Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Pie, A Bird, A King

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye. Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie. When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing; wasn't that a dainty dish,to set before the king?

Today as I write this post I'm reminded about "Sing A Song Of Sixpence", that famous nursery rhyme. I made a Stop Along The Way last week at Harrow's to pick up a pie for myself and my friend. My niece happens to work there so for me it was a double "yummy" stop. There was quite a bustle going on that day. People rushing in, rushing out with bags full of chicken pies. You could tell these customers had been here before, and were happy to be back. 

I peeked in the back window, and was amazed by the rows of pies lined up. It was at that point that I had to ask my niece if I could get a closer look. I was hoping she would sneak me behind the pie tins with a hair net on my head and send me on my way, but she's much smarter than that; she got Wally.  Walter Arsenault, "Wally", which suites his personality much better, is the owner along with his brother Dan. Wally was thrilled to show me around. You could see that he takes his chicken pies seriously. From production to counter his #1 priority is upholding a tradition that was started by Charlie Harrow back in 1930. 

Wally's father,Walter Arsenault started working for the Charlie Harrow back when he was a kid in the 1940s.  He eventually purchased the business in the 1950's.  Walter and his wife, Shirley, ran the business with a little help from the family. . .their seven children.  While different family members have come and gone, Dan and Wally Arsenault remain in the chicken pie making business.  They both began working at Harrows as young children, and eventually purchased the company from their father in 1995.  
Harrows Chicken Pies are still made the same way they were in the 1930, with slow cooked chicken and rich homemade gravy made from scratch everyday.  The pies are made just the way your grandmother would have made them sixty years ago, or the way you would if you had all day to spend in the kitchen. 
There won't be any birds flying out of these pie, but you can be sure that they are fit to serve a king!