The one pie my Grandma Bartlett made that I thought was strange was funeral pie. It's actually just raisin pie. Of course if you lace any dried fruit with brown sugar, eggs, cream and brandy and bake it in a good crust and top it with real cream or homemade ice cream you've got a winner.
I think what freaked us kids out was the family story that went with it. Tale of the black dog.... circa 1912.
The Bartletts were Irish dirt farmers from way back and kept the Irish tradition of the family wake for yrs. My Aunts Catherine and Virginia were around 8 and 10 when a cousin of theirs died by drowning.
It took a couple of weeks to find him and the corpse was found in a seated sort of pose. So poor cousin had to be tethered inside the coffin so he wouldn't sit up.
My aunts just wanted the grown ups to stop drinking and wailing and serve out the mountain of food (out in the yard behind the house of course.... cousin was ripe.) Grandpapa heard them fussing and sent them out with the promise of extra funeral pie if they were good .
So escaping the stinky death house, they went to see the tethered horses in front of the barn. While they were talking to the horses, a huge black dog the size of a Great Dane appeared on the path to the house.
The girls walked up to see the dog and he came towards them and started circling them very slowly. As he circled he got smaller and smaller and vanished.