In the mid to late 1960s, my grandparents were finally able to afford a washing machine. While that simplified their lives to some degree because it meant no more lugging everything and everybody to the laundromat, it presented another set of challenges; the washday had to be scheduled around the weather.
They couldn’t afford the dryer to go along with the washer, so the clothes had to be solar dried.
On this particular day, we were up bright and early to start the wash and get it hung out because “it looks like we might have a cloud comin’ up”. The first load out of the washer was plopped into a big green plastic clothes basket.
Granny grabbed her apron that held her stash of wooden clothespins, tied on the apron and we both lugged the basket of clothes to the backyard clothesline. As she picked through the basket of clothes to give me the “easy” ones to hang out, she told me to reach in the apron, grab a handful of the wooden clothes and pin them on my clothes making it easier for me to have access to them.
This pie is so easy to make and won the 1999 American Pie Council’s Pie Championship in the Custard Pie Category.
It’s not the clothesline itself that I love to see, it’s the clothes swaying back and forth in the breeze. Especially white clothes. They almost glisten in the sun.
Nothing smells better to me than bed linens that have been line dried. Snuggle up in bed, take a big whiff of that clean fresh scent and your mind is cleared and ready for sleep. It’s like a magic potion.
1 (9 inches) unbaked pie shells, deep dish
3 eggs, beaten
3⁄4 cup white sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white
2 1⁄2 cups scalded whole milk
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix together eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Stir well. Blend in the scalded milk. For more yellow color, add a few drops yellow food coloring.
Brush inside the bottom and sides of the pie crust with egg white to help prevent a soggy crust. Pour custard mixture into piecrust. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. (Please adjust according to your oven) Cool on rack.