Someone’s in the kitchen


Vickie Gray, my mom, of Greenville sent in this recipe for grandma’s old fashioned cream pie. Gray’s maternal grandmother, Essie Adcock Sutton, 1902-1983, was a great cook. Back in the late 1940s she co-owned a bakery, BenEs Pastry Shop, in Greenville. Sutton helped influence her granddaughter’s cooking skill by just taking the time and letting her watch and help. Probably the best two skills she learned was properly cleaning and preparing tasty fried chicken and the old fashioned cream pie.

Sutton told her granddaughter that this pie was made frequently due to an excess of milk and sugar. Gray said that the story she got was that when she was growing up they had a cow. With the abundance of milk and no refrigeration, they made this pie often. They would also put leftover milk in containers and put the containers down into the well to help keep them from spoiling. She prepared this pie so often that she did not have a written recipe. Gray remembers watching her make the pie and as she did Gray would take notes often asking her, to “slow down” or “how much of that do you think you used?” Gray tweaked the recipe till it came out right. After Essie passed away, Gray inherited the spoon her grandmother used when making this pie, a United States Marine Corp spoon her Uncle Harry had brought back from the service, and the 10 1/3 inch pie pan. Every time she makes the pie using her grandmother’s recipe, spoon, and pie pan, a little piece of Essie is still cooking beside her. For more information see the July 14, 2023 edition of The Greenville Advocate.