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?