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Emily Hilliard is a descendant of the countercultural food movements of the 1960s, and believes in whole food and whole grain cooking. She also believes in butter. Growing up in Indiana, she attended the University of Michigan, where she received degrees in English and French. She also made frequent trips to Zingerman’s deli, foraged the berry trees of Ann Arbor and began to bake pies. After graduating, she spent three years in Vermont working in local sustainable agriculture and farm-to-school programs. In 2011, she earned her M.A. in Folklore from the University of North Carolina, specializing in women’s domestic creativity and immigrant food narratives. Her work has appeared on Gilt Taste, The Hairpin,, PBS Food and the Washington, D.C., food zine “The Runcible Spoon.”  She writes the pie blog Nothing-in-the-House and recently released the book PIE. A Hand Drawn Almanac with illustrator Elizabeth Graeber.

By Emily Hilliard

Handwritten recipes sweeten the dish

I don’t really remember my Grandma Eileen, my dad’s mom. She died from breast cancer when I was 2  years old. I do know that she was from Pittsburgh, of Irish descent, raised four boys and was a clogger and a partner roller skater. She also clearly made a killer lemon meringue pie, which my …

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Cheese pies and kebabs keep Armenian heritage alive

For 65 years, the St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church has been holding The Armenian Fall Food Festival in the basement of their church in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. There in the serving line, women parish members dish out steaming lamb kebab, fresh tepsi boreg—phyllo dough stuffed with feta and mozzarella, and heaping …

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State pie project: Michigan’s tart cherries

It’s getting to be that gloriously overwhelming time of year when just about everything is ripe. So much fruit, so much pie-making potential. Going back and forth among the blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and stone fruits, I remembered that I had some Michigan friends coming to my house in a few days. Of course. Cherries. I …

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The life of pie

I go through the same process every time I make a pie crust, which is often. The same measuring of salt, the same blending of dry and wet ingredients, the same feeling of chunks of butter and flour clinging to my fingers. And regardless of what recipe variation you or your mother or your grandmother, your …

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