Pie NightWritten by Glynis Neves
What's Your Favorite Part of Thanksgiving?
Gather a group of people and ask them what their favorite part of Thanksgiving is, and you'll get a variety of answers: the turkey, cooked to a golden brown; the sweet potatoes, dripping with gooey marshmallows; the family gathered around the table, etc. There are am many "favorites" as there are people to ask. But, if you were to ask me, I would tell you that my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the pie.
As a young child, Thanksgiving meant a trip to my Aunt Martha's house. The big day started early with Aunt Martha prepping the turkey and getting it in the roaster on the counter (the oven was saved for the numerous side dishes she prepared). Then she'd start on the homemade rolls. This was my dad's favorite part. He would always find a reason to stay close by so he could snitch scraps of dough. Throughout the morning, Aunt Martha, my mother, and my Aunt Mary Ann would work on various side dishes: the stuffing (not in the bird), the mashed potatoes, vegetable trays, cranberry sauce... a veritable feast! While the feast was cooking, the rest of us would set the table, make place cards and try very hard to be patient. It was always a glorious feast, capped with beautiful pies: pumpkin, pecan, apple. Unfortunately, there was never much room to enjoy the pies after we'd all stuffed ourselves silly on turkey and all the trimmings.
A Fantastic Solution... And A New Family Tradition
After many years of this, Aunt Martha came up with a brilliant idea: an entire night devoted just to pie! Pie Night, as it came to be known, was set for the night before Thanksgiving. The idea was very simple: gorge on all the pie that you wouldn't have room for the next day. It was a huge success! Friends and family would gather in Aunt Martha's kitchen to admire all the pies. Each family who came to pie night would bring one or two, they would be displayed on the counter and cut into tiny slices (that way it was possible to sample many varieties).
Over the years, Pie Night has grown and expanded. My husband and I have added another Pie Night with his side of the family that has become a tradition for them. My cousin and her family took the tradition with them to London where they lived for a few years. It was a hit! Over the years, the tradition of Pie Night has travelled far and wide, and has become a loved memory for countless families. We invite you and your family to adopt this tradition. Simply invite a few friends or family over before Thanksgiving for pie. Remind them to bring a pie themselves, and prepare to dig in! You'll find that after a year or so, your table will groan under the weight of pie, and your house will be warmed with the love of friendship and family.
Family Storytelling asks you: What Holdiay traditions do you look forward to the most?
My Gift To You
In honor of Pie Night, I'd like to share with you the recipe for the first pie I ever successfully made. This recipe was given to me by my sister, Dorcas Woodward (who also took all the pictures in this article), and the recipe is really foolproof! I hope you enjoy it!
1 unbaked pie crust
1/2 C. flour
1 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 C. butter, melted and cooled
1 C. chopped nuts (Pecans are really good in this recipe)
1 C. chocolate chips (I prefer semi-sweet)
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all ingredients and pour into the unbaked pie crust. Bake 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees until set. Serve warm.
Just a note: this pie is wonderful with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Download the recipe for Derby Pie here!
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