My company held it's annual "Pie Fest" a couple of days before Thanksgiving. There were some familiar flavors: pumpkin and pecan, blueberry and cherry, coconut custard and chocolate cream, as well as a few unusual ones as well -- I didn't try the peanut butter one, but I heard it was really good. I missed the sweet potato one, as it went by really fast, and sadly, there was no strawberry rhubarb in the mix.
I remember watching my grandmother and great-grandmother bake pies one year. They didn't have any special pastry blenders or frozen pie shells, but used their fingers to cut the lard and flour together. Mincemeat, pecan, and rhubarb were popular, as well as sour cherry made from fruit they bottled in the summers.
This year I went traditional -- pumpkin and pecan. I love the Williams-Sonoma "Pecan Pie in a Jar" which is easy to use -- add eggs and butter, mix well, and pour into a pie shell. It turns out that pecans are scarce this year and the prices have gone up (according to an article in the NYTimes today) so I guess I got lucky with my pre-made filling!
I went straight to the recipe on the can of pumpkin for my pie this year. Why mess with a good thing? The pies turned out perfectly, and with some freshly whipped cream on top, they're quite delicious.
Later today, we're heading to a friends house for an annual Pie & Bingo party. We'll play bingo using M&Ms, and every bingo winner gets to grab a wrapped present from a giant pile in the middle of the room (or steal a present from someone else's pile.) Highlights of presents from years past include a head scratcher, king-size candy bars, a mailbox, advent calendars, and lots of books. Then we eat more pie with ice cream and whipped cream.
Why don't we eat pie for other other holidays? What flavors would we make for Valentine's Day? Or Easter?