My name is Emily Hilliard and I am a folklorist and writer living in Charleston, West Virginia after stints in D.C., Vermont, and North Carolina. Though I love the dessert itself, I also see pie as a lens for other topics of interest including folklore; history; traditional arts, music and foodways; and feminism, and I incorporate those themes into my writing and recipe selection. You can find more of my writing and media work here.
My friend Margaret and I started Nothing in the House in 2005. We had just graduated from college and we, along with other friends, spent the summer in Ann Arbor frequenting the farmers' market, foraging berries from trees and bushes in city parks and sidewalks, and baking a lot of pies (we did a lot of playing folk songs on the porch and late-night skinny dipping too, but I suppose that's beside the point). When I moved to Vermont that August, Margaret suggested that we start a pie blog, so we could continue our baking and keep in touch with each other through the pies we made. As the years have gone by (and Margaret became a celebrated poet!) the blog became mostly my project, though many friends have contributed their pie stories and recipes along the way.
Margaret and I, with eyes on pie
Why Nothing in the House?
We chose the name from a genre of pie-- "nothing-in-the-house" (also called "desperation pies) that became popular during the Great Depression. These were desserts made from few, inexpensive ingredients, like vinegar (chess) pie, cracker pie, or green tomato pie (read more here). It's a good name for the blog; it speaks to home-baker practical sensibilities and an appreciation for the history of pie and all those women and men out there who have used their ingenuity and wit to make something delicious and beautiful with what they have.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope that this blog brings a little joy and inspiration to you, your kitchen, and your pies. If you'd like to get in touch with any questions, story queries, catering requests, or just to say hello, you can either leave a comment or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in pie,
All photos by Emily Hilliard unless otherwise indicated
Logo designed by the wonderful Printed Appalachia