Friday, November 27, 2009

Pie Day... how was yours?

The day before Thanksgiving is the "great and dreadful day"... That entire day is devoted to making pie for the most important meal of the year. Whether we have the big meal at my home, or somewhere else - I always make the pie. The most I've made at a time is eighteen - but who's counting? This year I made thirteen. (I love it until about 10:00 at night - then my feet really hurt and I've had enough)

These are my favorite tools I've come to depend on over the years. I've worn out my favorite rolling pin and replaced it this year with a fancy-schmancey Wilton brand. An egg separator is a MUST when you make meringue with dozens of eggs. Pampered Chef makes a heavenly pastry blender that doesn't kill my hand - even when making over eight batches of pastry. A silicone covered whisk is wonderful with my teflon pans. But my favorite you ask? It is the beaten & banged up, bent beyond recognition aluminum one-cup measure. I've used it for over thirty-five years to measure out shortening and it is dear to my heart.

I used to use chili beans on top of a sheet of foil to hold down the pastry for one-crust cream pies. But I found this heavy chain of beads that I use now. After making so many pies, I can't handle the smell of burnt dried beans.

At the beginning of the day, I gather up all my ingredients and put out my pie tins. (Did I mention they're not pretty?) Some of my favorites are the Costco tins that come as a bonus with their pies. You can't find a large size like that in a substantial material anywhere - I think they must be at least 12 - 14". With so many kinds being made - I have to put post-it notes in each pile to keep me on track during the day.

This photo was taken over four years ago, and it was an "off year" where we only had twenty five people coming to dinner. Today we had forty-seven. So that's why it took thirteen pies. My kids always liked to line them up at the end of the day before the carnage began on Thanksgiving.

Our favorites are (1) Banana Cream (2) Lemon Meringue (3) Pecan (4) Cherry or Apple (5) Pumpkin (6) Coconut (7) A new choice each year - this year was Blackberry and a new variety of Apple.

We take a nap after dinner and then work on clearing out those pie tins... After a little shut-eye, we decided to be daring and go to the Jammie Jam at our mall tonight at 12:00 (AM that is...) Never again... I can watch scary teenage hordes at my local high school in broad daylight - night time was an enlightening experience.

Drop a little comment and let me know your favorite pie "tools"...

Coming after we wake up tomorrow - fun ways to use your leftovers...

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