Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, Apple Pie Memories

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Even if you are not in the United States and don't celebrate "Thanksgiving" per se. It is a great day to give Thanks ;)

I am taking a break from the kitchen for a moment to share something that is very special to me.

A few years ago, my "favorite" aunt was diagnosed with cancer. It progressed to her brain and we made a tremendous effort to make the most of every day, every holiday, every moment. Aunt Madonna was the hostess for most of our family holidays. She was famous for her pies. The recipe had been passed to her from her mother in law. Madonna was the active pie maker each holiday. The Thanksgiving before she passed away, I asked her to teach me how to make pies. It was a great opportunity for us to be together and and at the same time, something that would go with me the rest of my life. Although I don't have the pictures from that special day available on the computer for me to post, I do have memories. Memories, and recipes I will treasure. She taught me her grandmother's homemade crust recipe and her mother in law's pie filling recipe for both apple and pumpkin. I realize something now that I did not know then. Recipes are treasures. It is a blessing for me to now host Thanksgiving in my own home and gather the crust and filling ingredients, so that when my brother's new wife walks through the door, any minute now, I can share this treasure with her.

Thank you Aunt Madonna. Yesterday was your birthday and today, your family celebrates a holiday with fond memories of you and thankfulness for gathering together.

The recipe is in her handwriting and I can see her smile when I look at the paper. I would encourage each one of you to pass a family recipe to your loved ones. As I make the family pies each year, I remember. We all tell stories about Madonna and know she is smiling down on us. We love and miss you!

What timing! The bell has rung.....the family is arriving!!

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  1. Heidi--

    Thank you for sharing. I agree that recipes are more than directions to make food--they are links to our past and ensure that those who are no longer with us physically are still with us in spirit. I thought that yesterday as I made the coleslaw from the recipe card in my mom's handwriting. I hope that someday my nieces will also understand the special connection these family meals give us to the past and the passed. Now I'm off to finish up some last minute details--the family should be arriving any minute. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and know that your Aunt Madonna and my mom are smiling down on us.

  2. Hi Heidi

    What a lovely thing to be able to do. I lost my Mum last December and she always made our Christmas Puddings, unfortunately she was unable to pass me the recipe before she left us. It really is the little things you miss.

    Happy Thanksgiving.


  3. I make christmas mince pies to my mum's pastry and Delia Smiths mincemeat filling recipe ,,, lol :-) Mum buy's the mincemeat in a jar ,, but Delia's is wonderful ! :-)
    I will pass Delis'a recipe on to Amy :-)

    have a lovely feat with your family Heidi :-)

    Lols :-)

  4. I have my mother's meatloaf recipe... it is my favorite thing to make (not on thanksgiving of course... lol). And everytime I make it I do think of her :)

    Have a very happy thanksgiving and enjoy your memories.

  5. What a lovely sentiment & touching tribute to your Aunt. You are blessed to have had such precious times with her & I know she was guiding your through her recipes today.

  6. Hope everyone at SSS had a wonderful Thanksgiving, the holiday season is upon us now...Happy Holidays!

  7. Great memories...I actually asked my mom for her recipes this year that away if I ever need to make Thanksgiving it will be just like mom's! THE BEST!!


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