Poopsie's Raspberry Pie
There are many people who refer to their grandparents using a special nickname. Some call their grandma “nana,” my siblings would call my grandpa “grandpap,” and there are various other names that are used to replace the traditional “grandma and grandpa.” However, when I heard Leah call her grandma “Poopsie,” I must admit, that was a first.
Grandma Poopsie wasn’t your average grandma. She was spunky, strong-willed, and at times, a bit competitive. She was a hard worker with many talents. Poopsie found her independence early in life when she dropped out of school at the young age of fourteen. Shortly after dropping out, she had her sights set on a handsome man who would soon become her husband, Howard Wedewer. Howard was a likable man, earning the nickname, “Bud.” Poopsie and Bud got married when she was sixteen, and welcomed their first child when Poopsie was just eighteen years old. Shortly after they got married, Bud was drafted to serve in the Korean war. In his absence, Poopsie would bounce around staying with her parents and Bud’s parents until he returned. They eventually bought a small family farm in New Vienna, Iowa, which had no running water for two years. To say Poopsie grew up fast would be an understatement, but she adapted quickly to life’s changes and learned how to provide for their family.
Poopsie had many hobbies; quilting, baking, playing cards, just to name a few. One of her favorites, however, was gardening. She would always muster up meals with whatever was harvesting at the time. She loved to get creative, never following a recipe by the book and always eyeballing the measurements. Her cooking was a lot like her, unique and a bit unpredictable.
Over the years, Bud and Poopsie grew their family, adding six more children into their home. Each of the children helped out around the house, the girls mainly worked with Poopsie inside while the boys helped Bud out on the farm. The kids were all very active with baseball and softball. Poopsie and Bud were very supportive of their sports, and never missed a game. Bud even coached the softball team for a few years. Leah’s mom explained that her parents were more than just parents, they were their friends.
Leah’s family is still very active with the family farm. Her uncle eventually took over and is running it today. When Leah was younger, her family would have an annual butchering weekend at the farm. All seventeen grandkids would help grind the meat into hamburgers and sliced steaks. Although Leah no longer partakes in the butchering activities, she still enjoys the meat her uncle and cousin prepare from the farm.
One of Leah’s favorite memories of her grandma was when she would take her and her cousin to the park in New Vienna. They would go hiking and find a small grill to roast marshmallows. She also loved helping her grandma out on the garden. They would pick potatoes during the day which Leah would help peel whenever her grandma would make mashed potatoes for dinner. Poopsie would also keep food stored away in the freezer. Leah specifically remembers her keeping batches and batches of cookies which she would bring out anytime her and her cousins would visit.
Of all the things Poopsie made, her raspberry pie was the family’s favorite. She would hand pick each of the raspberries from her garden and make the pie crust from scratch. Instead of a cake, Leah would request Poopsie’s raspberry pie for her birthday. Last year, Leah had back surgery and during her recovery she didn’t have much of an appetite. The only thing she could stomach was her grandma’s homemade chicken noodle soup and raspberry pie. Both recipes were said to have special healing power.
On January 30th 2018, Leah received a call from her mom who shared the news that Poopsie was diagnosed with terminal cancer. At the time, Leah was finishing up her senior year of college. She had some flexibility with her schedule which allowed her to visit her grandma during her final days.
One day, all of the granddaughters went over to Poopsie’s to go through her jewelry and pick out some of their favorite pieces to keep. In her collection, Leah found a beautiful pearl ring. Poopsie told her it was the first piece of expensive jewelry she bought from JCPenney. The pearl reminded Leah of a song that Poopsie would always play for her on the record player called, “Leah” by Roy Orbison. The song is about going on a boat to find a pearl for Leah. She knew this ring was the perfect piece for her.
Another moment Leah cherishes is the afternoon that Poopsie helped her write down all of her favorite recipes. Since Poopsie baked from memory, she never had the ingredients or instructions written down. Leah wanted to make sure she could capture these recipes before her grandma passed. Among the collection was Poopsie’s famous raspberry pie. Leah made the pie for her family on Thanksgiving this year, and it was a hit. Although it was the first Thanksgiving without Poopsie, the presence of her pie made it feel as if she were there.
Poopsie’s Raspberry Pie is not your average pie. As you will see, it is made up of fun layers - fluffy whipped cream cheese spread and raspberry jello filling with a crustless top. It is delicious and a bit addicting.
Poopsie’s Raspberry Pie
Pie Crust (Makes 2)
3 Cups flour
1 cup yellow Crisco
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp white corn syrup
1 cup water
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 package of raspberry jello
About 3 cups frozen raspberries
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
8 oz cool whip
2 cups powdered sugar
For the Pie Crust:
Use a 3/4 cup and pour in vanilla, egg, and vinegar
Pour enough milk into the 3/4 cup to fill it
Mix everything together in a large bowl
Once combined, roll dough into two separate crusts.
Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (15 minutes)
For the Raspberry Filling
In a large microwavable bowl, mix the sugar, corn syrup, water, cornstarch, and jello
Microwave for 2 minutes and then stir
Microwave for an additional 3 minutes
Pour frozen raspberries into the hot bowl and mix well
Allow that mixture to cool in the fridge without letting it
become solid (about 10-15 minutes)
In another bowl, mix together the cream cheese, cool
whip, and powdered sugar
Spread whipped cream cheese mixture at the bottom of one of your pie crusts
Pour the raspberry mixture over the whipped cream cheese spread
Allow pie to set in the fridge for a few hours before serving
*Note: You only need a bottom crust for this pie and not a top