Thanksgiving and the holiday season is right around the corner and I just can’t wait to chow down on all the tasty treats sure to be in every house for the next month or so. Our house will have its fair share but it might be a little lighter this year than in the past as we try to get our waist lines under control once again, but that didn’t stop my mother in-law from asking what food item we wanted to see on the table because to us, it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it. I heartily screamed “Pecan pie!…. Cherry Pie!……Apple Pie!…..Blueberry Pie!…..Peach Pie!!!!" You get the idea? I’ve got a thing for pie.
Thanksgiving morning would see us hitting the field for a half day of searching down rabbits, grouse, and pheasant in the woods and fields of Northeast Pennsylvania where I grew up. Grandpa joined us a couple times before his death (even though I don’t remember him firing a shot throughout the day) choosing to spend his time tromping through the brush with his boys and then settling down to a hearty meal followed by an extended nap. It wasn’t about the hunting so much as about the experience. We were immersed in the scents of goldenrod, hemlock, hickory, skunk cabbage, swamp muck, and dirty dogs by the time our hunt ended after which we'd return home tired and dirty (with or without fresh meat) to the smells of turkey, cranberries, stuffing, and of course PIE. I could have devoured the apple pie and forgone the rest if it had been left up to me, but there are rules.
Those are the days I remember and dream about the most when I look back to the years before I met my wonderful wife and her daughter (now my oldest). We’ve gone on to add another daughter and a granddaughter to our Florida family and it’s about time we start our own thanksgiving traditions like I remember from the past.
My mother’s Dutch apple pie was always right there at the top of the list so she made, alas created, along with a few others for Thanksgiving desert. It always had the right sweetnesss, tartness, and the perfect flakey crust and crunchy topping that served just as well for breakfast the next day as it did at the end of our Thanksgiving meal. My father and I would almost fight for the last piece a day or so later but he always won out with "Who paid for it?" That’s al right because I pull the same trick here in my house.
There isn’t much else on the menu I’m looking forward with quite as much anticipation. Oh sure I like all the other trimmings but it must be the kid in me that just loves to eat the sweet stuff rather than the main meal. I’d likely be a few sizes larger if it weren’t for my wife rationing the pies and my father insisting that he get the last piece of the season. Thanksgiving was over when we’d had our fill and the guns were cleaned up after the morning hunt completing the olfactory journey that included goldenrod, wet dogs, turkey, apple pie, and Hoppies No. 9. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Brian "Beastman” Eastman
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