I stayed in the DC metro area to celebrate Thanksgiving with another friend and her family last year. As a guest, I asked what I could bring to complete the celebration. She asked if I could bring the pumpkin pie. I said yes and realized I had never made pumpkin pie prior to this first attempt.
Having lived in my apartment 12 days prior, I had not actually used the oven prior to Thanksgiving. In retrospect, a true oddity, but I was still trying to get settled, so when I pre-heated the oven and was blending the pumpkin pie filling, I was shocked to find when I was ready to put everything in the oven, it was the same temperature pre-blend. I turned multiple knobs, nothing. Not even the burners on the stove were working. What could it be? I found the breaker switches and realized I had not switched the oven switch to the on position. Success!!
I put the pie in the oven and set my timer. I’m not sure how much time had really elapsed between the time I put the pie in the oven until I smelled something burning, but it was not long before I opened the oven to find the top of my pumpkin pie smoldering! Smoke was coming out of the pie- not something I remembered when my mom would be baking a pie. I took the pie out of the oven and realized that only the top of the filling was burnt. After some retracing of steps, I had not switched the broil knob back to the bake position when I was turning the knobs to figure out why the oven was not working!
I am hoping for less of a chaotic pie baking experience this year, and in traveling for the upcoming holiday that reminds us to give thanks for the harvest and our blessings, I’m pretty much guaranteed that someone else will make the pumpkin pie (thank goodness!). I’ll focus on what I know I can do well- the green bean casserole. Pumpkins, green beans, cranberries, mashed potatoes…I get hungry just thinking about it. Having criss-crossed much of the country within the past year as part of my official duties, I’ve been fortunate to meet with the farmers, ranchers, and AgrAbility staff that ensure farmer’s safety, success and sustainability. For those individuals involved in the planting and harvesting, I have a greater respect for the hard work that goes into producing all of the bountiful crops I will see on my Thanksgiving dinner table this year. I received a website link last week that showed me exactly where my Thanksgiving dinner would be coming from based on the 2007 Ag Census, complete with the pumpkin, green beans, mashed potatoes, dressing, and the beloved turkey in addition to many other Thanksgiving favorites.