unhumorous: cow pies

I'm having trouble finding a pie tin large enough for my cow pie.

I have an old family recipe for cow pies, but when my father sold all the family heirlooms to send money to support the Vietnam war, the special cow pie tin went too. If anyone knows where I can get an 8-foot diameter pie tin, let me know. I don't want one with a flimsy bottom though.

I have fond memories of cow pies from my childhood. I'd spend the morning with my Dad chasing and killing the cow. I remember the blood and the dew on the grass as I ran through it on Saturday mornings. My sister would sit on the step of the back porch and applaud as we dragged dinner to the house. Inside, my mom had this special crane to lift the whole cow into the pie tin which was lined with her yummy crust. Mom'd then use the crane to swing the pie into to the walk-in oven. [That oven used to scare me when I was little, my older brother, Garamond, and his friends used to scare me to death and tell me horror stories about that oven. Once I pee'd my panties in the hallway, I was so scared.]

On those great days when the pie came out, it was a real affair. I couldn't wait to see the pie. Sometimes there'd be a steaming hoof sticking out of the pie crust, or sometimes the tip of a horn. Once my mom made a double cow pie that had all eight hooves arranged like Busby Berkeley dancers. That was the day I knew I was a gay American: Fabulous food arrangement and all the beef I could eat. I was thrilled to be alive.

The kids would always fight about who got the udder. For those of you who never had cow pie like this - a whole cow pie - the udder was utterly the best. The milk and juices from the cow would blend as they cooked and create a thick, pudding-like treat sealed in the udder. Over most of the cow, my mother would slice through the hide with an axe and put in heads of garlic, but in the udder and other soft under-parts, shed use some kind of fruit, whatever was in season: my favorite was strawberries. Shed slip a few in through the largest teat, work a straw up there and blow a special spice blend in, then seal off each of the teats with twisty ties. Since the cow would usually go into the pie tin on its side, Mom often saved spicing and dressing the udder for last.

When the pie was baked and the crust was broken, all the kids would eye the udder and comment on how wed never seen it as swollen as it was this time, or how perfectly brown the flesh was. Mom would always harp on us, reminding us that the udder was for last. Wed pretend to be interested in a knee joint, or some flesh from the head, but our minds were always on the temping stiff teats.