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Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving’

Me Making Pie in 1959

The Zen of Pie Dough

(click above to read)

I wrote this about seven years ago. It came to me while I was making the Thanksgiving pies. I remember thinking the words while I rolled out my pie dough and worried I would forget it, so I wiped my hands on my apron, grabbed a legal pad and wrote it out in one fell swoop! The hard drive with the original piece crashed long ago, but I was fortunate enough to have it published – here is a PDF.

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Pie baking, stuffing, sweet potatoes… Let’s live blog Thanksgiving!!

We begin with the pies. Here is a picture from my vintage 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook…

Vintage pies

We are making pumpkin (naturally) and pecan! But first … my favorite part of Thanksgiving – my mother’s pumpkin pie recipe:

NOW! Onto the pie baking!

Crumble 2/3's cup of butter into 2 cups of flour until it kinda looks like cornmeal

Add 1/4 cup of REALLY cold water and gather into a ball - flour the table and get EX CALIBER the rolling pin... more about EX CALIBER later.....

Roll, roll, roll

Place in pie pan and trim so you have will tidbits for cinnamon rollups

Flute edges by pinching with thumb and index finger - PRETTY!

 

The pie filling - made with CREAM!!!

Make cinnamon rollups with left over dough: roll, slather with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon, rollup!

Bake on an upside down cake pan that is dented and old and belonged to your grandmother probably. They taste better if baked this way.

TIME FOR YOUR CLOSE UP, Cinnamon rollups!

Here is a pecan pie recipe – do all the same stuff except with pecans and dark corn syrup this time!

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Pilgrims - An illustration for an old children's book

I love Thanksgiving. I love stuffing the turkey, making the pies, deciding how to prepare the sweet potatoes…I have a couple of recipes one old, one new. My daughter was born the night before Thanksgiving and her birthday falls every so often on this best of family holidays, in fact her birthday is today! I have so much to be thankful for… My husband, my darling, beautiful daughter, the life of my mother, my sisters, my gorgeous nieces, nephews, beloved first cousins a surviving uncle and his dear wife, the wonderful men I work for… I know there are more who should be on the list… like… my friends, near and far. What an amazing country we live in…

I hate to read stories about school districts and municipalities which are suppressing the traditional story of Thanksgiving such as this one. Making construction paper pilgrim hats, or drawing turkey feathers by tracing my little girl hands provide an especially strong memory of my little girl grade school years. The religiosity of Thanksgiving is part of our heritage, the relationship with the Indians, the Native Americans the Pilgrims encountered and were assisted by, can and should be told romantically. I am weary of political correctness. Let’s retain SOME of our traditions.

One of my favorite books from my girlhood was “Constance, A story of Early Plymouth by Patricia Clapp. I think I read it in fourth grade, but it gave me a firm foundation in understanding the Pilgrim story and the challenges they faced their first hard winter here in the New World. Naturally, it was written to appeal to a young, romantic reader such as myself. There was a a wonderful mix of romance and the hard realities of life experienced by those early Pilgrim souls. For years after reading the book, I wanted to name my child Damaris – the name of Constance’s younger sister. I checked “Constance” out of my public library in Naperville, Illinois in 1969 or so. Later, when Amazon came around, I ordered a used copy, so I would always have it, to share with my grandchildren someday.  I think it is out of print, which is a shame…

Apparently, the author is a descendant of the real Constance, who left the Pilgrim colony with her family to farm independently. The book is written as a diary and it is compelling reading, even if you are all grown up.

Have a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving….

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