Adventures in Eating: Mrs. Kellog’s Cereal Pie Crust

How does anything begin? Our lives roll along, and we partake of our environment, and every now and then ask ourselvest his question: Who started or created what I am eating?

Time and again, I find religion has been a factor in this development. As we become more familiar with the shrinking world around, food history brings us even closer.

The diversity of religions in America, has influenced and contributed to the va­rieties of foods we call our own.

One of the earliest religions in the States was the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming, a spin-off from the Society of Friends who became known as the “Shaking Quakers, or Shakers.” Then as today, they lived in isolated and contained communities. Shakers were among the very first to ad­vocate greater use of vegetables and fruit, and whole grain flour in their diet.

An Amherst student, Sylvester Graham, embraced these pronouncements, became a minister, and began preaching the benefits of bran and wheat in proper diet for good health. He preached “We should not make graveyards of our stomachs. Fill your bodies with native grains, fruits herbs and roots.”

Ellen White, a Seventh Day Adventist in Michigan, became so convinced of the importance of proper diet that she awarded a scholarship to a medical stu­dent named John Henry Kellog. He exist­ed on graham crackers, apple, oatmeal, coconuts and potatoes. He wanted to prove to his patients what he preached. He developed a formula for the patients in the Adventist Sanitarium in Battle Creek and called his health food “grano­la.”

Later, Dr. Kellog and his brother per­fected a method of flaking corn and wheat kernels!Need I go on? The common cereal found all over the world, Corn Flakes, was born. Mrs. Kellog was a part of this movement, and authored a cookbook: “Science in the Kitchen and Everyday Dishes.” In it she had this month’s recipe. She stated that she created this pie crust “not to increase sales of her husband’s product, as to steer cooks away from the butcher’s lard.” Smart folks ahead of their time. Have fun!

Mrs. Kellog’s Cereal Pie Crust

1 to 3 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 cup corn flakes, crushed

6 Tb. melted butter (or my favorite 40‑60 Dairy Maid and margarine)

Blend the sugar into 1 1/2 cups cereal crumbs, then all the melted butter. Mix thoroughly with fingers, and press into 9″ pie plate. Bake at 325 degrees for 5-8 minutes. A great starter for cold pies such as coconut cream, chocolate, or fresh fruit pies topped with cream, meringue, or your choice.

– Rosemarie

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