Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pie to the Power of Pumpkin

There's something very wrong about referring to a Thanksgiving dessert in math terms, but since I've spent so much time lately helping one child with algebra II and another child with pre-algebra, and a third child with algebra I ... well, you can see why I've started speaking math phrases.

Thankfully, though, (did you like that segue there?), this post is not about math. It's about pie. We're not really pie people in our family. Probably because I'm not much of a pie chef. If I'm going to bake, I'd rather be doing cookies or cakes.

There is one time of year, however, when pies are an absolute necessity. And that would be at Thanksgiving. We always have pumpkin pie and chocolate pie as part of our Thanksgiving Day dessert. I usually also make some third choice because having the same thing every year can get monotonous. (This year my daughter-in-law is bringing that third choice. Yea!) Even when I branch out, though, I get complaints if the requisite pumpkin and chocolate pie choices aren't part of the equation.

Sorry. Slipped a little math back in.

At any rate, I'm not all about the pie crust. I've made them from scratch before--I've made pretty good crusts from scratch, if I do say so myself. But when I eat pie, I'm not admiring the flaky crust. I want the filling. And the whipped topping. That's the reason for pie as far as I'm concerned. I've done enough "from scratch" that I don't feel the need to prove my abilities every year. So most years I go with a ready-made pie crust.

I've also made the pie fillings from scratch. In fact, one year I actually cut up and canned a pumpkin, and then used that to make my pumpkin pie. I mean, you can't get anymore homemade than that! But since the kitchen is not my favorite room in the house, most years I settle for Libby's canned pumpkin pie filling. My family likes it too, so why mess with what works?

As for chocolate, jello pie/pudding mix works for me. And my family actually prefers the taste to a homemade chocolate pie. (maybe they just prefer the taste to my homemade chocolate pie, but that's another blog post.) The important thing is, I'm pleasing my family and getting off easy at the same time.

It just makes no sense to me to spend all that time on homemade efforts that aren't worth the trouble, at least as far as my family's tastebuds are concerned. I've got to spend all my effort on the stuffing and mashed potatoes (both from scratch, thank you very much). Plus the dozen other sides that go with a traditional Boyd Thanksgiving Dinner.

Now Christmas dessert? That's a whole 'nother story. We're probably having Cheesecake Factory cheesecake.

Hey, we don't mess with tradition.

P.S. What about you? Does the dessert make the meal, and will the family forgive you if you don't slave over every aspect of it yourself?


  1. I'm bringing the mashed potatos (from scratch) and the pumpkin pie (from Krogers) to our family get together. So hopefully the from scratch part won't matter to them. It doesn't to us. In fact, I'm sure mine would prefer me to buy it...if you get my drift. ha

  2. With my dad, a meal wasn't complete if there wasn't dessert to follow, but my husband, not so much. His idea of dessert does not often expand beyond a chocolate chip cookie or a dish of vanilla ice cream. I so miss my mother and all her yummy dessert recipes, like pies and cakes and cobblers and crumbles, etc, etc. All made from scratch. So now if I make a peach cobbler say, then I am the only one to eat it and my waistline can't handle it so I no longer make anything other than a chocolate chip cookie and buy only vanilla ice cream. Enjoy your pie!

  3. I think in a blind taste test you'd be hard pressed to tell which was homemade and which was Pillsbury. I used to insist on everything from scratch-this year I got my gravy from the butcher. It is homemade giblet gravy and truth be told is probably better than mine as I've never really mastered the art of gravy. Trying to focus on the people more and the work less : ) Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I made pies this year too, although I usually buy them. This time I just bought the pie crust. I cannot make pie crust, even if my life depended on it. Thank God it does not!

    Chocolate pie would be a hit with my kids (and me). I should try it.


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