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Published August 11, 2009, 07:55 PM

On the road - for homemade pie

Some people will go to any lengths to satisfy sweet tooth.

By: Jeff Tiedeman, Grand Forks Herald

One of the nice things about road trips is the food.

For example:

— Sometimes, while traveling to my hunting house in Westby, Mont., I’ll stop in Minot for lunch at Kroll’s Diner, where they serve 1950s-type food, along with some tasty Germans-from-Russia fare — including knephla soup and fleischkuechle.

— On a trip to the Twin Cities in June, we jumped off the interstate at Ashby, Minn., where the sweet potato fries at Ruby’s were as good as any I’ve ever eaten.

— And when visiting my mother-in-law in Golden Valley, Minn., on that same trip, I couldn’t resist some mouth-watering pizza from Davanni’s.

My most recent trek took us to the Pembina Gorge near Walhalla, N.D. On the way home, we stopped at Anderson’s Country Cafe on state Highway 32 in Edinburg, N.D. I had heard about Anderson’s from Lillian Elsinga, dean of students at UND.

She and a couple of others were visiting a friend who had moved there. The highlight of their trip was a stop at Anderson’s, which just opened in April. Lillian had high praise for the pastry she sampled there, a “very berry” pie that contained blackberries, blueberries and raspberries (with ice cream, of course), one of several varieties of homemade pie they serve.

I have to admit one of the reasons for going on the trip was so we could stop for homemade pie in Edinburg. And I wasn’t disappointed, and neither were my wife and grandson.

Therese, who makes a pretty wicked apple pie herself, had a slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie, while Rakeem chose banana cream. While I was hoping to try the very berry, my hunger had to be satisfied with a piece of sour cream raisin because the pie of my choice still was too warm to cut. We also had several other kinds of pies to choose from, including lemon meringue and peanut butter chocolate. A bonus was a very good cup of coffee.

Gaining popularity

While pies always have been a popular item, I’ve noticed over the last couple of years that they’ve seemed to be taking a bigger slice out of the food market. Evidence of this is word of mouth and my own observations.

For example, E & M Quickstop, also in Edinburg, advertises homemade juneberry pies for sale. They’re made by Adrienne Wellman of Hamilton, N.D., who’s well-known in northeast North Dakota pie circles. Not only does she enjoy popularity at area reunions and community festivals, she sells her juneberry pies at the Farmers Market in Grand Forks. Her pies often disappear within an hour or so at the Farmers Market.

Wellman was quoted in a newspaper article a couple of years ago as saying she’s never taken a pie home.

Another well-known purveyor of homemade pies is Paula’s Steakhouse and Lounge in Mayville, N.D. A co-worker, Ryan Bakken, is a big fan as are a couple of friends, Roger Sundby and Ken Towers, who go there regularly for rhubarb pie. In fact, often they’ll call the night before they go and order up to a dozen pies to take home with them.

Another pie maker that has taken its show on the road is Maggie’s Catering and Bakery of Karlstad, Minn., which also sells its wares at the Farmers Market as well as in the Grand Cities Mall. Their specialties are apple, strawberry rhubarb, wild blueberry and variety of meringue pies. (For years, Maggie’s peddled its pies in East Grand Forks’ Riverwalk Centre.)

I have a feeling my next road trip for homemade pie will be to either the mall or the Farmers Market.

And with the money I save on gas, a scoop or two of ice cream might be in order.

Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at jtiedeman@gfherald.com.

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