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View Diary: My Thanksgiving Menu. (96 comments)

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  •  Cranberries, but pie also... (14+ / 0-)

    I voted for cranberries, because they are so ruby red and sensationally sharp. Best dish I made with them: cranberry & kumquat relish. You prepare them separately then mix at the last minute to retain the distinct colors. Really nice. But I digress...
    At my home growing up we always had friends and acquaintances come over who didn't have somewhere to be on Thanksgiving. One year a friend who had been in a hospital for a while had a pass to come home for the holiday, but his family had left town for the South of France or who knows where. Brutal, right? So I asked my mom if he could come. She said sure. Then she said, ask him what his favorite kind of pie is. She was planning to make the usual pumpkin for my dad and sister (neither she nor I like it), and the usual apple because it's the season, and who doesn't like it... but thought as his situation was difficult she'd make something special too. He chose blueberry, and was blown away that someone would "go to the trouble." [NB my mom could make pies in her sleep, blindfolded, one hand tied behind her back... from scratch... so she didn't think of it as "trouble."]
    Anyway, more people started turning up and for each new guest on a whim she asked the same question - "What's your favorite kind of pie?" That year we had 11 pies on the table. All different. Each in front of the person who chose it. Strawberry-rhubarb (me - from her garden); blueberry for my friend with the absent-in-all-ways family; pumpkin; apple; mince; banana cream; peach; pecan; coconut cream; cherry and lemon meringue. It got to be funny after about the fifth or sixth, as we kept thinking someone would repeat a favorite flavor that had already been mentioned, but no... all different. We had a cake too - because my mother the pie chef has her birthday on the 25th of November and that year it was Thanksgiving, or close enough.
    She no longer bakes, nor gardens, though the fruits of her prior labors still bear in the raspberry patch gone wild and from the pear tree. Her memory fails... but I remember, with love. She'll be 90 this Sunday. She has been a blessing to those she touched with her playful and generous spirit. I hope to be like her when I grow up.

    Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that would be one step toward obtaining it. --Henry David Thoreau

    by pam on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:48:08 PM PST

    •  11 pies! Whoa I think I would probably (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pam, chuckvw, blueoasis, Pandoras Box, Ice Blue

      go into shock because of course I would have to try each one.  :)

      •  The surprise was the best part... (6+ / 0-)

        ... when we knew there was a really Fun Thing going on with this, we didn't tell anyone else. Borrowed a few pie pans; most of the fruit was in the freezer anyway, so didn't have to get much except maybe coconut or some random ingredient. We cleared the table from the main course and had to take away all the serving dishes to make room for pie after pie. It was great seeing their faces.
        Seriously though, she doesn't even measure. It's all just "eyeballin'" the amounts. I can cook, but she could always out-bake me any day. Thanks for your post, FightingRegistrar.

        Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that would be one step toward obtaining it. --Henry David Thoreau

        by pam on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:57:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I usually have enough leftover (4+ / 0-)

          crackberry sauce to bake a 'day after' pie. That's the usual whole cranberry sauce with the recipe on the back, plus a freezer quart of blackberries (or mixed with blueberries, raspberries, etc.). With a teaspoon of corn starch stirred in well when you take it off the stovetop.

          To go with leftover pumpkin and apple pies, of course, with vanilla bean ice cream...

    •  What a great story. And a great mom. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pandoras Box, FightingRegistrar, pam

      I love it that your house was open to all who needed a place to go. I hope to create that feeling; I guess we're starting this year, since almost half of our guests are not family. But the pie idea is another level of hospitality all together.
      Happy birthday to your mom this week. Mine turns 90 in 3 more weeks.

      I'm seeking to organize DKos members in SE Michigan--roughly, from the Ohio line at Lake Erie NE to Port Huron, W to Flint and back S from there. If you'd like to join our new group, Motor City Kossacks (working title), please Kosmail me.

      by peregrine kate on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:59:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  what a great story! Your mom is amazing! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FightingRegistrar, pam

      I too love strawberry rhubarb!  

    •  i didn't realize how moved I was by this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FightingRegistrar, pam

      until i just now read this out loud to my hubby and just teared up!  it was hard to finish the story...

      thanks so much for sharing this

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