News flash! Run out this very minute and get your pumpkin for Thanksgiving! I have just read that there will be a national pumpkin shortage soon because of a very wet spring growing season. (I have also read that this is practically an annual event…) Libby’s will be running short, and will not ship any more cans of pumpkin goo after the early part of November, until next year’s harvest.
Stock up now or start making other plans for Thanksgiving.
We haven’t had pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving in a very long time, because Mr. Friday isn’t fond of it. But the Pouting Princess chimed in recently to say that she likes pumpkin pie. I guess I can thank college cafeteria experiences for opening up vast avenues of food possibilities for the young. So we will have a pumpkin pie this year, as well as the traditional and festive Key Lime pie and chocolate pudding pie.
Pies are eminently versatile and are suitable for many occasions. They are perfect one-dish meals, or they can be dessert. We once knew people who did not like cake, so they would have pies to celebrate family birthdays. Very odd, indeed. How can you not like cake?
We had chicken potpie last night. It was warm and comforting after a long day in the art salt mines, banging my head against the computer screen, and walking the indefatigable dog for five and a half miles. When Mr. Friday came home there was the homey scent of baking in the air, that wasn’t redolent of wet dog and leaves and artistic angst. Putting the pie together was relaxing and enjoyable, unlike some of the nights when I can barely flip a hamburger. There is nothing quite so satisfying as crimping a little piecrust to give one a sense of purpose and accomplishment. It is not quite nirvana, but I did feel a little smug when I took the gleaming, honey-colored pie out of the oven.
In my youth my mother would bake lemon meringue pies and Key Lime pies from powdered Jell-o mixes. I was pretty sure that Key Lime pie was supposed to be Day Glo chartreuse. Travel is wonderfully educational. The Tall One was a camp counselor in the Florida Keys one summer, and we were introduced to real Key Lime pie. Which is not chartreuse, and is not covered with a fussy many-peaked meringue as prepared by my sainted mother. Key Lime pie, made with real Key Lime Juice, is sort of pale yellow (in a glaucous way), and is dressed with a smackeral of whipped cream. And it has a graham cracker crust – not flour and butter rolled out to circular perfection and crimped with a fork. What an amazing and varied world of pie experiences there is! And how tasty is nostalgia?
As there are precious little cupcakeries, there are places that specialize in pies. I fell into the Little Pie Company website yesterday. http://www.littlepiecompany.com/
While watching their charming little infomercial I suddenly wanted to hand toss cinnamon coated apple slices in a huge stainless steel bowl, and bake half a dozen pies. Maybe I will surprise Mr. Friday with an apple pie on Friday night, and not the customary weekly pizza pie!
Bon Appetit has suggestions for baking many savory pies, which will be my next seasonal culinary obsession. Had I not shopped already for my boring old chicken pie, I would have lingered a while longer in the produce department and picked up some leeks to bake Cock-a-Leekie Pie. Yumsters! And since I was in kitchen denial for the entire summer I had forgotten about Shepherd’s Pie! The cooler weather is going to bring out plumper people in this family, even if we are walking the dog more diligently.
Our friends at Food52 also have quite a few autumn pie ideas up their sleeves. https://food52.com/contests/173-your-best-autumn-pie I think the Brown Butter and Cheddar Apple Pie has more promise than the high falutin Himalayan Blackberry pie, but call me pedestrian. There certainly are enough pies to keep your enthusiasm stroked for a long autumn of pie baking. (And you can see the fancy recipe I entered in the Best Autumn Pie Contest! https://food52.com/recipes/6751-caramelized-pear-pie-with-streusel-topping-by-ntr)
One of my favorite episodes of the X-Files is Jose Chung from Outer Space, wherein Special Agent Mulder sits at the counter of a diner and peppers the server with questions, while ordering slice after slice of sweet potato pie, until he has eaten a whole pie. Skills.
“Cut my pie into four pieces, I don’t think I could eat eight.”
― Yogi Berra