I typically start my list of things to buy for Thanksgiving the first week in November, starting with ordering my turkey and ham at the local butcher. Each time I go to the grocery store during the month, I buy a few things on the list so I am not shopping for everything at once and still enjoying the process of getting ready for the big day. This is my very favorite holiday of the year and an assortment of different kinds of pies are my favorite things to prepare for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving at our house is a little different since it falls near or on my birthday, and I prefer pie for my birthday instead of cake each year. I have always had fresh blackberry pie to celebrate my birthday and look forward to the warm, sweet taste of blackberries in homemade pies during Thanksgiving. I have a large family and we have several 'favorite pies' on our list. One of our favorite pies is lemon meringue!
Pumpkin and apple pie are also a family favorite. I like to make both using my grandmother’s recipes. I always pour a little brandy into my pumpkin pie mixture and go heavy on the seasoning. I also use a couple of different apple varieties in my apple pie and slice them finely when combining them with all the seasoning and sugar.
When the apple pie is done, the apples inside are almost like applesauce - a rich, light brown color covered in cinnamon and sugar. I can almost taste it now! For a little extra fun, you can combine blackberry pie and apple pie to create a delicious blackberry apple pie.
Regardless of the pie flavor, be sure to have some fun with the crust. Whether you make your pie crust from scratch or use the easy roll-out type from the grocery store you can make your pies unique by adding some personality to the crust on top.
Use extra dough to cut out leaves along the edge or create a basket weave, like this strawberry pie. This year, I purchased a new wooden rolling pin that is embossed with holiday designs that will leave an imprint on the top crust. I can’t wait to see how that turns out!
My wish is that you enjoy Thanksgiving, whether you are celebrating old traditions or creating new ones. This is the best time of year to reflect on what you are thankful for in life and celebrate the day with those you love. Whether you're with family, friends, or a combination of both, I recommend starting the meal by having everyone at the table share a few words about what they are thankful for. Of course, my teenagers roll their eyes at the "what I am thankful for" tradition, but each year I am surprised at some of the wonderful things they manage to say.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and the ending to the day with a plate full of your favorite flavors of pie. It's okay to try more than on, just use my mother’s line, “I will just have a small sliver of each….”