It’s that time of year when I find myself in my pantry taking inventory. No, I’m not extremely obsessed with what’s in there or making sure no one has found my hidden stash of chocolate ( admit it, you have a stash too 😉
It’s honestly to check out what baking ingredients I have or still need before I get ready to start all of my Christmas baking and candy making for the season.
We just wrapped up Thanksgiving where I made a variety of pies and an amazing Pecan Pumpkin cheesecake.
Christmas will be all kinds of cookies, some new recipes, but mostly old, tried and true ones that have been in my family for awhile that everyone looks forward to.
For me, the traditions of the season mean as much as anything else to me. I love that my kids have been raised with certain things that as adults, are now traditions to them. My son is now interested in carrying on similar traditions with his children.
Last week I was whipping up some pumpkin pies, using a batter bowl that had been my grandmothers. She has been gone since 1994, but I know that piece from my childhood, remember her using it.
When she passed away, my mom naturally inherited all of her things. She stashed the “old” dishes away saying she had seen them her entire life and wanted to use different dishes.
When my mom passed away two years ago, the task fell on me to begin sorting through items in her house. Of course the first things I brought home were some of my grandmothers now “old” dishes.
Now long worn with wear, sporting some chips and an occasional crack, to me they reflect life, use, and the service to family. They reflect a time gone by. Family who is no longer with me today. Memories. Traditions. Shared experiences. Life.
Using these items somehow makes me feel more connected to my mom and grandmother.
I will admit, this time of year, from about October thru the New Year is hard for me since my Mom loved the entire “holiday” season. She loved the baking and freely shared her talents with so many people. She worked so hard to make the holidays enjoyable not just for her family, but those she encountered in her daily life. I miss her plotting and planning with me for our big family meals, her festively wrapped packages, and childlike enthusiasm for the season.
Being in the kitchen is just a way I feel connected to her during this time. Using dishes that have been passed along are just a soft touch for me to keep my Mom, grandmother, and memories alive in my mind.
It’s my hope to share, teach and inspire the young women in my family to carry on the traditions for upcoming years and generations for their families.
What traditions do you have in your family during the holidays? Have you started new ones or do you carry on ones that have been in your family for a long time?
Below you’ll find the traditional pumpkin pie recipe I use each year. Enjoy!
(1) 9 inch pie crust. ( homemade or a defrosted all ready crust)
2 eggs, lightly beaten, (1) can 15oz. Solid packed pumpkin, 3/4 c sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, (1) can 12 oz. undiluted evaporated milk
Prepare pie crust, mix filling ingredients in order listed. Pour into crust. Bake in preheated 425 oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350. Bake an additional 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. If necessary cover edge of crust with foil to prevent burning.
Cool and garnish as desired.