[Charles] This week with Thanksgiving coming up, my thoughts have turned to the tradition of making something from scratch in the kitchen with family. We lost my wife's Grandma yesterday and with her a lot of amazing homemade cooking knowledge. Some of those recipes were passed along but many of the best were never written down and apparently her Chocolate Pie recipe yielded a legendary dessert that tasted like a gigantic Hershey's bar had been melted down and poured into a pie crust.
It makes me think of how important it is to really enjoy those times when we can all be together and cooking in the kitchen at Thanksgiving is probably the single best time of the year for that. I'd like to encourage everybody to spend some time in the kitchen this week and take a few moments and maybe an index card so that you can record your mom's thoughts on how to get the turkey perfect or what exactly your grandma sneaks into the cornbread stuffing. Also, this is a great time to drag the kids into the kitchen and get them stirring, or pouring, or whatever they can handle. The memories of being in the kitchen, the smell of pumpkin pie cooling on the counter, the arguing over which casserole should go where in the oven, and the table that sags with the weight of all the well-loved platters and dishes all get recorded by young eyes and will be the memories that comfort after the other people at the table are gone.
I set out to write about making things and the one thing I'd like to try this year is to make a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin. There was a fun story on this in Creative Loafing this year that was shy on details but at least inspired me to start looking for where to buy a Sugar Pie Pumpkin in my area. Apparently they are the best for making pies with and they are smaller and denser than the ole Jack O Lanterns I'm usually in search of. I'm guessing our daughter could at least help with scooping out the pumpkin this year. I'd like to start a tradition of cooking something like this with her and maybe someday when she smells pumpkin pie she'll remember the year we made one from a real pumpkin!