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Grandma Chef Tootie Bosch shares her tips to make the perfect pie



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When we heard that her kids bring home her pie crusts in their suitcases, we knew we had to learn her pie-making tricks! 

Meet Tootie . . . her real name is Phyllis Bosch but Tootie, her nickname from birth, captures the essence of this amazing 90 year old Grandma who is famous for her pies, entertaining and her spunk. At 90 years young she could run circles around many of us.  Her son laughed and said, “She had a heart attack and breast cancer and we thought it would slow her up,  but it almost made her go faster.” Her “you get what you see and I don’t hold my tongue back” attitude even inspired a book written about her titled “I’ve Been Thinking” an autobiography with stories about Tootie from family and friends. 

Roots and Wings

Tootie’s mother immigrated from Sweden when she was 13 and her father was from Canada. 

Tootie was born in Wolford, North Dakota. She grew up “poor, poor. . but I didn’t know it.” I felt loved and always had a lot of food!” At age 10, her family opened up a restaurant attached to a hotel. The family moved into the hotel and each year she got to choose which hotel room she lived in. She and her sister learned her cooking and baking skills from her mom and her grandma. Her sister then opened a restaurant called “The Coffee Shop” in Rugby, ND where they were famous for their baked goods. 

Tootie the party planner! 

She is the resident party planner at the HighPointe Apartment complex.  Tootie only avoids the action in the complex if people are sitting there and “just complaining.” As the social butterfly, Tootie is happiest when she is organizing social events–bridge parties, a Thanksgiving party with 50 sweet potato stuffed oranges and individual pies, New Years Eve Parties, monthly dinner parties. She winters in Florida where she leads the “Dip-N-Dot” group. A group of ladies in their 50s and 60s (besides Tootie) who meet each day to create Diamond Dotz art projects. She’s excited to get started on her next creation: Santa on a Motorcycle.

I said if you were to work at 701 you’d be the event planner. . “yeah but I go south in the winter” 

Tootie’s famous pie crust. . .it’s all in the fat and the freezing

At most parties she plans, her pies are a staple of the menu. It took her daughter-in-law, Vicky Bosch, 25 years of marriage to get this recipe for Tooties pie crust. 

We had Tootie visit us at 701 eateries to give us the tips and tricks to make the perfect pie crust. She and her sister used to use lard but then switched to butter flavored Crisco “which is so amazing”. The right crust has a certain feel that is indescribable but most importantly you need to freeze the dough (and thaw it out before rolling) out. If it gets a little dry, “I just put my hands in water and then use my hands to wet the dough”.  She makes all types of pie but she is known for her Pirette and Coconut Cream pies. Her homemade pudding in these pies are what makes these her favorite. 

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