Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Wednesday, again?

It’s blog day but it’s also pie day and I am exhausted. I only baked seventeen pies today. When I first took over the Thanksgiving pies for the big family gathering, I baked on Wednesday and on Thursday morning and I made up to thirty-two pies. My mom made the turkey and I just transported lots of pies from my house to hers. I have an amazing collection of Tupperware pie stackers.

My mom is gone now and my husband makes the turkey, so I don’t have access to the oven on Thanksgiving morning. That’s why Wednesday is pie day. I actually start Tuesday evening by making the filling for the eggnog pies. That needs to chill for a while and it’s also a pain to make, so I get it out of the way early. I was feeling lethargic yesterday, so I thought making that filling would feel like a chore, but it didn’t. As soon as I started putting ingredients in a pan, I could feel my shoulders start to relax. “Oh, yeah,” I thought, “this is pie-making. I like this.”

I am not good at many things, but I am good at making pies. It makes me happy, even when I make seventeen of them in a day. I get tired, but I have a good time. I still mix my pie crust by hand, in a stainless steel bowl, with a fork. These days, most folks who make pie crust from scratch use a food processor. Even Martha Stewart uses a food processor, but not releaf1954. I have to do it the old-fashioned way. This is a tradition and I don’t mess with tradition.

It also seems to be a tradition to start the day with a quick bowl of cereal and then try to get by on spare eggnog and coffee until all the pies are done. I guess that could be one reason I’m so tired. At least I came up with supper.

Pie scraps

Pie scraps with sugar and cinnamon


See?

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Pie

I thought if there was one week in the year it would be impossible for me to put up a Wednesday blog post, it would be this week. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and today is my pie-baking day. I bake a lot of pies, so it’s a busy day. I spent my day transforming my dining room table from this:

My Painting Mess

My Painting Mess


To this:
Cleared Table

Cleared Table


And then to this:
Pies

Pies


Those are only some of the pies I baked today. At the time the picture was taken, there were already two in the refrigerator. There were also two in the oven and there were three I was still putting together. We host a big family gathering on Thanksgiving. This is still way more pie than we need. Why do I do it? I’m not quite sure. I just love pie and I became the family pie-baker while my mother was still hosting the gathering at her house. In those days, I would make up to thirty pies. I have cut back, now that mom is gone and there’s a turkey in my own oven on Thanksgiving morning.

My mom loved pie, too. That’s one reason I made so many. She wanted plenty of leftovers and I was happy to make them for her. I was happy to make them for everyone. My middle brother, also gone now, always used to take a pumpkin and a pecan home with him. Other siblings took other pies. Nieces and nephews got their favorites, too. Not as many go out the door whole any more, but I still send lots of pie home with relatives.

I also keep a few here in order to honor my favorite holiday tradition. Other people can go out shopping on Black Friday. I stay home and watch Christmas videos while eating leftover pie. I will start with Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas. My list always includes The Muppet Family Christmas and The Muppet Christmas Carol, too. Then I’ll probably run through a few other versions of A Christmas Carol, including the Albert Finney “Scrooge,” The Alistair Sim “Scrooge,” and the one from 1938 that’s full of Lockharts.

I have animated versions, too – Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Magoo’s Christmas Carol and the Disney one that’s so intense I won’t let small children watch it. I even have a version that’s a Western, starring Jack Palance. I am not kidding.

Do I like this story much? What can I say? I am just a sucker for redemption.

And pie.

Let Me Be Grateful

It’s blog time again and I’m not sure what to write about. It’s just been an embarrassment of riches, this week. I validated my NaNoWriMo novel, I baked seventeen pies, I hosted a warm, wonderful, love-filled family gathering on Thanksgiving and my daughter and I finished all the tie-dye we wanted to get done for Small Business Saturday at the local arts market. We loaded it all up in the van, so we’re ready to go bright and early tomorrow morning. I even got a chance to eat leftover pie and watch “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas” today, which is my favorite Black Friday tradition. I was feeling tired, but happy and grateful when I went to Facebook.

I just wanted to send out something from the tie-dye page to let folks know about Small Business Saturday but, of course, I ended up looking at my newsfeed and it was full of things “friends” were sending out, apparently with the intent to make as many people as possible angry and/or sad. I don’t understand why people feel the need to do this.

“Oh, you’re feeling happy and grateful? I can fix that.”

Please don’t. I have things in my life that make me feel thankful; let me be thankful. Don’t tell me I’m not allowed to be thankful because evil Europeans killed a lot of Native Americans several hundred years ago. Yes, that was evil and wrong, but it is not evil or wrong for me to be thankful now for the good things in my life. It’s appropriate.

Don’t tell me I’m not allowed to enjoy my pie and my heartwarming Christmas videos because lots of crazy people are running over each other in big box stores today. It’s greed; it’s horrible and I am apparently supposed to be appalled, all day long, that this sort of thing is going on. I don’t want to be appalled, okay? It’s their choice to be out in the malls and it’s my choice to stay home and watch videos. If it makes them happy to shop, let them shop. I can’t make decisions for them. Neither can any of the people posting about it on Facebook, but they sure are angry about it, and they want to make everyone else angry about it, too. Why? Do they think that’s the way to make the world a better place?

I don’t. The only way to make the world a better place is to put more love into it. The world doesn’t need more anger or sadness, so why are people going out of their way to promote anger and sadness all over the internet? Look, I have been fighting depression for years and the one thing I know for sure is that you can’t fight darkness with darkness. Light is what makes a difference. You find a little bit of light and you grab it and hold on to it and do everything you can to make it grow. I am putting my attention into light, because that’s what I want more of.

Yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. Feel free to report me to the grammar police.