Approach life gently. Treat life kindly. Live life fully and with enthusiasm.
Respect life--always.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mmmmmm Pie

69890017“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” Jim Davis

Well, today was pre-Thanksgiving-pie-making day. And boy, did we go overboard. Ken and I worked our fingers to the bone. We made two pumpkin pies, two marionberry pies, three vegetarian mince pies, and three mashed sweet potato and pear casseroles.
Now, with all of those pies, can you believe that there will probably only be four of us for Thanksgiving dinner this year? I am really not insane, though it may seem so. I have a method to my madness, and it includes my love of making pies. Besides, it is customary for me to make extra pies (or other baked goods) because it is my belief that goodness needs to be shared.
It is something like the tradition that some people have of putting an extra setting on the table during the holidays, just in case someone should stop by and be hungry. I may not go through the motions of having an empty chair ready, but our door is always open and there is always plenty of food, and there have been many holidays when we have found out at the last minute that someone would be alone instead of with family. As one friend of ours said to a stranger at our table one year, “They like to adopt people.” It is true. Anyone hungry, either for food or love or just some company, is welcome. (Even this guy.)
This is something I will definitely miss when we are traveling. Who will I share my pies with? Will I even be making pies while we are on the road? I will miss the closeness of my friends, being able to just give a call and set up a coffee date, for no other reason than because I miss her. We will have to work on solving this problem.
In honor of this, my tenth year of making vegetarian mince pies, I would like to share the recipe with you. It is amazing, with all the tantalizing tastes and smells of winter, those earthy spices of cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg. Besides, it is an awesome use for all those green tomatoes left hanging on the vines long after our sunny weather disappeared.
To Make two pies:
  • 4 cups green tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups apples, chopped
  • 1 cup raisins, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • two 9-inch pie shells
The easiest way to chop all the ingredients is to run them through the food processor. Mix all the ingredients together in a non-reactive kettle and boil gently over medium heat for half an hour. Allow to cool a while before filling the crusts. Fill the crusts, put strips of more crust across the top in a lattice, and bake in a 350 degree oven for half an hour or until the crust is golden brown. Serve chilled or warm out of the oven, with a dollop of fresh whipped cream—the real stuff, no Cool Whip allowed.
P.S. During the writing of this post, two more people have been added to our celebration. See how that works?
Hey! How did she get up there? I guess the wonderful aromas were just too much for her.
Who can resist pie crust cookies, made with the leftover pie dough and sprinkled with sugar and love?

No comments:

Post a Comment