A few weeks ago, I bemoaned the fact that that there appeared to be no Italian Easter Pie sold in Houston. I had hoped my forlorn post would prompt a series of responses rebutting this claim and directing me to multiple sources. Or maybe even some amateur cook would offer to sell me one on the sly.
No such luck, so after whining to my mother on and off through e-mail for a few days, I resigned myself to a pieless holiday. Thank God I underestimated the determination of my amazing family.
Long story short: My mom related my plight to her sister, Rosemary -- longtime resident of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, home of some of the best Italian-American food in the country, including Easter pies. Aunt Rose made me a giant Easter pie herself, froze it and handed it off to my mother, who drove two hours to pick it up. She then handed it off to my father, who transported the pie (frozen, wrapped extensively and secured in an airtight container) through two connections from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Houston.
I don't know what exact recipe my aunt used for making this Easter Pie, but all the usual delicious suspects seemed to be present: multiple cured meats, cheeses, parsley and egg. And the crust! Flaky, buttery and delicious in spite of the freezing, defrosting, reheating, etc. I guess I'm supposed to share this pie with my husband, but I'm seriously considering putting half of it back into the freezer, marking it "stewed cabbage" and saving it for myself as I know I'll have another strong craving six months from now.
Aunt Rose most definitely has a thank-you note coming her way. Something tells me, though, a more commensurate gift would be ten pounds of Texas's finest barbecue.