Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Hobo Pies

Over the weekend, my family and I took advantage of the cool evenings to gather around a fire. The crisp night air practically begged for s'mores, roasted hot dogs, and warming our hands against the warmth from the flames. The wood cracking and blistering, turning to white ash, before becoming glowing orange embers; sitting there gazing into the embers memories from my childhood came wafting back to me.


On cold, damp days of fall and winter, while spending time at my grandparents, the fireplace in the basement was almost always lit providing both warmth and permeating the air with the distinct smell of wood smoke. On occasion my grandmother would carry a tray filled with bread, butter, and other goodies from the kitchen down for us and my grandfather would set to work making us lunch. Using an iron pie maker, he would set to work buttering the bread, spooning on some pizza sauce, then adding some pepperoni and cheese before topping the concoction with another piece of buttered bread and smooshing the two iron slats together locking them in place. Sometimes he would make ham or turkey and cheese, really whatever they happened to have on hand. He would nestle the iron pie makers deep into the embers of the fire while filling the heads of me and my brother with stories of train hopping hobos. 

He told us the hobo's carried iron makers just like he was making our pies in, bumming bread and preserves to make themselves hobo pies to sustain themselves for their long journeys. Pap made it sound like such an adventure, living life on the road, cooking over an open flame every night. I imagine my brother, cousins, and I would then pretend to be hobo's when Pap popped open the iron slats revealing perfectly cooked crisp hobo pies in two triangular shapes. There were many variations of hobo pies on those cold afternoons down by the fire. Sometimes my grandma would open a can of cherry or apple pie filling, which was always a real treat. 

Sitting there in the darkness recalling those memories made me wish I had a hobo pie maker just for old times sake. You can bet that for the next fire, I will have tracked down a set of iron pie makers and will be reliving a portion of my childhood by making hobo pies.