To start, I needed mixing bowls. I'd found this set of four stackable Pyrex mixing bowls at an estate sale.
I'd also found a copy of a 1951 women's magazine with an ad for this set of bowls at the estate sale: the original owner paid $2.95 for the set.
Next, I needed to decide which recipe to use for pie crust, so I consulted the Good and Easy Cookbook, first published in 1954 -- which I also found at an estate sale.
I selected a recipe, got out the largest, yellow, Pyrex mixing bowl, preheated my oven to 425 degrees, and set to work.
Recipe for Single Pie Crust (8 or 9 inches wide)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
3 tablespoons water (I used ice water)
Put some flour on the rolling pin and roll the dough flat from the center outwards (roll from the center to the top, then from the center to the bottom, center to right, center to left, and so on until the crust is the desired size and thickness).
Roll the dough until it's about an inch larger than the pie pan you're going to use. Carefully lift the dough and place it in the pie pan, then cut off the jagged edges and flute the edges crust in the pan with your fingers.
I used a pale yellow Fiesta Ware pie plate.
What to do with the extra pieces of pie crust? Place them on a flat baking sheet and sprinkle them with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and sugar. You've already preheated the oven to 425 degrees, so while you are making the pie filling, bake the crust shards until they are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let them cool. This gives over-eager pie aficionados something to snack on while the pie itself is being baked.
For the pumpkin pie filling, combine in a mixing bowl (your choice of colors, but one of the larger ones):
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
A pinch of black pepper
Food tradition: My grandmother always added a tiny amount of black pepper to recipes that called for cinnamon, ginger and/or nutmeg. She said the pepper helped bring out the flavors of the other spices.
Food history lesson: Sweetened condensed milk was patented in 1856 by a Mr. Gail Borden, of dairy fame. He (and others) developed canned milk in response to the fact that fresh milk didn't keep very long, back then. Adding sugar inhibited bacterial growth.
And there it is: an old-school pumpkin pie, baked with love and some help from things I found at estate sales.
Here are some more food-related blog posts on The Estate Sale Chronicles:
A recipe for sugar cookies from the Good and Easy Cookbook: http://estatesalechronicles.blogspot.com/2014/08/sugar-cookies-from-good-and-easy.html
The cloth pastry frame: http://estatesalechronicles.blogspot.com/2012/07/pastry-cloth.html
Here's a link to an article on the history of canned milk (regular and sweetened condensed): http://homecooking.about.com/od/milkproducts/a/canmilkhistory.htm
And a website devoted to the love of Pyrex: http://www.pyrexlove.com/