- Food and Cooking
Gift Ideas - Pie Dishes, Pie Birds and Bakeware
Pie Birds and Pie Dishes Best Christmas Gift Guide!
When you look back to what made you really happy, do you ever think the pies your grandmother used to make? Those well-used pie dishes, those blackbird pie birds that peeked out from an old-fashioned apple pie. The best gift ideas are simple gifts that make us truly happy. Why not take up baking and share a little of that happiness?
Perhaps you have a pie maker in mind and the cook in your life already has a passion for pies and you're looking for gifts for cooks that can be used and treasured for many years to come?
Look no further. Pies and baking are enjoying a revival as home cooking and traditional recipes become popular again, so why not treat the cook in your life to a pie bird and pie dish and put a little real, simple pleasure back into your life?
Part of the charm and popularity of this bake ware, is that these items are so collectible. There's a style for everybody and every home. Choosing a gorgeous gift for Christmas or other special occasions is - 'as easy as pie'.
Are You Pie Bird Rich? - Or pie bird poor?
Do you have a pie bird?
Christmas Pie Dishes
The perfect Christmas gifts for cooks
This Winterberry Pie Bird and Pie Place Look so Festive
Gorgeous pie plate that comes with its very own Cardinal pie bird. The brilliant red bird looks so festive but would look a treat on the table at any time of the year.
What are Pie Birds?
And why do you need them?
Now you might be asking yourself the question, "Who on earth needs a pie bird and what for?" Well, they're very decorative and very collectable so you might decide that you'd like to give them even if your loved-one has never baked a pie in their life. On the other hand, for cooks the pie bird, (or pie funnel, pie whistle, pie chimneys, pie ventilator, pie crust support, pie preserver), keeps the pie crust high and allows the steam from the pie to escape. You can also get funnels with wide mouths that allow gravy and jelly to be poured into the pie after baking. They also add a nice finishing touch to the pie.
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Inspired by Recipes from my Grandmother's Kitchen - I set to work and made this pie complete with blackbird pie funnel
I live in Limousin, S W France and run a guest house, Les Trois Chenes, and moving here from England was a great culinary adventure. I love to cook, I love to read and learn about food and cooking but I'm very far from being a great cook, which I think means that if I can do it, so can you!
Not very long ago, when I was sorting through boxes of stored family papers and paraphernalia, I found a stash of my Granny's recipes and thought how interesting they were, but also how much our diets and eating habits had changed since then - and not for the better. Full of enthusiasm, having done a bit of research (what is a pie bird and why would you want one?) I rushed away to hunt down pie making equipment in my Mother's house. After some crawling around cupboards, we found a Hornsey Pottery pie dish and my kind old Mum bought me this super pie bird which is exactly like the one my Gran used to have.
Together we made this pie. More pie birds and dishes are on my gift list now!
you can contact me about our B&B gite (holiday cottage) or painting holidays and courses on +33 (0)5 55 48 29 84, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or take a peek at our website www.lestroischenes.com
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pie Birds
.... but were afraid to ask
Pie birds and pie funnels help you bake the perfect pie
Did You Know That Pie Birds or Pie Funnels Date Back to Victorian Times?
So what did they use before then?
Before the invention of the pie bird, they would have used a piece of macaroni or an egg cup to vent or support the crust. The earliest pie funnels were made in 1880 by Dean and Morris. As pies are baked in dishes of differing depths these funnels were made in three sizes and can often be bought in sets today. Not only birds, though! They can be produced in any form as the functional aspects of the design are a hollow interior, a hole at the top and a 'shoulder' to support the pastry, however some of the earliest patents were in the form of blackbirds, registered by Grace Seccombe and Clarice Cliff. Learn more about pie birds: Pie birds and pie funnels help you bake the perfect pie
The blackbird pie bird below is the traditional sort that I was brought up with - exactly like the one my great aunt used to have - and they go for a song!
How to use a pie bird
You'll need pie plates or pie dishes for your pie too.
Portmeirion is Pretty as a Picture
Portmeirion Pottery was founded by the pottery designer Susan Williams-Ellis and her husband, Euan Cooper-Willis in 1960. Susan Williams-Ellis had worked with A.E. Gray commissioning designs to sell at the gift shop in Portmeirion Village, "Gray's Pottery Portmeirionware".When a second pottery company, Kirkhams Ltd,was purchased, two businesses were combined and Portmeirion Potteries came into being.
Spode is a Stoke-on-Trent based pottery company, founded by Josiah Spode in 1770. Josiah Spode is famed for perfecting under-glaze blue transfer printing in 1783-1784, leading to the launch of Spode's Blue Italian range in 1816.
Spode also developed the production and marketing of fine bone china, Britain's attempt to mimic the fine, translucent porcelain from China.
On 23 April 2009 Portmeirion Potteries Ltd purchased the Royal Worcester and Spode brands, after their parent company had been placed into administration the previous November. Portmeirion Potteries has since changed its company name to Portmeirion Group to reflect this acquisition and the manufacture of much of Spode's ware was returned to the Portmeirion Group's factory in Stoke-on-Trent.
