Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pie Night

Coconut Cream Pies

Yep. I made 'em—homemade pies by OMA.
I'm a little proud as you can see.
I've never thought of myself as a pie maker.

Grandma Bagley

Grandma Bagley was the pie maker. Dad stopped to check on her every night on the way home from work. There was always a banana cream, a lemon meringue, peach, apple, chocolate or custard pie. Dad was a dutiful son, but grandma employed a secret method to encourage devotion. When I worked for my dad during my teens I got in on the visit and my favorite was coconut cream.

My kids have a tradition called Pie Night. It happens the Sunday before Thanksgiving, a get together to celebrate the sweetness of family. With 7 kids, 7 in-law kids who all come from big families on every side, it's never been a goal to get us all together for Thanksgiving. Little groups meet up and have Thanksgiving—the eastern families met at an Amish cabin for a few years, a group made a trek to St. Louis last year. One of our families gets a condo in Sun Valley with the in-laws every other year. We Opis family hop—we've been to Boston, Pennsylvania, Denver, San Diego, and this year we're in Arizona for the big day.

I have a family of event planners. Any occasion deserves a name and a theme, a game or two and some spectacular food. A great joy of this phase of life is visiting our kid's homes as guests. We are treated royally. Today one grandkid is assigned to each of the four grandparents coming to dinner, as their slave. They will serve us our food, clear our plates, replenish our glasses and be our dinner companion. It's so fun to watch Luke make place cards, and Sam light candles. Emily helped me tear up bread for the stuffing while Jake went off to play (officially) in his first turkey bowl. I LOVE seeing Gabi and Brad on their own turf, totally in control of the whole day. It is a treat beyond anything . . . even beyond pie.

Which brings me to my perfect pie recipe:

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

One can coconut milk, and enough half and half to make 3 cups liquid.
3 egg yolks
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1 cup flaked, sweetened coconut
1 baked pie shell
1 cup sweetened, whipped cream

In a medium saucepan combine eggs, sugar, flour and salt. Slowly stir in coconut milk/cream mixture. Bring to a a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup coconut, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 T butter. Pour into pie shell and chill 2-4 hours.

Toast 1/4 coconut on ungreased pan in a 350 degree over 5-7 minutes until golden brown, stirring often. Cool. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top of pie. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Stand back and wait for compliments!!!

Gotta go and taste-test some rolls!
Happy Thanksgiving!

P. S. I'm thankful for you!

P. S. P. S. Kirby Puckernut wants you to visit his blog! Click here!

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