Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Pies Are Baked

Blanche DuBois always relied on the kindness of strangers. I count on the generosity of relatives. When I was in college and my parents snuck off to Italy, I went to my Grandmother’s house in Alabama for Thanksgiving. When we were first married, we moved back to our home town and ate at the in-laws. The one Thanksgiving we have ever actually held at our house was when my parents visited us in West Palm Beach on their way to Key West.

Ever since we moved to Maryland, we have gone to whatever relative within driving distance was having a Thanksgiving dinner. And I consider Boston within driving distance of Baltimore. Lately we have been going to my aunt and uncle who have a weekend house about 60 miles from us. These are the same relatives that have the very cute grand-daughter.

In order to not appear as a complete freeloader, I bring pies. Last night I baked an apple pie, two chocolate pies, and two pumpkin pies. My son helped with the chocolate pies since he is the choco-holic of the family. He also sliced the apples for the apple pie.

The pumpkin pies are my specialty. I make my pumpkin pie filling from scratch. When we carve jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween, I save the scrapings and use it for pumpkin meat. I take all the scraped meat and cook it down in a crockpot for 8-12 hours and then completely drain it. I then freeze the cooked pumpkin in quart sized Chinese soup containers until Thanksgiving. Real pumpkin makes for a coarser richer pie than canned, but I like the texture better and the pies aren’t as sickeningly sweet as store bought pies.

This year my son had no desire to carve a jack-o’-lantern, so I was worried that I would have to resort to canned pumpkin for the first time. Fortunately, a coworker took pity on me and gave me his leftover painted pumpkins. I don’t know when painting pumpkins became the cruelty-free politically-correct alternative to carving pumpkins but I am grateful.

When all was said and done I ended up with four quarts of pumpkin, twice as much as I usually get since I could slice these painted pumpkins to the skin. I may have to cook a few pies for the office and my coworker just to get it off my hands.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is a completely secular but richly spiritual holiday. There are no decorations or gifts to buy. Just food and family. I hope everyone enjoys a safe and happy holiday.

And I actually googled this quiz instead of running across it. Does it tell you what pie you are?

find your inner PIE @ stvlive.com

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Anonymous said...

I'm a peach pie, which is unfortunate because I don't even like peach pie. I was hoping for cherry, or pecan.

Anonymous said...

I am also a peach pie. I thought for sure that confessing to being "nuts" would get me pecan, but no.

yellojkt said...

I think I forgot to add sugar to the pumpkin pies. I brought one into the office and it tastes horrible.

Your Mother said...

I'm a peach pie. hmmmm

Mooselet said...

I am a lemon meringue - "the perfect combo of sassy and sweet!" Very true.

I also loved Thanksgiving, because I like to eat. Unfortunately, I don't like to cook. Being in Australia gets me out of Turkey Day, as it's too damn hot to have the oven going all day long. At least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! There is an association that does a traditional dinner, but at $80 a pop and a family of 5 I'd have to skip buying groceries for a couple of weeks.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Mooselet said...

Well, yellojkt, at least you discovered it before you brought the pies to the relatives! Quick, defrost those containers and get cooking.

JoeC said...

Hiya, i juz love pies, I like meat pies better, like those pork pies. I think the year end is really big thingy almost everywhere, over here, we've got school holidays, similar to the summer break over there, so, it is a very festive and relax time for pplz all around. Have a happy and safe thanksgiving weekend then. Cheers!

kenju said...

I am Apple Pie too, although that is not my favorite. I prefer pumpkin, and pecan is my second choice.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Michele sent me.

Dak-Ind said...

happy thansgiving, surfed in from michele's!