November 29, 2006 | By: Laura Skillman

Are you in a rut and looking for a new holiday dessert? Then, you may want to try what the Hancock County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service did just before Thanksgiving – a pie swap.

Women and men were encouraged to make two desserts, one for themselves and one to bring to the swap to exchange for someone else’s creation. The idea was that everyone would end up with two pies for their Thanksgiving dinner. Recipes accompanied the swapped pies.

Following in the tradition of the “Dirty Santa” game, participants drew numbers and made their selections but had to surrender their choice if the next person wanted the selection. This continued until the final person made their selection – a cream pie from a recipe from the baker’s grandmother.

Katie Englert, Hancock County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences, based the pie swap idea on a cookie swap she coordinates each year with friends.

“It’s the first one in Hancock County; it’s my first year here,” she said. “I have a cookie swap every year around Christmas time, but Christmas time is a little hectic. So I thought with the pies, they are kind of a Thanksgiving thing. So I thought it could be a special thing to do with people out in the community and be fun.”

While the creations were mostly pies, one batch of cookies was highly sought after by the swappers.

“I opened it up to any kind of dessert. You didn’t have to make a pie. It could be a cake or anything you are good at,” Englert said.

Joan Newman brought her grandmother’s cream pie to the swap and took home Englert’s pumpkin pie.

“It’s my grandmother’s recipe,” Newman said. “It’s a family favorite. Mother makes it every year for Christmas and Thanksgiving and other holidays. My father was a pumpkin pie eater and since he’s passed nobody’s eaten pumpkin pie. He was the only one who liked it, but we’re going to give this one a try. It will be eaten, if not at my house, I’ll take it to Mother’s.”

Jenny Shultz brought her grandmother’s chocolate pecan pie, also a family favorite.

“My cousin thinks if it’s not at Thanksgiving dinner, he protests,” she said. “My grandmother is still making it and I called her last night and said ‘I want the recipe to your chocolate pecan pie.’ She said it was super easy, and I said that’s what I’m looking for.”

Shultz went home with a peanut butter cream pie.
“It looks yummy,” she said. “I love peanut butter and chocolate. That’s my favorite combination of anything. Anything with peanut butter and chocolate is good. And I knew my husband would help me eat it so I wouldn’t eat it by myself.”

Englert said she hopes to make the pie swap a Hancock County Thanksgiving tradition.


Katie Englert, 270-927-6618