Next to Halloween I think Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. Ideally it takes place on a cool but clear blue sky day when there are still leaves on the trees. The kind of day that you can appreciate all the colours of fall with friends and family. The harvest is (hopefully) over and the cold room is stocked for the winter with root vegetables, pickles, and preserves of all kinds and the turkeys are nice and plump. There’s no pressure like there is at Christmas time, no tree to drag out of the basement and decorate; no presents to buy. It’s the holiday of giving thanks, appreciating each other as you are with all your faults (and what family is without faults?) and gathering around the table to eat yourself silly.
This year I am hosting my family and my in-laws at the same time. I could be freaking out right now but I’m not. I have spaces for everyone to lay their heads at night and a full refrigerator and that’s really all that matters. It’s a long drive for all of them so I always aim to keep them comfortable and well fed. We keep our activities low key, save for the odd walk to get our bodies moving after the feast. We usually get a lot of visiting in and the odd (okay multiple) hand of cards.
This year was a bit different. My little sister is getting married!! We decided that since everyone would be together, Saturday would be the ideal time to go dress shopping. She made all the appointments and all of us ladies were really looking forward to the day as none of us had the opportunity to go dress shopping for our own weddings. My mother had made her own dress with the help of her mother and sister (who later wore the dress at her own wedding), my other sister had tried a few dresses on then ordered one off the internet, and mine was home made as well. My mother and I went to the nearest large town to pick up the fabric; yards and yards of cream raw silk with an extra yard or two of seed pearl encrusted raw silk for the bodice. Dress shopping day was a mixture of emotions for everyone, and when my little sister tried on THE dress, there was no denying that it was made for her because EVERYONE was crying. Of course, you might be able to guess that it was the most expensive dress she had tried on that day and she’s still trying to justify spending all that money on a dress for one day. She’s notoriously thrifty, having re-designed a thrift shop dress for her own graduation, so I say it’s a well deserved splurge. I guess time will tell.
Back home during pie time, we were teasing the groom-to-be about the details of the dress, exaggerating the details and seeing how far we could go. He knows that she is a free spirit with a disdain for the mainstream and I truly think there would be nothing that would surprise him; other than that dress.
Chocolate Pecan Pie with Bourbon
- 2 cups (about 7 ounces) pecans
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips