Family Traditions – The Pie Bar

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Ever stop and wonder what your family ‘traditions’ are?  Honestly it’s pretty tough for me to come up with what mine were – until I got married, and now there’s a whole host of them to be thankful for!  There’s always something ‘about the other family’ that doesn’t look precisely, exactly and perfectly like your own. While that may have sounded a bit tongue-in-cheek, it’s partly meant to.  Part of how I learn is by drawing how something is similar or different (or both in different ways) to each other.

Sure it’s easy to see how a circle is different from a square, but that didn’t seem to matter much when I asked my wife to marry me.  Really though, sometimes it’s just easier to see or appreciate things when they’re contrasted with something else.  Those differences may be obvious or may take a while (possibly even years) to be noticeable.

One of those family traditions, among the several I want to highlight – is the family pie bar.  Really — this thing is amazing! It really comes around every Thanksgiving and Christmas season, and typically takes different shapes depending on whose house we’re at.

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The ladies of the family all pour a few well planned hours, ingredients and family recipes together into up to as many as 12 pies.  There’s pecan, chocolate chip pecan, apple, cherry, pumpkin, and of course my wife’s favorite: Sugar Cream.  These things aren’t just something to compete with store-bought stuff – they’re good.  They’re the type of good that makes you savor each bite and long for another – piece.

And you know they’re made with love – they can’t taste that good not to be.

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The other thing about the Pie Bar is – it’s always open.  As long as pie remains available, you’ can ‘visit’ the pie bar any time – for breakfast (great with coffee), for an after lunch ‘snack’, and of course for supper desert, and then there’s the occasional need for ‘something just before bed’.

There’s always room for another pie at the pie bar – unless it’s something related to coconut.  One year I think a pecan-pie with coconut was made – and it was scorned by all but two of us who like coconut – it’s never returned.  It does somehow still make it’s way into the sweet-potato casserole though – but only into half the dish, and the non-coconutters always chide us on how long it takes us to choke down the ‘edible’ wood-shavings.

Family traditions has always sounded loud, thunderous and monumental in nature – like a old pipe organ in a historically old cathedral building of hundreds of years ago.  But that’s not the case of this family tradition. Our whole family – including those of us not given the gift of pie making, deeply enjoys this part of our getting together.  Now I think I hear a slice of chocolate-chip pecan calling out my name….

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