Jill's Journal: Pumpkin pie just like mom made

Jill Meier, Journal editor

Tonight, I’ll be putting my baking skills to the test by tackling a couple of pumpkin pies for our family’s Thanksgiving meal on Thursday.

I haven’t made a whole lot of pies in my almost six-decades of life, but fortunately, I can follow a recipe – or at least I think I can. I’ve been known to make a chicken pot pie from scratch, albeit the crust slides out of box I pluck from the refrigerator section of the grocery store. Not since my high school home ec classes have I rolled out a pie crust, and it’s a road I’m simply not going to steer my culinary hopes down.

The making of pumpkin pie – my favorite of all pies – had long been my mom’s job, that was until her passing just days before Thanksgiving last year. I don’t recall if we had pumpkin pie on the menu or not, as the holidays were somewhat of a blur as we began to navigate our lives without her.

While tears still line my eyes – most times, it’s the littlest things that instigate the waterworks – I’m confident that mom will be watching over me through the process. She did that – a lot – whenever I took charge of her kitchen. I still remember the time she told me that I wasn’t doing it the way she would do it. I also remember telling her that it really didn’t matter which way I did it, in the end, it was going to come out the same.

And, true to my words, surprisingly – and thankfully – it did.

Mom’s pumpkin pie isn’t the only tasty treat that I’ll forever miss. Her homemade bean soup is one that I haven’t been able to mimic so well – yet. And, there’s her cut-out Christmas cookies that she long took pride in making and delighted in watching us enjoy one, two, sometimes three cookies, at a time.

“Don’t eat them all right away,” she’d remind us, “or there won’t be any left for Christmas.”

But no matter how many times our hands reached into the “cookie jar,” there was always plenty for Christmas and the days that followed.

Although mom won’t be with us as we gather this Thursday around a bountiful table of our family’s favorites dishes, I have an inkling a few tears may line my eyes once again. But they won’t be sad tears. Instead, they’ll be tears of good memories and relief – fingers crossed – that the pumpkin pie tastes just like the ones mom made.

Happy Thanksgiving, to you all.

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The Brandon Valley Journal office will be closed Friday, Nov. 25 so our staff can enjoy time with their families. 




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