Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pie Baking and Ike’s Thanksgiving

I never thought as a kid that Thanksgiving would be towards the top of my holiday favorite list.  As an adult, it’s totally made the top two.

I like that it’s a low key holiday filled with family and food. Nothing else. I love Christmas as much as the rest of them but I appreciate Thanksgiving’s low key celebrating.  No need to shop for gifts. No need to decorate. 

We have established some pretty fun Thanksgiving day traditions.  We head to Nate’s sister’s house on Wednesday night.  We eat chili.  We sleep on air mattresses and wake up super tired on Thursday.  Thursday is full of baking, cooking, and ad reading.  It’s a pretty fabulous day.  Friday is for late Black Friday shopping.  We’re not crazy.  Friday afternoon through Sunday are spent with my family.

Nate’s mom is usually in charge of making the pies.  I didn’t think I liked pie until I started eating Nate’s mom’s pies.  They are that good.  She usually makes pumpkin, apple, blueberry, and rhubarb.  Sometimes a cherry is thrown in there.  Nate’s mom didn’t have time to prepare the pies ahead of time this year so I had her teach me.  She didn’t know what she was getting into.


We donned fancy aprons and got to work.  I think the aprons were an important step.

I didn’t realize that pie crust only consisted of a few ingredients.  I did, however, realize that it would be easy to screw up and I was super nervous about ruining the Thanksgiving pies.  Ruining the pies would be worse than the Grinch stealing Christmas.  I’m not joking.  Nate’s mom kept a close eye on me.

This is the recipe we used for the single crust pies.   It will change your life. If you make it right…

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold water (Cold is super important.  Warm/hot will melt your shortening.)

In medium mixing bowl stir together flour and salt.  Cut in shortening till pieces are the size of small peas.  Don’t over do this step.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork.  Push to side of bowl. Repeat until all is moistened.  Form dough into a ball.  Roll dough on lightly floured surface.  Nate’s mom had me do this between two pieces of waxed paper. 


Roll the dough until it is slightly larger than the pie pan you are using.  Place in pan. Make pretty (this is the part I fail at.) Fill with your filling of choice.  Bake and show off your pretty pie.  Again, you must wear an apron during all steps of pie baking.


Not only did I learn to bake pies but I taught one of my super cute nieces about the many different kinds of wonderful pies.  Rhubarb was challenging for a not quite two year old.  I’m sure she will soon learn that is the hardest to say but the very best kind of pie around.



What was Ike up while all of this pie baking was going on?

He was busy reading the ads.


He had a tennis ball to look after.


He also spent a lot of time with one of his biggest fans.  He usually runs from small children but he has a special bond with our youngest niece. It’s quite precious.



Have you made a pie before? How’d it go?  Is Thankgiving one of your favorite holidays or do you find that it’s more of a roadblock to Christmas?


  1. you are so cute. and i like pie. and i like ike. won't you be my neighbor?

  2. Love Ike and your Niece together too cute. My Sophie loves kids but the problem is she jumps up and tends to knock them down. Pies look delicious! I made a sweet potato pie first time and it was awesome! I love Thanksgiving but the day after it's full on Christmas time!

  3. Love all the pies. They look delicious! Your dog is so cute. I can see he is getting a good handle on making the tennis ball lie perfectly still. Years of practice, I'm sure ;)

  4. YUM! I'm such a slacker when it comes to pie. I'm a refridgerated pie crust girl all the way, but I know it'd be way better if I made my own.

  5. The only pie I ever made is peanut butter pie...it's super easy and uses a graham cracker crust...I can barely call it making a "whole" pie. So hats off to you and your super cute apron! :)

  6. I've never in my life made a pie. My mom and D are the bakers in the family and I like it that way. Gives me time to take a nap. ;)

  7. I've never made a pie from scratch before that requires an actual pastry crust (I have made some with graham cracker crusts before). Kudos to you for pulling that off- they look great!! I love Thanksgiving as well- it's one of my favourites although ours is in the middle of October.

  8. Looks like you guys had a great time!

  9. I am not a pie person but your apron is super cute!

  10. Mmm, pie. I like baking pies. But I typically take the easy way out and buy pre-made crusts to eliminate a step. You should totally try the chocolate chip cookie pie I make. Life. Changing.

  11. I love that you tried out pie baking. I learned when I was young, but hate to cook/bake so I haven't done it since. Yours look very yummy!!!!!

  12. Love pies! Hate to cook, so we order our Thanksgiving dinner and I just have to re-heat it. It includes pies. But my favorite part about Thanksgiving (and Christmas, to be honest) is that we sit and drink champagne and enjoy the day.

    Your niece is a cutie! I love that she & Ike get along so well!

  13. All those pies look so yummy! I'm totally the pie-maker in our family. No one else can seem to make a good crust. It's super easy though so I don't know... But I make all my pies completely from scratch (even the pumpkin. no canned pumpkin for us!)and my family can never get enough!

  14. Who would have thought that an apron is the secret ingredient to making tasty pies?
    My family has always feasted on store bought pies for Thanksgiving, but who knows? Maybe next year we'll start a new tradition and bake them from scratch.

  15. I've been enjoying your posts since finding you through your DIY link party. Just saw in your "about" that you are a pharmacist and wanted to tell you that I am too. It's amazing how many pharmacists I've "met" in the blog world. Guess we need a creative outlet aside from all the science and math!

  16. Good job on the pies! (Most impressive apron, too...)
    I love that photo of Ike at the toybox with your niece -- too precious!

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  18. It look really nice. Great pics. Have a nice day.


  19. Dan loves making homemade pie crust and I shudder. It's just so feisty and hard to get right! Perhaps I need to attempt this recipe for xmas...hmmmm!

    oh and, you had me at strawberry rhubarb.

  20. Look at you baking pies! They all look absolutely delicious!


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