Tonight was my second night of Thanksgiving preparation. My step-daughter and I are splitting cooking duties, and we discussed the menu yesterday afternoon. Half the diners are either vegetarian or allergic to wheat, but I insisted on at least a small turkey, and stuffing.
Later, while I was cubing bread, roasting pumpkins, and toasting seeds, it occurred to me that I lay out just one of my family's traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Well, yes, turkey, but I don't cook it like my mom did. No cornbread stuffing, no green beans with bacon, no iced tea, no crescent-shaped rolls. But the candied yams, made the way my mom did year after year, survived to reach a new generation's table.
But toward the end of our meal-planning conversation, Alisha tentatively asked about desserts: was I planning on bringing any? Well, just the pumpkin pie, I told her. Was there something else she wanted?
"Oh, no-o-o, I know you've got a lot to do..."
"No, what? Something in particular?" My daughter-in-law not only has me make pineapple upside-down cake for all family events, but asks me to make "one for the party, and a little one for me."! Which I am so happy to do. Who doesn't like making special foods for people?
"Lemon pie! Can you bring one?"
"You're kidding. Nobody likes that but me, and I got tired of eating the whole thing myself so I stopped making them."
"No! I really like it"—I can hear my son-in-law and husband chiming in from both ends of the connection, "Me, too! I like lemon pie!"
Okay-y-y. It's not a chiffon or meringue pie. It's sliced up lemons in pie crust. Intense would be the best word to describe it. Lemon just never struck me as a really popular flavor.
My step-daughter adds, "We all ate it, it's just that you usually make a lemon pie, and a pumpkin pie, and that cranberry pie, an apple pie, and a chocolate pie. We had to take really tiny slices to try them all."
Rock on. Lemon pie it is.