A Feast to be Remembered

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We’re on the “recovery” end of Thanksgiving now and I’m still basking in the warmth and glow of delicious time spent with my family.

On the morning of, Caleb, Mateo, and I set out to make two pies and a cake – our contribution to the family feast hosted by my sister Niki and brother-in-law Michael in Sonoma. Together, we made a classic pumpkin pie, a walnut-chocolate pie, and an apple spice cake with warm fleur de sel caramel sauce topping.

All morning, we milled around the kitchen amidst the warm, spicy baking fragrances of our desserts in the oven. Caleb helped both Mateo and I with the assembly of both pies and the cake, and we enjoyed our cozy time with him in the kitchen. Well, in the spirit of full disclosure, there were a few arguments, outbursts, and moments where patience was lost, but why should we be different from any other family!? We still had a great time together.

We arrived at the “country house” in Sonoma around 3pm with pies and a cake, two kids, and some overnight bags in tow. Soon after, my family was fully assembled and once the turkey had its post-oven-composure-time, we sat down to a truly amazing meal. Every contribution was delicious and I think we were all feeling real gratitude for the colorful, healthy, and flavorful spread in front of us, the love of family, and the longing for those who couldn’t join us around the table.

Come dessert time, we all miraculously found room for the birthday cake, pies, and spice cake, and many “mmmssss” and “ahhhhss” were heard around the house.

I was filled up with much food, but also with heaping amounts of gratitude for having such a beautiful family made up of colorful and creative, outspoken and opinionated, unconventional and righteous, loving and caring souls, and I couldn’t be a luckier person. I am especially grateful that Caleb and Sadie are being raised in a family filled with such crazy, loving, goodness.

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all friends and family. Chanukah is up next!

Our recipes:

Apple Spice Cake (we warmed TJ’s caramel sauce in place of the eggnog sauce)

Chocolate-Walnut Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie with Poppa

Caleb's Pie

Several weeks ago, Caleb came home from Pre-K and was so excited to share what he had learned in class that day. “Did you know that a long, long, long time ago, the Puritans and the Indians fought and killed each other, then the Indians taught the Puritans how to grow food, and then they all ate a big feast together and celebrated Chanukah!?”

Priceless! The material writes itself!

Mateo and I figured that Caleb’s class had received an accurate lesson about this holiday season and we had the privilege of hearing Caleb’s take on things. I can see it now…the Puritans and Indians gathered around the table together eating potato latkes with sour cream and applesauce in peace. Such a feast!

Our family gathered together in Bernal Heights last night at my brother’s home to celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast of our own. Among the many wonderful things to eat, one of the treats I most enjoyed was the pumpkin pie that Caleb and Mateo made from scratch earlier in the day. They made three, in fact, and they were really good.

My guys

Mateo has always loved to bake and he learned to do it well from his mother (“Grammy”) who is an excellent baker. I enjoyed watching Caleb and Poppa baking together. It was a sweet scene. My two guys quietly putting all of the ingredients together.

First, they processed the ingredients for the dough in the food processor, and then they put the two flattened discs of dough into the refrigerator for an hour. Once chilled, they each took turns rolling out the dough until they had two pie crusts. They also had enough left over for a mini-pie just for Caleb. The filling was from a recipe on the back of the Libby can, but Mateo always adds extra spices, and cuts back on the sugar just a bit.

Caleb rolling out the pie dough

The house filled up with warm pumpkin pie fragrance and we were all challenged not to pounce on the poor pies, so we would have something to share with the family after dinner. There were other delicious pies at dinner. My niece, Dylan made a cranberry white chocolate pie, and a walnut pie (pecan pie just with walnuts). The pumpkin pies were also a hit and I know that both Caleb and Mateo felt rewarded for their hard work (and patience) earlier in the day.

Caleb and Poppa

We hope that you and yours had an enjoyable Thanksgiving feast together, surrounded by family, friends, laughter, and good food. I look forward to sharing the upcoming tales of our Chanukah celebration (begins Dec. 2). Not sure that we’ll be having any Puritans or Indians over to our feast, but I’m certain that there will be plenty of gratitude and good things to eat.

Pumpkin Pie

1 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

4 large eggs

1 can (29 oz) 100% pure pumpkin

2 cans evaporated milk

2 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shells (we made ours from scratch)


Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shells. Bake in preheated 425F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce to 350Fl bake 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refridgerate.