Friday, November 19, 2010

First Annual Pie Night!

I haven't posted in a few weeks.  I have been having a grand time looking up pie recipes for my family's first annual pie night.  What a glorious sight!

What is pie night?  Pie night is a borrowed tradition from another family.  They have been celebrating pie night for over a generation.  Pie night started because the pies weren't receiving their just due when served on Thanksgiving day with all of the other delicious treats.  So Mee-ma told her 4 kids to each choose a pie, and she would make them each a pie plus one for her husband and herself, and they would dine on those pies on Thanksgiving Eve.  As the children grew and married and had children of their own, each family member got their own pie.  Those 4 kids are now grandparents themselves and still getting their own pie each year.  What a wonderful family legacy!

My family has a lot of time to make up, but we have to start somewhere!  Last night was our first annual.  We had 17 pies, 13 baked by me and the rest baked by friends. 

We had chess pie requested by my oldest son, S.  Chess pie is an old-fashioned pie made with vinegar and cornmeal - created and developed a long time ago by wonderfully ingenious farming mothers who made pie out of what they had on hand when they really didn't have anything on hand except staples.  But don't think that means it doesn't taste good!  It has a lovely, homey, humble flavor that satisfies your sweet tooth and your love for comfort food.

We had key lime pie for my oldest daughter, S.  I squeezed every one of those little key limes by hand.  If I made this regularly, I would invest in one of those key lime squeezers, but then I might lose the feeling of love as I squeeze each one for my daughter.

We had an applie pie for my younger son, D.  He likes one pie, and pretty much only one pie.  And don't put any ice cream on it.  Just give him apple pie, thank you.

And we had a pumpkin pie for my younger daughter, B, even though she was at class.  B may or may not like to party with people, so she was perfectly happy for us to hold Pie Night while she was at class.  All she wanted was a piece of pumpkin pie.  And then I "broke" it by garnishing it with whipped cream.  Sigh.  I will have to make a new one for Thanksgiving...

We had pecan and oreo and peach and banana cream and French silk and coconut cream and blueberry.  I think I made the coconut cream for me, but it was a toss up between that and the blueberry.  And while the coconut cream made with coconut milk and toasted coconut was the best of its kind I'd ever tasted, I have to say that the blueberry was my favorite of the night.  The blueberries were simmered in wine for about 45 minutes until the wine had been reduced to a wonderful syrup before mixing up the rest of the filling.  Yum!  The berries tasted so fruity and bright. 

We had custard pie, chocolate mint, chocolate chip, butterscotch meringue and peanut butter.  The sight was glorious to behold!  I told everyone there that Pie Night is one of the holiest nights of the year but some have yet to believe.  A night set aside and like no other night of the year.  I'm jus' sayin'...

My house is small, and we were packed in like sardines, but no one complained.  We ate pie, we drank tea and coffee and a cranberry tea punch and laughed and ate more pie. 

And at the end of the night, when it was just family left we planned our Thanksgiving dinner together.  That was a great feeling of each contributing to the whole.  We're not planning to do turkey or even stuffed turkey breasts with artichoke hearts and spinach.  We'll do a pork tenderloin with stuffing and roasted root vegetables plus brussels sprouts and wheat rolls.  Oh, and pumpkin pie for dessert plus the leftovers of the fruit pies from last night that are resting quietly in the freezer until next week.  And oh yea, I'm going in for the blueberry again.  No doubt.

Then my oldest son drove his grandma home and had one of the best conversations he'd ever had with her.  Talk about icing on the cake.  Er, well, on the pie....

Such a great night.  I can't wait to do it all again next year!