Pies on a snowy day

Nora unchained herself from the kitchen to send a holiday note.  ~Laura

For the next few days, writing takes a backseat to cooking, fussing, eating, drinking, family and friends. Traditions matter, and one of mine is making pies–two apple, two pumpkin, the day before Thanksgiving. The bird will leave no room for pie bakingtomorrow. Plus, whoever said easy as pie should never be allowed to eat a single slice. Pies–when you do them from scratch–are a lot of work, and a lot of time.

But the satisfaction of making them, smelling them cook, is worth it. Plus, eating them. I make damn good pie.

Apple and pumpkin pies
Apple and pumpkin pies

I baked mine today while the first snow of the season fell outside the windows. The first is always the prettiest, and somehow the sweetest. And since they’re now calling for about six inches rather than the threatened twelve, I’m enjoying it quite a bit.

Right now, the extra apples are quartered and simmering on the stove so I can make my mother’s signature applesauce. This I’ll do from memory and taste, as I can’t find my scribbled recipe. And making it will bring her back for a little while, and that’s a lovely thing.

photo (3)
Fall gives way to winter.

Tomorrow it’s the big-ass turkey, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes and all the sides–and my kitchen will be my chaotic hub. But this afternoon, with my pies cooling and scenting the house, the snow falling outside to blanket my woods, it’s nice to have the quiet, and the anticipation of friends and family.

I wish you all the happiest of Thanksgivings, lovely food, sparkling wine, the warmth of friends and family gathering. And, if you’re like me, a little quiet time to count your blessings.


45 thoughts on “Pies on a snowy day”

  1. I don’t just count my blessings on Thanksgiving. I say a 12 second prayer, of thanks, every morning, upon waking.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours! I hope it will be a day filled with lots of good food, love and laughter!
    Warm Regards from a very unusually warm Sweden!
    Britt-Liz Hayward

  3. Hi Nora, I am taking a little break here from making the three sides for my daughter-in-law’s Thanksgiving. I’m bringing a corn casserole made with cornbread mix and sour cream; wild rice with sautéed carrots, celery and onions and herbs for my son-in-law who is gluten free ( helps with migraines, who knew ?) and a fun new bread dressing with a little bit of brandy in it ! My other daughter-in-law ( we have three) made a pumpkin pie for my husband and I when we were visiting in October and she even grew and cooked the pumpkin ! I always used canned so that was a real treat. I am wishing you and yours the loveliest of Thanksgiving days . I’m in S.E. PA so I’m getting the same snow, very pretty as long as we don’t lose our power ! Thank you for all your good wishes, Ellen

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Love your thoughts on pie baking and I’m remembering my Mom as I bake mine.

  5. happy Thanksgiving from Norn Iron (Northern Ireland) to you and yours!! Nora, please could you share your mother’s signature pie recipe? It looks super delicious!! Thanks x

    1. Hi Aisha,

      Nora’s mom made the applesauce, not the pie, and right now that recipe is in her head since she plays with the tastes each go round.


  6. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Nora…..this year I am not traveling to older sons house out of state but going to younger son’s house an hour away. They are cooking and I’m bringing the Asti and flowers for the table and little gift surprises for all. It’s the time we give thanks for blessings and being a cancer survivor of 1 1/2 years, I am very thankful. I hope all of the fans here on this website have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  7. An abundantly blessed Thanksgiving to you Nora, Laura, fans, your families and friends.
    All the way from South Africa!

  8. Count my blessing in, too!
    And thank you – for being what you are, for doing what you do and for sharing it with us.
    Happy holidays and a bunch of good stuff to you and yours!

  9. On this Thanksgiving eve I am with my husband. When i count my blessings he seems to be somehow in everyone. This his the day his dad passed 3 yeard ago. I wish i could bring a smile to his face. But, he is allowed this day to be sad. I am grateful for everything this past year. I am aslo thankful for all the memories I have of family and this time of year. I am a very rich person with so many memories of the people that have gone before us. Happy Thanksgiving. Blessed be to all.

  10. I can smell the pies from here. : ) We got a dusting of snow here in Joppatowne. Today is my husbands birthday, so I made him a cake and peanut butter fudge. I don’t cook and baking is very limited, but I did enjoy making the cake. Rest of my weekend will be spent wraping all the gifts that I have. Just waiting to get a few GC for nieces and then I am done. Enjoy your time with your family and friends.

  11. Happy Thanksgiving Nora! I hope you and your family have a wonderful and blessed day tomorrow.

  12. Nora have a great Thanksgiving. Laura thanks for everything and enjoy Thanksgiving.

  13. As we now live on the east coast enjoyed relating to your 1st snowfall of the season today…. So beautiful & peaceful.
    Taking time to be thankful for everything precious… And also thankful for many hours of enjoyment reading your novels…thank you Nora!

