Pie can’t compete with cake. Put candles in a cake, it’s a birthday cake. Put candles in a pie, and somebody’s drunk in the kitchen.

-Jim Gaffigan

Sunday was my dad’s birthday and we planned to go to one of his favorite restaurants in Greencastle (a mom and pop place called Mama Nunz) and then hang out for a bit at my Mamaw’s house. Dad isn’t a huge fan of cake but he does love pie so I decided to make him a birthday strawberry rhubarb pie.

I’ve never made a pie before but I heard from more than one person that the filling tends to be runny for this particular kind of pie. I did some internet searching and found a recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen (recipe here). I was a little worried about the use of tapioca because my dad and I are texture people…and we both think tapioca pudding is gross. Still, I didn’t want to chance a runny filling so I gave it a shot.

I did make a change or two to the original recipe. I actually used frozen pie crust (the Pillsbury kind in the red box) because I just didn’t want to mess with making my own, and I left the egg wash off. I also totally forgot about the butter until the pie was already in the oven. Because nothing was in season, I had to use frozen strawberries and rhubarb. They come in one pound bags, so I combined them in a gallon Ziploc baggie and defrosted it all in the microwave.

As you can see, I messed up by trimming the bottom crust before adding the top crust. It was a rookie mistake for sure.

Damn it.

The top and bottom crusts didn’t stay together at all… I think I also may have had a wee bit too much filling in there. The recipe was for a 9 inch pie but mine was a little smaller. BUT.

The filling wasn’t even close to runny…that tapioca worked wonders and didn’t have an effect on the texture at all. HOORAY.

Yes, candles on a pie. I swear I wasn't drunk in the kitchen.


My poor mom didn’t even get to taste hers until everyone else was half-finished because I needed to take a picture and she took the prettier slice.

The verdict?

Everyone but my brother loved it. His vote doesn’t count because

A. It just doesn’t

B. He’s not a fan of rhubarb at all

C. It just doesn’t

The filling was just the right mix of tart and slightly sweet, and paired with vanilla ice cream it was delicious.

I did almost have a heart attack when my dad asked what kind of pie I made…

Me: Strawberry Rhubarb *I’m so proud of myself smile*

Dad: …Ah.

Jess: Wait, I didn’t think you liked that kind…

Me: Yes you do! You do, right?

Dad: Well…not really…


Dad: …

Me: *sadface*

Dad: I’m just kidding *big smile*

My family is so mean to me.