As I write this, with the sun just barely peeking up over the horizon, I can hear my kids in their bedroom planning their escape. Hiro has been trying to get Louisa out of bed for the last 20 minutes so she can pull him up and out of his crib and she is finally relenting. I adore listening to their conversations, it amazes me how much they communicate without making complete sentences. Right now it is going a little something like this:
Hiro: Hessa (that’s what he calls Louisa) out.
Louisa: Okay, okay. Just let me turn this off first (meaning their night light).
Hiro: Okay, Hessa.
Louisa: Urgh (struggling to lift her brother whose body weight is about the same as hers). There you go.
Hiro: OUT! (with major exclamation points of excitement).
Normally I don’t wait for my 5-year-old to fetch my toddler out of bed but it is their little trick and they get such a kick out of pulling it off. That’s one of the benefits of living in our tiny house. I can hear all their intimate conversations, jokes, and secret plans and they are never the wiser. Imagine if they slept on a different floor and all the belly laughs I’d miss out on.
This year our minute abode will be packed to the brim with friends for Thanksgiving. We had planned a very simple affair, had some friends coming from Wisconsin with their daughter, but all the sudden it seems the guest list has exploded. Which is great. I love Thanksgiving and always welcome extra guests. I have no idea where they will all sit, but it gives me a perfect excuse to make more food.
I also have a highly seasonal, partially educational, and overall fantastic book to tell you about from my friends over at Zoobean. It is called Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet. Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade has always been one of the day’s highlights for me and this book tells how it all began over eighty years ago with the creativity and imagination of one man.
It is a wonderful tale to help get you in a festive mood and a great story for Grandma to read to the kids while your elbow deep in a turkey.
Adapted from Pies: Sweet and Savory by Caroline Bretherton
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cold extra virgin coconut oil, lard, or butter, cut into small pieces
- 3-5 tablespoons ice water
- 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups roasted pumpkin purée or 1 (14.5 ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the coconut oil pieces and cut them into the dough using a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.
- Add the water a couple tablespoons at a time, gently mixing it in with your hands by lifting the flour up from the bottom, squeezing gently, then letting it fall through your fingers. Keep adding water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just holds together when squeezed.
- Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (You can make the dough up to a day in advance.)
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8-inch thick then transfer to a 9-inch deep dish pie dish. Trim all but about 1-inch of the dough then, crimp to make a decorative edge.
- Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork, line the dough with parchment paper or foil, and fill with dry beans, rice, or pie weights.
- Place the crust on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes on the bottom shelf of the oven.
- Remove the parchment and beans and fill the crust with the pecans. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes or until the center is cooked. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the pumpkin and cream and combine well.
- Partially pull the bottom oven rack from the oven and place the baking sheet with the pie crust on it. Carefully pour the filling into the crust and slide the rack back in the oven.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is just set in the middle, but before it starts to bubble around the edges. Let cool for at least an hour before serving. Pie can be made, cooled, covered, and refrigerated up to a day in advance. Serve cold or room temperature with maple-spiked whipped cream.