On thankfulness and apple pie

Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday of the year. As my friend Perla puts it, it’s a holiday everyone celebrates, no matter their religion. I would add to that, it is a holiday one can celebrate in ways small – alone, when circumstances demand, or big – in public or in private.

I also like Thanksgiving Day for its Americanness: The most prosperous, and I may add, blessed, nation in the history of mankind came up with a day of gratitude, closely connected to the nation’s origins.

Indeed, we have much to thank for; the debate on immigration shows that millions of people from around the world see and want to partake in our blessings. But let’s leave that debate aside for now.

My most favorite quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American,

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.

Here’s what this sentence means to me:

  • I awoke this morning: I am conscious, in this new day
  • with devout thanksgiving: And I give thanks to God, the Creator who blesses us every day
  • for my friends,: For every person who honors me with their friendship, empathy, and support, including my family
  • the old: Friends I have had for a lifetime, or for many years, and also for friends young and old
  • and the new.: Because friendship is a garden that blooms throughout our lives, blessing us daily.

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Apple pie is my favorite Thanksgiving Day dessert. Here’s my recipe:

IMG_0152Apple and pecan pie:
The day before: marinade 1/2 cup of raisins in a glass dish and add enough bourbon to cover the raisins. Cover the dish and set aside overnight (no need to refrigerate).

The day you’re serving the pie:
Heat oven to 400F.

In a very large bowl, mix:
8 large apples, peeled and cored, and cut into large (1/4″ thick) pieces
(You might want to caramelize the apples slightly, by sautéing in butter and a dash of freshly-grated nutmeg)
the raisins marinated in bourbon
1 tbs cinnamon sprinkled lightly as you add the apples
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup pecan pieces. You can also use chopped walnuts.
Mix all ingredients until well coated.

Line a deep pie dish with one Pillsbury pie crust (or you can make your own crust).

Pour the apples, raisins and pecans into the pie plate. Cut 1/4 lb (one bar) of refrigerated butter into chunks and dot the apples with the butter. Please use butter. Cover the apples with the other pie crust, seal the edges and perforate the top with a fork.

If you prefer your pie with no raisins or pecans, omit them and don’t add vanilla extract.

Bake at 400F for 45 minutes.

Serve warm with Vermont cheddar cheese, or with Edy’s No Sugar Added vanilla ice cream. I prefer the cheddar.

Note: While I add no sugar, if you use sweet apples the pie will be sweet. Bear that in mind if you must watch your blood sugars.
Additionally, this is not a low calorie dessert.

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A happy Thanksgiving Day to all!

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog. She thanks Pete for the opportunity to blog here.