5 Holiday Pies in Literature
Presents! Parades! Preparation! There is so much craziness that accompanies the holiday season and it’s time to slow down and smell the pie. That’s right, pie—the holiday staple that’s easy to be thankful for. Even our favorite literary characters love this celebratory sweet! There are several pies in literature. In fact, enough to inspire a bake-off with your kids. Grab your aprons and preheat the oven because these five classics will tempt your family’s collective sweet tooth.
For younger kids:
In the first book of the Amelia Bedelia series, Amelia, a maid who takes all of her instructions literally, “dresses the chicken” in tiny clothes and “draws the drapes” on a piece of paper. When her employers return home, Amelia knows that she has done something wrong. In an attempt to save her job, Amelia serves her boss, Mrs. Rogers, a slice of homemade lemon meringue pie and is spared her position as housekeeper.
Bake your own lemon meringue pie this holiday season—so good it will knock your socks off (but maybe not literally).
Harry Potter first tasted pumpkin pasties when he was riding the Hogwarts express for the first time. He purchased everything from the food trolley to share with Ron, his first non-muggle friend.
Bake your own Pumpkin Pasties to share with a new friend or as a special treat to enjoy on your way to Hogwarts school.
Would you have made it all of the way through Willy Wonka’s candy factory without drinking from the chocolate river or sneaking an everlasting gobstopper? While I would have been tempted by chocolate, Violet Beauregarde’s vice was gum. As Wonka explained his unperfected invention—a stick of chewing gum that doubled as a filling, three course meal—Miss Beauregarde grabbed it from her host’s hand and popped it in her mouth. Immediately, she marveled at the taste of tomato soup, then roast beef, and lastly, a dessert of blueberry pie that affected more than just her taste buds. Violet filled with juice, turning into a human blueberry.
Although Willy Wonka has yet to release his amazing gum, you can bake a blueberry pie that doesn’t have any unwanted side effects.
For mature readers:
While you may know Sweeney Todd as Johnny Depp, the leading man in Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the character first appeared in the 1846 penny dreadful, or short story, “String of Pearls.” The story’s antihero, Sweeney Todd, is an evil barber who murders his patrons and bakes their remains into meat pies (mmmm, human flesh).
While Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett got creative with their baking, we suggest using a less barbaric recipe when making your own meat pies.
The New York Times described On the Road, Jack Kerouac’s second novel, as “the most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as ‘beat,’ and whose principal avatar he is.” Kerouac’s protagonist, Sal Paradise, was a traveler and a patriot. Even his choice in dessert was “all American,” as the narrator explains, “I ate another apple pie and ice cream; that’s practically all I ate all the way across the country, I knew it was nutritious and it was delicious, of course.”
Who says apple pie isn’t nutritious? It’s basically just fruit, right? Whip up your own apple pie for a delicious treat to be enjoyed at your next holiday gathering!
Will you be serving pie with any of your holiday feasts? Whether they’re the main course or dessert, we want to hear about your favorite pies, regardless of what inspires your time in the kitchen.
Once you’ve determined your favorite pie, be sure to visit Learning Liftoff for further recipes and reading. Some of the books mentioned above are even a part of K12’s suggested reading list for their students. If you are interested in learning more about K12’s curriculum or services, please visit k12.com or call the K12 enrollment team at (866) 968-7512.
Sarah Mills is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff. She mentored and instructed kindergarten through high school-aged students throughout her college years and eventually went on to live and work in Yosemite National Park for a stint. Reading, writing, adventuring, and anything Harry Potter are some of Sarah’s favorite go-to activities.