My Thanksgiving Tradition

I’ve struggled with finding a Thanksgiving tradition that suits my family. We don’t have nearby relatives to share the day with, and after a few disastrous trips attempting to join siblings and cousins, have sworn to celebrate the holiday near home. We’ve tried going to inns, but, however homey,  it didn’t feel right to eat at a restaurant. We’ve been invited to the tables of friends, but, honestly, I want to be the one cooking! I tried making the turkey feast for my husband and sons, but they were less than enthusiastic, and, truly, a big meal like that for just four people falls flat.

Still, I love traditions, especially when it has to do with food and home, and I wanted a Thanksgiving one. About six years ago, I decided that what I loved best about the holiday was the pie, and so I started my “Sunday After Thanksgiving Pie Party.” I get to bake, and fill my house with friends. My guests get to come to a party that requires nothing of them. One rule is that no one brings pie!

I spend the year collecting pie recipes. About a week before the event, I’ll make and freeze a dozen crust. A few pies (like apple, and this year’s Pear-Cranberry) are made ahead and frozen. But, the majority of the pies are made the weekend of the party.

I’ve learned that when there is nothing else on the menu, that people can eat a lot of pie. I’ve also learned that the more types of pie that I serve, the more that people eat. I’m also learning, as my children get older, that teenage boys eat twice what anyone else does. That said, the average is that each person eats half a pie.

I had forty people over yesterday (and various smaller children that I don’t count.) I served 19 pies. There were no leftovers.

pie party (notice my vintage chicken apron!)

This is what I baked:

Lemon Pie with Pecans, Chocolate Chip Tollhouse Pie, Mint Chip Tollhouse Pie, Cranberry-Pear Tart in a Hazelnut Shortbread Crust, Apple Pie with a Ginger Streusel Topping, Chocolate Pudding Pie with a Creme Fraiche Whipped Topping, Blueberry-Cranberry Pie, Mango Chiffon Pie with a Toasted Coconut Crust, Apricot Cheesecake Tart in a Cream Cheese Crust, and Chocolate and Pine Nut Tart. There were also savory pies – Ricotta Tart with Saffron and Sage, Feta and Spinach Quiche (which used up the last of my garden’s greens), Onion and Olive Guyere Tart, and a Winter Squash Galette.

pie array

I wish there were leftovers. Next year I’ll have to make more.

We're Thankful


Caper is ready for his Thanksgiving meal. What? you ask – doesn’t his belly already look full? See that cud being chewed in his jaw? Doesn’t matter! More please.

I’m thankful for so much, including these goats that make life here so amusing. I’m thankful for the home and the family and the wherewithal to be able to keep the goats and all of the other animals at Little Pond Farm.

I’m thankful for you. It’s true that it’s more fun to share.

Help in the Garden

There’s nothing left in the garden to harvest. This year I pulled the carrots and parsnips before the ground froze solid (last year, I harvested what I could the following April!)

But, the goats say that I missed something.

goats in the garden

Hey, look! There’s kale!

Agnes joined us in the garden. She let me know that a GOOD gardener turns the soil over before winter sets in.

Agnes helps

Make sure there’s no bugs hiding!

Thanks for your help, everyone.

Fashion Tips For Animal Owners

Yesterday I decided to go clothes shopping. I put on my favorite pale green corduroy pants. Then I went out to say hello to the goat boys. They gave me a happy birthday greeting that entailed nose kisses and goat hugs. I went back inside the house and changed. Which leads me to my first fashion tip of the day:

#1: Always have a second outfit at the ready.

Women’s magazines are getting on the “there’s a recession, let’s all be frugal” bandwagon. I recently read that the way to extend the life of your clothes is to wash them less. Maybe that works if you don’t get dirty. Impossible here. I also read a recommendation that you take clothes to the dry cleaners less frequently. Huh? When my clothes need washing, it’s obvious! You can’t exactly brush off muddy hoof marks. With that in mind, here is the next rule:

#2: Only buy clothes that you can throw in the washing machine. Avoid buying items that need dry cleaning, or each time you wear them (and that wearing might last only 10 minutes) you will hear the cash register go ka-ching! $5.00 please!

I bought a cozy, silky, beautiful robe yesterday. Not only is is machine washable, but it’s dog hair colored! How many of you buy clothes thinking, “oh, good, the dog hair won’t show”?

#3: Buy clothes that match your dog and cat hair.

I saw a very nice pair of pants yesterday, but even hanging on the rack, the material attracted lint. I could only imagine what it’d look like in a house with my world-class shedding dog, Lily.

#4: Avoid purchasing apparel that attracts lint.

Here are Lily and Scooter. They’ve just had a nice scratch.


Notice the dog hair on the carpet. I selected that gorgeous plum rug before I owned Lily. It’s not as easy to match decor to one’s pets as it is to change clothes.

#5: Keep a lint roller and vacuum cleaner on hand at all times.

That’s all for now – I have to go do laundry.