Portmeirion's most recognised design is the Botanic Garden range was launched in 1972. The pottery was decorated with a variety of floral motifs and patterns inspired by botanical illustrations. Always popular and still made today.
Portmeirion Pie Dishes - Say it with flowers
You can really tell that Portmeirion is one of my all-time favourites!
Knock the Spots off Shopping - Bunzlauer Polish Pie Dishes
Bunzlauer stoneware is made in Boleslawiec, Poland. It is fired at temperatures above 2,300 degrees F to produce a beautiful but tough product that's lead-free, safe oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe. The dishes all have the artisan's signature initials and unique Zaklady back stamp
Fun polish polka dot patterns never go out of fashion, and always make a splash. Brighten up any table with a traditional blue polkadot pie dish
Lenox Butterfly Pie Dishes - Flutter By These Pie Dishes
A Taste of Summer and with one click of the mouse and they could be winging their way to you!
Since 1889, Lenox has created gifts, tableware, and collectibles for U.S. presidents, dignitaries and had the honour of providing the first American china to be used in the White House. Over the years, our original focus on fine tableware has broadened to include casual collections in stoneware and earthenware, crystal stemware, and flatware. Butterfly Meadow china dinnerware, based on the artistry of Louise Le Luyer, features monarchs, tiger swallowtails, orange sulphurs, other winged species, and even dragonflies. Butterfly Meadow is the most popular casual dinnerware pattern in America.
Limousin porcelain pie dishes
I live in Limousin in S W France, only about 50 minutes from the ancient town of Limoges. The area is famous for two things, its Limousin cattle and its prized porcelain. The manufacturing methods of this fine, strong porcelain, was once a secret jealously guarded by the Chinese, but slowly the western world discovered how to make it themselves; they lacked but the essential raw ingredients.
The articles below trace this story and the history behind Limoges Porcelain, opening up a world of culture, commerce, collectable items and, of course, pleasure and beauty.
- White Plates of Limoges, Princess of Porcelain
This article outlines the basic history of Limoges China
- Limoges Porcelain Decorative Eggs for Easter
The egg-shaped china box was made world famous by FabergÃ©, and although hese trinket boxes in the shape of eggs might make ideal Easter gifts, but they are perfect gifts for any other occasion. Small, exquisite and wonderfully collectable.
- Where to buy Limoges Porcelain in Limousin, France
You can come to Limousin to find fantastic bargains, or you can buy online.
Bid for Limoges Porcelain on eBay
Limoges Porcelain Pie Dishes on eBay are quite rare so might not show up in this search. Instead I've chosen a vintage plate to serve your pie on.
Limoges is the capital of Limousin and is world famous for its beautiful, fine but strong porcelain. There are so many boutiques and factory outlets producing an amazing range of beautiful ceramics ranging from the modern to traditional styles.
Clafoutis Cherry Pie Shaped Limoges Porcelain Box! - Nice as pie ... but fewer calories
A 'slice of pie' Limoges Porcelain box
Limoges, in S W France, only about an hour from our guest house and gite, is famous for it's strong but fine, translucent porcelain. Perhaps most popular of all are the small and charming collectable boxes. Ranging from a few pounds to, well, quite a few, they come in an astonish range.Although the egg-shaped boxes are perhaps the most famous of the Limoges porcelain box range, you can find them in an amazing array of shapes and sizes - cute, funny, charming and elegant.
One of the best things about these boxes is that you can secrete something even more precious inside. Pretty, quirky, but always adorable, these little trinket boxes are small enough to carry or send by post but show a big amount of love!
Limoge porcelain boxes are world famous and I was so pleased to find this Slice of Pie porcelain box. Looks delicious!
I Bet Mae West Was a Great Fan of Pies
Love Pie But Hate Cooking?
You can still indulge your pie-love in so many ways!
Mae West says "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful," so what are you waiting for? She's a gal after my own heart! Here are a few of her other food-orientated quotes:
"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." (Don't resist those gorgeous pies!)
"I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure." (Try these pies over and over again - just in case!)
"When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before." (So go ahead, be a little devil and try something new)
"I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond." (Well, not sure diamonds are as nutritious - cook yourself a healthy vegetable pie)
" I like restraint, if it doesn't go too far"
Image: Screenshot of Mae West from the trailer for the film I'm No Angel, 1933
No Time to Bake Your Own Pies? - The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach ....
OK - Mom and apple pie and all that stuff is great but everyone is so busy these days so you might just need a pie shortcut. You can order all kinds of delicious pies on line and simply pop them on a beautiful dish. So if you're looking for a pie gift to quell that hunger but can't cook - cheat and buy on-line!
Classic Cherry Pie
Cherry pie, my oh my!
Still Not Made Your Mind Up?
Mae West said: "He who hesitates is a damned fool!"