Three years ago Dan and I started a new tradition called Pie Breakfast. Thanksgiving is such an odd time, we have no idea what we are celebrating. Columbus was probably horrible, and yet being actively grateful is a healthy, counter-cultural thing to do. We noticed that few people have plans early in the day on Thanksgiving, and although eating poultry with our flesh and blood family is fabulous and full in every sense of the word, it seemed lacking. For we are equally, at this stage of life, grateful for the presence of our friends, our larger community that comes through and holds us up repeatedly.
So we started Pie Breakfast. Pie Breakfast consists of Dan and I baking twenty pies on Wednesday night and inviting people we love over to eat said pie for breakfast on Thanksgiving. It is lovely. We go through a pound and a half of coffee, and not quite twenty pies because, well, sometimes we should eat dessert first.
Between baking and hosting, it is one of my favorite twenty-four hours of the year. I feel like Dan and I make our own, self-sufficient family. We started our own tradition, and it seems to tap into what the holiday is indeed trying to celebrate. There is something so life-giving about sipping coffee, holding a bite of something sweet in our mouths to savor, taking time to start the day in the presence of goodness and friends.
Our most popular pies this year were Whiskey Apple, Pear Ginger, Cranberry Walnut and Peanut Butter Fudge. All the recipes came from a cookbook we received as a wedding gift of blue ribbon recipes from State Fairs around the US. On Wednesday night, a few pies into the process, I sat with the super cool apple peeler at the table and watched Dan flip through the blue and white checkered cookbook. I tangibly felt myself fall more deeply in love with him at that moment, as he flipped fairly untouched pages. I realized that this was still the beginning. I saw Pie Breakfasts for years to come flash before me, and I yearned for the pages to be marked up with post-it notes and spills of vanilla and Dan’s scribble. I wanted to be twenty-three years into Pie Breakfast when we had our favorite pies and favorite people. I wanted our relationship to be time-tested and worn in. But I was simultaneously excited to live through each moment until then. As amazing as it will be to grow old with Dan, to be worn-in and splattered and rough around the edges, we are not there yet. We are crisp and new and uncharted. We opened the book and started getting it dirty. We started to ever so subtly earn our worn-in-ness. One pie at a time. I feels like the beginning of a deeply tasty forever.