  14. I love the posts that let us into your home. They are the best. Today my family and I did Thanksfamilygiving. I cooked the turkey and all the fixing and the three of us sat at the table enjoying each other and talked about what we are thankful for. Tomorrow Thanksgiving Day we will go to a friends for all the festivities. I will bring homemade pies. (One apple, one pumpkin, and one pecan. ) Making the pies brings me back to my grandmother kitchen. I can almost feel her behind me when I’m rolling out piecrust. And for a moment I’m a little girl standing on a stool helping grammy make pie. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  15. Enjoying the same snow you are Nora, as we are only a few hours south of you. Also baking up a storm, pies and cupcakes for my daughter who wouldn’t touch a pie with a ten foot pole…ha…! Enjoy your day with your family, Happy Thanksgiving!! 🙂

  16. I am thankful for Nora’s writing (everyday), thankful for Laura’s reporting and thankful for all of us reading – surely a very special joy not all of the women in this world have.

  17. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Nora and Laura. Thank you for sharing. I like to make pies from scratch, but alas, I do not have the time these days. Off to the in-laws tomorrow for Thanksgiving. It will be great to see the family, our daughter in college and the niece and nephews. Blessings to all.

  18. Happy Thanksgiving Nora to you & your family. Your pies look scrumptious. Enjoy!

  19. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Nora. I’m thankful everytime I get quiet time to read one if your stories! 🙂

  20. We also enjoyed the lovely snow here in CT. Now that the work day is over I’ll be enjoying vacation till the 8th of December (Yay me!) After work my mom who is up visiting from the Carolinas helped me make some pumpkin bread and my grandma’s carrot tea bread. Tomorrow I’m hosting a small meal for my husband, brother and three children. My oldest daughter is turning 16 tomorrow so it’ll be extra special. Thank you for sharing a ‘slice’ of your day with us. Hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow!

  21. hi Nora have a very happy thanksgiving hope you and your family have a great day and that you have great food and I love apple pies too from scratch we are getting 55 cm of snow tonight and tomorrow yuck god bless ya’ll

  22. That’s what I must have been smelling on my way home today. I only planned to work until 2:00 but the snow was so heavy in Frederick I felt we were probably getting a bit more in Keedysville and left to get across the mountain by 11am. I have to agree completely about the beauty of today’s snow and the first snow as well! Happy Thanksgiving!

  23. I remember the big family Thanksgivings and I remember all those who have passed on that I spent those Thanksgivings with. I am thankful I will see them again.

  24. Nora, just looking at those pumpkin pies made me hungry. I used to make my own pumpkin pies from cooking down the fresh pumpkin to the crust made from scratch. Over the years I got out of the habit. Thinking maybe I should get back in the habit. Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving. Laura, wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving also.

  25. We sometimes do pies (pumpkin only, as I am awful at others), and rarely do turkey. We have our long-standing traditions, though, and that is what has mattered most over the years.

    Thank you for sharing yours.

    It may sound odd, but this year I am giving thanks for the In Death series – Eve is a bit socially awkward, as am I, and her friends are diverse and unique, as are mine. I find a part of myself in these stories as I have rarely found before. And that matters. Thanks.

  26. Nora, thank you for taking the time today to share this lovely and sweet note. You are a very special lady to do so. Have a wonderful day with your family tomorrow. God bless all of you (and Laura, too!).

  27. What a lovely gift for us, thank you! Wishing you a wonderful holiday.

  28. Nora, Like minds, I too made pumpkin and apple and my mom always made the best apple pies, refusing to use any apple but a granny smith. My prep is done, now it is all the guys game, as Jim makes the ultimate (MAG) turkey every year. In my down time, I continue absorbing the death series one at a time, at the moment almost completed Memory. Again, I enjoy your art. I am thankful for your talent! Happy thanksgiving from Lake Benton, MN

      1. :)…and apple pie served only: warm with New York Vanilla ice cream!..:)…hoping your holiday was filled with good memories!

  29. Nora, have a Lovely time with your friends and family this Thanksgiving. Thinking about my brother and his family in Kwajalein. Warm regards from a very sunny and hot South-Africa

  30. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your family. May your blessings be many.

  31. Tthose pies look fantastic! Any tips for making piecrust without swearing a lot? Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

  32. When my son bought his first home 6 years ago October he asked me and my husband to come share his first Thanksgiving in his new home, he told Mom you’ve made enough Thanksgiving dinners, it’s my turn now. Every year we go there but I always get a small turkey to make at home because you just have to have a turkey sandwich the next day, lol. Every year I bring something and this year it is pumpkin and apply pies. Because my son and my grandkids like it I make the lattice weave for the top crust on the apple pies and I made those today. It’s just lovely when the whole house smells of apple pie, it reminds me of my grandmother’s cooking – she was an amazing cook and it is always a lovely memory when something I make today brings her to mind. Have a wonderful and Blessed Thanksgiving Day and enjoy the time with your family.

  33. There are only a few minutes left right now, but a Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

  34. How lovely! The whole scene is charming — the pies, the quiet setting, the scents, the snow outside… All of it sounds delightful. Wonderful time to count your blessings indeed!

  35. Thanks for sharing the memories and the reminder to take time to be thankful. Sometimes its too easy to take for granted all I have. I enjoy all the conveniences of life living in USA and working at an excellent job with interesting co-workers all doing their best. I’m thankful to be able to step back and reflect on this long weekend. The tastes, smells all bring me back to happy times with my Grandma and Grandpa and Great Uncle Harvey. Lovely people that made wonderfully memories I’ll never forget and will be forever grateful. Peace to you, Nora and to you Laura and your families and friends.

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