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Now this last contribution has a real funny pedigree. I have a dear friend Sharon who lives in Florida on the space coast. She's from Arkansas by way of St Louis originally, and she has what has to be the broadest drawl, though she says she has no accent!!
I asked her for a favourite Christmas memory, just like I asked everyone else, Ms Sharon sent me a Thanksgiving one instead!! Oh well, a memory is a memory so here it is.
This story I'm not sure if I really remember it happening or not, but it has always been around and talked about every Thanksgiving.
My grandmother on my mom's side was a woman who everyone loved and she never put any real demands on the family except for one; EVERY Thanksgiving would be spent at her house. This meant that all 12 of her children and all of their children would attend. No questions. And you best be on your deathbed if you and your family were not going to be there. *laughing* The other rule was that she always baked the pies, 'cause she felt hers were better than anyone else's in the family. Which, now that I look back on it, they where! My grandmother made a piecrust so light and flaky, she would put anyone to shame. I have tried, as did my mother, to make her recipe come out the way granny's did, but so far it never has. Deep down we think she took her real trick to the grave with her.
Thanksgiving day was not a day that you slept in and didn't appear until it was time to eat. No, we got up, got dressed and went to Grannie's house long before 9am. By this time, she already had things rolling and chores ready and waiting for each daughter and daughter-in-law to do. This was a REAL family dinner. All of us kids got shooed outside to play and the men had to watch us and entertain us. There weren't too many Thanksgivings where it was really cold outside, just nippy. Grannie had a screened in back porch that served a lot of purposes. That is where drinks were kept for us and of course the famous PIE cooling table!!!!
Also, it was well known that Grannie was a lover of cats, which I guess I have gotten from her. But on this day the cats were sent outside and WERE not to be let in the house while all the cooking was going on.
The smells that came from my Grannie's oven where the most wonderful things. All warm and good. It made you feel all the love she had for her family. She took such pride in her family and her cooking. Sometimes there was a question as to which she really loved the most, her kids or her cooking!!!
Sitting down together was also a thing that was important to her and in the basement of her home was a table that my uncles and my grandfather and dad had built many years before I was around.
As wonderful as the meal was, the biggie was dessert. The smell of my grandmother's pumpkin pies, and the taste! Even as I sit here and write this, I can close my eyes and almost smell and feel her pie in my mouth.
After all of the turkey dinner was gone, fresh milk and fresh coffee was placed on the table and Grandma would march up the stars to get the pumpkin pies off the pie table on the screened back porch. The added excitement was she would pick a few of her grandchildren to help her carry one of the eight she baked that morning. I was remembering just waiting till I was old enough and big enough to help. And every time Grandma appeared at the bottom of the steps, everyone clapped and oohhhhhhhhhh'd and awhhhhhhhhh'd her pies. HOWEVER, there was one year she was screaming her brains out and three of my cousins came running back down stairs laughing and saying; "OH man, Grannie is upset and someone is in biggggggggggggggggg trouble!" It seemed that sometime while everyone was coming in and going downstairs to eat, Blackie, a rather large short-haired cat, had gotten on the porch and had had himself a Thanksgiving dinner. Not from just one pie, but all eight of them! Some were eaten in the middle, and others had kitty prints in them. After a pause my grandfather said; "Well LenaMay, see you changed things this year, pumpkin pie complete with kitty prints!" Everyone started laughing and the day went on. From that day on and to this day our pumpkin pies are known in the family as PUMPKIN PIE COMPLETE WITH KITTY PRINTS!!!!!
(Sometimes my Grannie added one cup of raisins and 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves for Raisin Pumpkin Pie)
Prepare and roll out your own pie pastry.
In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin sugar and cinnamon salt ginger and nutmeg, then add eggs: lightly beat eggs into pumpkin mixture with a fork, add the evaporated milk and milk and mix very well.
Place pie pan on oven rack and pour your mixture into the shell filling it completely full,
to prevent over browning of pie crust place foil in a thin strip around the edge of the pie.
BAKE in a 375 oven for 25 min remove foil and bake another 30 min or until a knife comes out of the center clean.
Yields: 1 deep dish pie
Though we all have times in our lives when we think it will never get better, we somehow always manage to pull past them and carry on. That's something to be most thankful for.
From my house to yours, may you be blessed with all you wish for this holiday season, but mostly, may you have peace and happiness and love.