Designing Pies and Giving Thanks

November 25, 2010

Everyone has their own Thanksgiving traditions – one of ours is all about pies. Our grandmother, Dee Dee, was the pie baker of perfect pies. Feather has continued with her recipes and added some of her own – or in the case of the pumpkin chiffon, Charlie Gibson’s recipe – yes, ABC’s Charlie Gibson! From traditional pecan to classic apple and traditional pumpkin pies, the pumpkin chiffon has joined the ranks at our Thanksgiving table.
I told Feather that if she were to sell these pies, she would have to charge $300.00 per pie as the care and attention to detail that she devotes to each is astonishing. These are not production pies! They are masterful pieces of deliciously edible art – they are flakey of crust and delicate, yet rich of flavors and are even requested by the up-coming generation in lieu of birthday cakes! The kids eagerly await their birthdays to request their favorite pie as their birthday pastry of choice!
Some will want a big chunk of cheddar cheese alongside their apple and others will prefer a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. Some want them warmed and others don’t care. With the initial introduction of the pumpkin chiffon, for example, some were dismayed that they might not ever have their traditional pumpkin again – regardless of how fine and fabulous the new version might be – traditions are hard to let go, which brought us to the detail of brown sugared walnuts sprinkled in the circle on top of Dee Dee’s traditional pumpkin pie – a detail that I adore. Feather piped up that she never cared for the nuts on top – I exclaimed with total disbelief – “How could you NOT love those nuts on the top?” To which she simply replied, “I just didn’t.” “So”, she continued, “I guess you’ll be missing those nuts this year.” which now is bothering me no end as I think about how I love those nuts on top of the traditional pumpkin pie.
Yesterday, when one of the men was sent to the store with a last minute grocery list – one question was “What type of whipping cream?” At which point we all turned and looked incredulously in his direction and I asked “What on earth do you mean, what kind of whipping cream?” To his defense came a kinder voice – “well, I see why you asked that.” He replied, “Well yes, there is whipping cream in the carton and the squirt out of a can – and I guess that’s all.” And she quietly said, “Yes well, I prefer the carton, that’s what I meant.” I can just imagine what would have happened had he arrived with a can of squirtable whipped cream – EVEN if it were to say that it is all dairy! And then there was the package of shelled edamame instead of the requested frozen green peas – well anyone can make that mistake.
So go forth this Thanksgiving Day and I hope that you have the flavors and friends, family and festivity that you deserve and desire – for which we are all very thankful. As for me, I guess I’ll be missing those nuts this year – but other things considered, not much to miss with all the other bountiful things for which to give much thanks.

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