My son just telephoned to go over again the dishes I am bringing to the Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, and what he will be making. This year, for the first time, Thanksgiving will be at his house. He informed me of that change a few weeks ago. The mantel is passing to him. I thought I might be sad for this day, after all the years of doing Thanksgiving in my kitchen and house. I did sit blinking for a minute. But then I thought: Does this mean I don’t have to clean up? I think I’m ready for that.
One thing remains the same for me. Today is my day for baking pies for tomorrow’s annual feasting. I didn’t realize until today what a tradition this has been for me. I look back through the years and remember. Oh, during those first years, my first pies were doughy and only edible because they were made with so much sugar. Put enough sugar into anything and you can eat it. Gradually, however, I kept trying and became quite good at it. I would even take pies to the holiday gatherings at my in-laws.
Then I was diagnosed with Celiac disease and required to go gluten-free. Eighteen years ago the recipes and flours were few, but I refused to give up the tradition of holiday pies. I had the idea that I didn’t want to stop baking my pies. The ego didn’t want that at all! And I didn’t want to disappoint my family, who always raved over my pies. I didn’t want to feel any more of an outcast as I already did with Celiac. I did not want anything to change, said the woman inside me, hand on hip and chin jutted.
My first efforts at gluten-free pie crust were quite an ordeal and yes, I sank into a number of hissy fits in the trying, but I stuck it out, and thank goodness over the years I have learned to make a decent, and sometimes quite delicious, gluten-free crust that no one can tell from a traditional wheat flour one.
I have also learned that while I could still make a pie crust, things were changed. Thank goodness I still could make a pie, because many things, such as the ease of eating out and joining in social functions were vastly changed.
I learned there is no way in this world to keep things from changing. Life on earth is constant change.
I remember well the holiday meal that my mother-in-law, Grama everyone called her, standing in her jean skirt and footy socks in the kitchen, and pointing at her children and grandchildren, said with a chuckle: “Now, look here. One day I’ll be gone, and you all will move up into my place, and your kids will move up into yours.”
I believe I am at present past the age she was when she spoke those words of truth. As I recall back when she said it, I felt fear and a certain obstinacy. But today I am much more at ease with the inevitability of change. What is the saying? Nothing in the world sure but change?
Today I know well that you can either let go of holding on to keeping everything the same, or get dragged along by change. But either way change happens, inside and out. Today I know, and often remind myself, that change can, and usually does, bring some loss, but it also, without fail, brings just as many new and interesting things. I am better off to keep my mind on looking for those. I smile as I write that, thinking of how tomorrow, with not hosting Thanksgiving, I will come home to a clean kitchen and sit with a cup of tea on the porch in the peace and quiet. Oh, yes, I’m ready!
My sister-in-law just now, into the midst of me writing this post, sent a text: “Are you making pies today?” She knows me well.
So yes, I must get off this computer to make the pies— pecan and apple are planned. This is the first year of my life of making pies alone in the house, save for the dog and electronic Alexa, who will play some lively swing music for me as I roll out the dough. When I take the pies from the oven and admire them, as I always do, giving thanks for my ability to make them, I will text pictures of the pies to Son and Sister-in-law.
If you would like to jump in and make gluten-free pie crust you can start your adventure with the recipes from Pillsbury. I like the eggs in a gluten free pie crust and find I can work with the dough more easily.
JFJules gives an excellent demonstration.
Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends.