Church Supper Lemon Icebox Pie


Country CookingIf you are from the Midwest and had the growing-up experience of going to a church supper at a country church, you are very lucky. I remember these fondly. Pleasant Green Baptist Church in north Missouri still stands today, and I suspect they still have their church suppers, church dinners, or maybe even church picnics. The church was founded August 25, 1885, after a revival meeting in an arbor near the site. The first pastor was paid a whopping $6 a month.

Back in the day, all the church ladies made great recipes that they knew by heart, just as well as they knew every word to the songs in the Broadman Hymnal. Tables were laden with inimitable fried chicken, country ham, mashed potatoes, green bean and corn dishes, deviled eggs (the more religious called them “angeled eggs” so as not to invoke evil), and sparkling, fruit-filled Jello salads (not a dessert–it was a “salad”). But where we kids focused was the array of mouth-watering pies, cakes and cookies.

Of course, Mom never allowed you to fill your plate with all desserts, though us younguns would have been happy to do just that. I have only a couple of recipes from those wonderful women of my youth but know that Georgie Ruth, Aunt Mildred, Bessie Pearl, Ruby Darst, “Aunt Gyp” Smith, Edythe Dickerson, Lillie Maude, Moneaka, Frankie Elam, and others, kept us fat and happy.

A summertime treat from those days would be an “icebox pie.” That was when people still called refrigerators “ice boxes” from the early days when it really was an insulated box with a block of ice in it. Of course, we had a modern refrigerator but called it “the icebox.” Did you?

Remember, this was created to be an old-fashioned recipe. I could have developed it with all kinds of modern substitutes but I don’t prefer aspartame, olestra, sucralose and other things that do not come directly out of the ground, a hen, or a cow’s udder. So don’t shirk at the nine egg yolks, butter and heavy cream. You gotta eat up for a long day o’ preachin!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: overnight or 1 day
Calories: don’t even ask

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