Thanksgiving reminders

Thanksgiving this year complimented some things I’ve been chewing on in my professional life and work environment lately. I’ve been looking uphill and finding there is always more to do than I can accomplish in the week (both with my half-time job with the farmers’ markets and in my other half life of freelancing and writing). Yesterday’s pie brought me the humbling reminder that though I insist my books’ readers focus on not worrying if things aren’t picture perfect, I still expect perfection (and Wonder Woman work powers) from myself.

I posted to instagram this pumpkin pie, which suffered from a minor landslide on half the crust when I warmed it prior to pouring in the filling. I’m really into pie and even when it doesn’t go smoothly, I still tend to pull off a pretty one. This situation had me pouting at first and grouching at anyone who tried to offer encouragement, then feeling sorry for myself over the pie photo I now wouldn’t take because it wasn’t going to look how I hoped.

While the pie cooked, I coaxed myself out of a mini-pity party and remembered that I wrote these two books focused on dropping that exact same standard of perfection to which I was holding myself. It’s my job to meld together what has slid and what still stands and be proud of what I accomplished, a delicious pie from pumpkins I roasted and pureed. In my worklife, I tend to focus on the pile of things that I didn’t get done or how I wished I’d done something better or differently or had exercised more patience, or, or, or…

Pie is apparently my language for self-reflection and this imperfect little pie is my life. I’m damn thankful for it.

Here are some of the highlights from the day once self-reflection time eased into enjoying the first family gathering we hosted in our new home. What a treasure to share our family traditions all together.

First up, I finally got to watch and learn how my dad makes the kick ass gravy from turkey pan drippings and cornstarch. I’ve had no luck with it in the years I’ve tried solo, but watching him work his magic with it was inspiring and made me feel lucky to have him here to teach me. I’m going to practice with making gravy from the bone stock to pour over the leftovers!

Lucky, lucky me that I married into an Italian family and my brother-in-law brought their traditional first course for any holiday, lasagna. O-ehm-Gheeeee. So delicious. Also, lots of hands and loud talking from the Italian side of the table, the Minnesotan Swedes on the other end enjoyed this all quite thoroughly.

Next up was the walk around the farm to let the first course digest and show first-time folks around the property, aka magiclandia where we now live.

Now, down to business. I made Marisa’s recipe for homemade “canned” cranberry sauce that still has the charming tin can ridges and it was a delight to see all cut up how it was served the duration of my childhood of thanksgivings (thanks mom!). I, of course, took the one with the most ridges to signify the most choice slice of cranberry.

And, as always, the best morning-after potion is a pot of simmering bones on the stove becoming nourishing stock that we’ll use throughout the year (after I pressure can it).

How was your day? your pie?