Are you a pie family or a cake family? What do I mean? Well, when you were growing up, what was served for birthdays? Or for dessert at holidays? When I was growing up, my mom made amazing Barbie dress cakes, character cakes, 3D elephants and more! At Thanksgiving, she’d make red velvet cake, and sometimes…SOMETIMES she would buy a pumpkin pie. We are a cake family.
Then I married my husband. His family is a pie family. He lives for homemade pies. His mom makes fruit and pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and pecan pies for Christmas. Birthdays still get cake…sometimes…but otherwise, it’s all about the pie. My mother-in-law even had a mat with pie crust guidelines printed right on it!
It’s been a learning experience for me for sure.
Last Thanksgiving, I was prepping all of my ingredients as my then seven-year-old daughter came into the kitchen. “Mom,” she said, “Why are you taking all that time to make a crust and boil actual pumpkins? Why not just buy one from the store?”
Oh child…don’t even get me started on quality ingredients and knowing where your food comes from.
“Well, Dear,” Deep breath. “When you take the time to make something from scratch, you can be sure to put extra love into it. The person who eats it will know that you cared so much for them that you took the time to do it this way. A pie from the store isn’t bad, and doesn’t mean you don’t love the person you bought it for, but this takes lots more time and effort, right? Plus, I kind of enjoy knowing all the parts of the pie and how it all comes together.”
That seemed to satisfy her for the time being, so I could go back to the slightly boring steps of boiling pumpkins and peeling apples (though my children love eating the longest curls of peel that I get off the apples for apple pie).
Soon it was time for the crust. That comes with big wooden tools (also known as wooden rolling pins), so it attracts the children. They all take turns rolling out the crust. It might mean that it’s a little less flaky, and not quite as even and pretty, but it’s not being entered into the fair, right? And Grandma will still think it’s good.
As the first few swipes of the rolling pin go across the crust dough, I hear my daughter gasp, “Look Mom! We are baking love into the pie!”
Sure enough, the children each taking turns had resulted in the dough rolling out in the shape of a heart!
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for the assist on that one. For weeks following Thanksgiving, my daughter told everyone who would listen how she baked EXTRA love into the pies for this year.
She’s never again questioned making things from scratch.