“Carmel apple pie!”

“No! Boston cream pie!”

“Wait, I’ve got it! Pumpkin cheesecake! No, eggnog cheesecake!”

“How about something with an Oreo crust?! Ooooooo….”

“Three words, Mom: Ice Cream Pie.”

I’m in charge of baking two pies this week, and the kids are just as excited, and may I say just as indecisive, as I am when it comes to which pies to bake. Can’t mess up Pie Night, right?

When I feel overwhelmed by conflicting theories on how to create the flakiest crust ever (butter vs. shortening, hand mixed vs. the food processor), and whether the fuss of a meringue is worth it, I like to toss out the fact that the pilgrims didn’t even have sugar that first Thanksgiving feast in 1621, let alone shortening or expeller pressed oils, and they still had a grand old time.

“Let’s be purists this year. What d’ya say?” I teased the kids. “According to this book here, the pilgrims ate stewed eels, boiled pumpkins, and cod and sea bass for Thanksgiving. In fact, it says that the children were the ones to catch the eels in the streams by pushing them out of the mud with their bare feet just like Squanto taught them. Hmmm, interesting. How about a field trip down to the Asian market for eels? Be sure to wear your sandals!”

I can’t help but stir the pot every now and then, but they called my bluff pretty quickly. Sorry, no eels, no cod, and any pumpkin we consume this Thursday will be swimming in cream and sugar and baked in a flaky crust.

But all our indecision and waffling over which pies to make (a waffle crust perhaps?) brought up another kind of Thankful List this year. We decided to be grateful for our struggles, like deciding which pies to bake, because even our struggles and frustrations can signal there is something there to be grateful for.

Once the thankful ball was rolling, our Thankful List list looked something like this:

I’m grateful we don’t know which pies to make because that means we have access to all kinds of yummy ingredients.

I’m grateful for stinky diapers because that means we have a baby.

I’m grateful for lots of dishes to wash because that means our family is all home for dinner.

I’m grateful for the mess in the playroom because that means friends like to come over.

I’m grateful for my book report assignment because I got to read that cool book I wouldn’t have read otherwise.

I’m grateful for the mess in the bathroom because that means you are potty trained.

I’m grateful that the baby can climb up onto the table and make a mess of my stuff because that means her muscles are getting stronger.

I’m grateful for endless loads of laundry because that means we have plenty of clothes to keep us warm.

I’m grateful for the cold outside because it means hot cocoa inside!

I’m grateful for these five pounds I want to loose because they mean I am surrounded by delicious things to eat.

Silver linings are always nice to find. Serving them with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream doesn’t hurt either.


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