Okay, so Pi Day has nothing to do with pie, but I’ve always liked to eat more than I’ve liked anything having to do with math. So Pi Day becomes Pie Day in my house. Normally, I’d go out and buy a pie, but the other night, a craving hit me so hard I decided to make a pie. (If you know about my aversion to the kitchen, you’ll see this for the miracle it is.)

What did I crave? A banana split pie with graham cracker crust, creamy center, bananas, pineapples, whipped cream, nuts and cherries. What does this have to do with writing? More than you might think.

The piece of paper containing the recipe for banana split pie is more than thirty years old. The paper and the handwriting belonged to my neighbor, Giselle. She made this pie every picnic of my early childhood. When I look at this paper, when I make this pie, I think of Giselle, who died decades ago, and I think of the neighborhood I left behind almost as long ago.

But it’s not just Giselle’s writing on the yellowed page, another person made her mark. My mother took notes throughout the years on ways to make the recipe low-fat, low-sugar and safer (no raw eggs!). These notes bring back even more memories. The reason the recipe was modified to low-sugar was because my father was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in his late thirties. One look at her notes, and I remember the hospital stay and the fear in my heart.

Even a recipe has a story to tell.

I’m going to do something today that I will most likely never do again. I’m going to share a recipe with you. I wish I could write it down and mail it, because something gets lost in the translation from handwritten to computer printed. Keep that in mind the next time a good friend asks for a recipe. Write it down.

You don’t have to be writing an article or a 100,000-word piece of fiction to have an impact on a life.


Giselle’s Banana Split Pie


3 c crushed graham crackers (or prepared crust from store)

8 Tbsp. butter or margarine

1/2 c sugar

Blend together until smooth and place in 9×13 glass dish or pan.

***Note from my mother: Giselle’s recipe does not call for baking, however, I always bake mine for about 4 min. at 325 or 350 degrees and watch closely so it does not burn.


2 c confectioners’ sugar

1/2 c butter or margarine (melted)

Blend together and add 1 Teas. Vanilla

***Note from my mother: Giselle’s recipe says to add a raw egg, and I never, never would! Instead, I add about 1-2 Tbsp. milk.

Pour this mixture over the crust.

Cover this with 3-4 sliced bananas, then a can of crushed pineapple (which has been drained well)

Cover with large cool whip and add chopped nuts and maraschino cherries.

Chill for a few hours