust with shield or aluminum foil to prevent burning and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Can also bake without a pie crust; just grease pie tin well.

Brenda Gorseth

Brenda Gorseth is the former District 5 representative on the NDFB Promotion and Education Committee. She also operated a custom baking, processed foods and catering business, Woodward Farm, that used North Dakota and Minnesota products.