Making mud pies


From mud pies to gardening I still love to play in the dirt. There are lots of ways to enjoy nature and the great outdoors. Sixty years ago when I was six my mom would give me her old canning jar lids, spoons and bowls to play with in the dirt out beside our house. And of course there was my little ‘oven’ to bake them in: a cardboard box. My ‘cooking and baking’ process was simple. I started with the ‘freshest ingredients’ I could find; what I called ‘clean dirt’ and pulled out the unwanted things like weeds, little bugs or rocks, if any so my pies would be smooth and edible (for me that is). Once I had mixed just the right amount of water with the right amount of dirt I tasted my mixture to test its consistency, then if satisfied I patted them down into the lids and baked them in a hot, slow sun. When dry, I emptied my lids of the coarse over baked pie and would start all over again. When I told my grown girls that I ate some of my own mud pies when I was a child, they could not believe the story from one who hates insects and runs after the bug spray can at the first sight of an ant invasion. Now, when I play with my little grandchildren in the dirt planting a garden or potting flowers I can share my mud pie stories with them and let them know that a little bit of dirt does not hurt, and that mud is a part of nature, one of those things God gave us in this great big outdoors to enjoy. So, for old times sake I went outside and once again made an old-fashioned mud pie in a canning jar lid just for the fun of it, and it brought back memories of those days when I was six. So, here is a photo of my mud pie, and for certain I will show a picture of it to my grandchildren and let them know that making mud pies can be a lot of fun, and tasting them, not so bad, either. 🙂 But, I really did do quite a bit of real gardening this week too. The below photo is one of my potting projects. It was fun playing in that big barrel of dirt, too. 🙂

HPIM1936

Joyce E. Johnson


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