Monday, November 30, 2009


Every year at this time when I make the pies for Thanksgiving, I have this thing I wonder about.

My mother always cut the top pie crust in a design that looked like either a Fleur de Lis or Prince of Wales feathers. For years, I thought everyone made their pies this way. Then I began to notice that none of my friend's mothers put distinctive designs on their pies.

I asked her once and she said that that's just the way the pies were cut. Her mother did the same design.
So, was it a Loyalist symbol? I know people who supported the Crown in England quietly signaled to others their political sympathies in subtle ways like this. Is the design the three Prince of Wales feathers? If so, who did this? Maybe it was from the Scottish side of the family in support of Bonny Prince Charles.

Or is it a symbol of the French Fleur de Lis? My mother's grandmother was named de Bord. Was she showing her French heritage? Maybe she was from a Huguenot family??

If you compare the Fleur de Lis and the Prince of Wales feathers, they are very similar.

Our genealogy traces her famly to the Sanford family and back all the way back to the Plantagenets. Their symbol came from a plant known as common broom. It grew wild and the founder of the French branch of the family liked to wear a sprig of the plant in his hat.

Could the family have held onto this design for generations?

A sprig of the broom plant that the name Plantagenet refers to.


Cindy P. said...

Explains my fascination with Fleur de Lis or perhaps why my Spanish teacher in college thought I spoke Spanish with a French accent :) And what wonderful memories of granny's pie design - Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

clayartist said...

My French teacher kept calling me, "You Canadian." So I switched to Spanish.
Happy Holidays,

Anonymous said...

I think it's neat to cut design into your pie crust! Never thought of it! But the French branch of my family came to New Rochelle, NY fleeing the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, so I love the fleur de lis design! Thanks for the ideas! PS- I too was told my Spanish had a French Accent! lol