Last weekend, I went to visit family. My Granny and Aunt Billie were visiting my mom from Texas. I was really inspired by the Food Diplomats and Cuisine Ambassadors panel at BlogHer Food '10, so I struck up a conversation with them about food traditions and memories.
We talked about peach cobbler and sad-faced cake. We talked about fried okra and chicken-fried steak and cream gravy and biscuits. They told me about moving from rural New Mexico to Southern California in 1955, squeezing SIX CHILDREN in the back seat of one TWO-DOOR sedan, eating out of cans because there was neither time nor money to stop. Getting to California and seeing all the orange groves in a row, the sharp, clean smell of their new life.
But we didn't talk about pie. I remember eating pumpkin and pecan pies every Thanksgiving -- but I also remember running to Marie Callendar's to pick up our order. I just do not come from a family of piemakers, and I think that's why I'm not really into the traditional apple, pumpkin, lemon meringue pies: I just don't have a strong sense of nostalgia tied to them.
I'm glad -- because I have a feeling my trio of lemon-mascarpone, cranberry-walnut and Nutella may just become my own Thanksgiving tradition, and I won't have to worry about replacing or abandoning nostalgic favorites. But I'm also sad, because now I'm hungry for chicken-fried steak with cream gravy instead of turkey. And I'm also thankful that I got to learn new chapters in my family story this month.
Have you ever talked with your older family members about food traditions and memories? The StoryCorps project, in which families interview each other, makes use of the tradition of coming together at Thanksgiving; they've declared Friday the 26th the National Day of Listening. Next year, I'm bringing recording equipment and getting that car story -- and some food traditions -- on tape.
What are your Thanksgiving pie traditions? What are you eating today?
Have you seen all the pies I've blogged so far this month? I'm talking about pie every day in November at the Month of Pies archive.
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