Forget Black Friday shopping, its more fun to spend the day in the kitchen making comfort food. The only thing I cooked on Thanksgiving was some hot spiced tea, so it didn’t quite satisfy the urge.
I missed my mother on Thanksgiving and I was also away from my other mother- my dad’s wonderful wife. She was across the country with her family, and baked a record 15 pies which I can guarantee (in absentia) were absolutely delicious.
Maybe it was the holiday spirit, the longing for far away family, or the desire to create with my bare hands. I stayed away from the mall and spent a freakishly-warm afternoon baking (84 degrees! Its supposed to be November!). I chose pumpkin pie- my stepmother’s signature holiday treat and my very favorite since childhood.
I’m not a very experienced baker. Surprising from someone who grew up in the Midwest, but I don’t remember my mom baking anything beyond a frozen pie from the grocery store or occasionally popping open a can of Pillsbury dinner rolls. And to be fair, it wasn’t something I showed any interest in until I was in my mid-twenties,and I was living across the country from my stepmom, the pie guru, and my stepsister, the cookie guru. Thank goodness there is the internet.
I don’t have 15 pies to show for my efforts, but for the first time I roasted a fresh sugar pumpkin to be used instead of the standard canned pumpkin. I also made my own pie crust. This newbie baker was proud of herself! It tasted amazing, and I know my stepmom would give the pie her stamp of approval.
From cleaning out the guts of the sugar pumpkin to the delightful rhythm of flattening out dough with a rolling pin, the wonderful spicy sweetness of the pumpkin wafting through the house, and, finally, the first delicious bites, it was a wonderful day that brought those that I love just a little bit closer.
Nelda’s Fabulous Pumpkin Pie
- 2 cup (1 can) pumpkin
- 1/2 c sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 c flour
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t nutmeg
- 1/4 t ground cloves
- 1 can condensed milk
Mix ingredients in order listed. Pour into deep dish pie crust. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes and 45 minutes at 350. When done, the top of the pumpkin will be rounded and no longer shiny. Will deflate with cooling.