Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pie Fest

James has a sister.  Actually he has two sisters (whom I love and adore).  Years before we were married, when she was a teenager his sister Marilyn started Pie Fest.  It has become a family tradition and is held anywhere between  Thanksgiving Day to the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 

What started off as a suggestion has now become a wonderful family tradition that includes spouses, children,  friends, and neighbors.  Even though we live thousands of miles a part we still participate in Pie Fest in spirit together.  It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.

It's the one time of year that I slow down and don't mind the mess in the kitchen or kids covered in batter.  I love the smell of pies baking and the anticipation of  the holidays.  I have fond memories of my own mother baking the loveliest pumpkin and pecan pies well into the night on the eve of Thanksgiving.  I still bake a pecan pie every Thanksgiving (although this year I passed the torch to Cardi) even though it is my least favorite pie, simply because of the memories it evokes and like Grandpa's pumpkin prune pie, it wouldn't be Pie Fest without it.

This year I took a leap of faith and let the boys  join us in the kitchen.  They had fun deciding what kind of pie they wanted to make and gathering all the ingredients together.  Some needed a little more help than others, but in the end they were as lovely as the pies my mom used to make. 

But, of course before the gathering and the pie baking, and all the wonderful memories that follow... comes the chef's hat.  James makes the best chef's hat and it's part of what makes preparing for Pie Fest fun.

And then of course...there are the pies.

Pumpkin pie toffee cheesecake

Pecan pie pumpkin cheesecake

Jackson's No Bake Lemon Pie

John's Taste so Good, I can't Wait till Thanksgiving Pie

Bella's Cookies and Cream Pie

Cardi's Pecan Pie

Friday, November 25, 2011


We like to take things slow around here on Thanksgiving Day (well as slow as we can).  Thanksgiving mornings are one of our favorites.  I bet they have visions of  Pie Fest dancing in their heads.

We had a small Thanksgiving dinner this year with just our family

and our friend David from Slovenia.

James was in charge of grilling the trukey which of course was excellent.  He's so good with anything that cooks on the grill!

These are our entries into Pie Fest this year...but Pie Fest deserves a post of its own so I'll write more on that later.

We enjoyed hanging out with David and learning about Slovenia.  This was his first Thanksgiving here in the states!  I hope he wasn't too disappointed!  I wish we could of talked him into joining us at our friend's house for a second dinner...It was wonderful!

(I really wish I would have gotten a great picture of them but they refused to pose so I just snapped a few while I was in the kitchen).  We really loved the sausage apple stuffing which was much better than the stove top stuffing I served earlier...But really, James and I are the only ones who eat stuffing so I didn't go all out but next year sausage and apple stuffing is definitely on the menu!

And  then we ate so much pie that I am good until next Thanksgiving  or Pie Fest which is Saturday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A reminder for me that it is still Thanksgiving

Just because the Christmas decorations are up (well mostly):

Doesn't mean that I have totally forgotten Thanksgiving.
I mean really, who wouldn't want to display this sweet turkey

or this place mat?

And of course how can we not express how grateful we are for all the blessings that we have?

We hope you all have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!!  I have to stop procrastinating and go bake some pies now!

Sharea, James, Cardi, Bella, Jackson, John, and Meredith

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Last year my sister and her sweet family visited us for Thanksgiving.  It was the first Thanksgiving we have spent together in about fifteen years.  I loved it!  I loved watching our kids hanging out and reminiscing about when we were kids.  I loved that we captured the simple moments like eating pizza after a long hike or the kids waiting eagerly for Thanksgiving dinner to be ready.

This year my sister and her family are spending Thanksgiving at home, but that didn't stop them from making a surprise visit to our home this weekend.  They were on a "driveabout" as my brother in law called it.  Their lives, like ours and so many other peoples, is spent on the go running from one place to the next as fast as they can.  But this weekend, they decided to take a leisurely drive to North Carolina to watch the leaves change colors.  Did I mention they live in Florida?  They took scenic routes, stopped frequently (which is so unlike them), enjoyed good food, and took in the sights.  They drove wherever they wanted and suddenly found themselves in Tennessee and we couldn't have been happier to slow down and go on our own "walkabout" together.


And of course, what a great reason to pull out the Christmas decorations and Christmas cds and hum along to Christmas carols while we decorated our Christmas tree!

And my little sister bought me this..."Sisters are like angels they sparkle, twinkle, and glow, they are the greatest gifts our hearts will ever know."  Happy Thanksgiving!!!