Ever sit down to the table for a family dinner and look down at your plate and think, “Do I really have to eat this?” While at the same time, your Uncle Pete has already shoveled down his second helping of the stuff? The “stuff” is a long-established dish originating in Nova Scotia. Passed down from generations through the Boutchie family (Gini Woodman’s side), it arrives each year, like clockwork on the plates of the Woodman Family. Some families eat grapes on New Years while others drink champagne. But the Woodman’s-well we eat Rappie Pie.
The Rappie Pie appears to some like a curse, but for many a blessing, especially when garnished with ketchup! Each time that we gather round the table and celebrate the New Year, I can’t help but think back to all the New Years when I avoided the dish and waited patiently for dessert. For me the tradition began at Aunt Pat’s house, although I am told that it started much earlier. The adults would lounge around upstairs most likely recovering from the night before, while the kids ran around downstairs like maniacs, playing with toys and eventually getting yelled at for locking Dexter and Ashley in the closet.
The tradition has now been moved to Wendy’s house, where for her the tradition began at Aunt Judi’s house, and for Judi it began at her parents’ house.
It is now clear to me that beyond all the pressed potatoes, pork scraps and onions lies something more. Tonight we are cooking Rappie Pie as part of a series of Woodman family cooking nights. I will finally learn the coveted recipe and you will too, if you buy our cook book. Although I am already making secret dinner plans with my mom the (non-Woodman parent), I am happy to watch my family as they enjoy their Rappie Pie and hear about all the old memories and unique stories it evokes.