Nov 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts & Aunt Helen’s Pie Recipe!!!

Thanksgiving Thoughts & Aunt Helen’s Pie Recipe!!!

posted in: Blog, Holidays, Recipes

So…I just started getting emails from a site about “8 weeks to a frazzle free Christmas.”  Yikes – that frazzles me just stating it’s coming up so fast. The marketers are out in full force and Christmas displays in stores are all the rage. I haven’t even cooked up my pumpkin pies yet and we are on to Christmas? I don’t know any moms who have embraced this “shove the holidays in your face” mentality.  We seem to police everything these days so why isn’t there some law about moving the order of the holidays up and placing undue stress on parents? Who is doing this? Why are they doing this? I have to believe that many a mom is in charge of those big corporate marketing departments. Don’t they know they are responsible for breaking the code? And they are doing it to fellow sisters!

Some will just sigh and say “it is what it is” but I’m not willing to let big corporate America win my kids and my wallet over in October, let alone November. At some point we need to stand up and just say NO. So all you moms out there – what would you say NO to if you could – loud and clear, without fear of being scorned or chased off the soccer field? It’s all in there- I know. Just let it out. In honor of Thanksgiving, which symbolizes FAMILY, I will get us started with the “Just Say No To…”  campaign.

I will end here by sharing my Great Aunt Helen’s Pumpkin Pie recipe. Aunt Helen was maybe 5 ft tall, maybe 3 feet wide, smoked like a chimney, and lived alone (her fiancée was killed in the war) in Wethersfield, CT.  She was the warmest, most delightful chef I know who took the time to let us into her kitchen on family Thanksgivings. She showed us how to test cakes, whip up butter, shape a crust and more. It left an indelible mark of happiness and ultimately had a part in shaping my business today. Aunt Helen lived to be 103. On Wednesday I will again toast you Aunt Helen as we all whip up 6 pumpkin pies! And NO – I will not be working the whole weekend and no I will not be shopping at midnight. Here are a few more no’s

 Just Say No To…

  • football practice 4 nights a week starting in August
  • practices that meet at any hour before 9am on the weekends
  • casinos in our patriotic state of MA
  • things that interfere with family dinner hour
  • lawyers who ring up people’s bills for no reason
  • mean spirited politicians
  • new uniforms every year when the old ones are perfectly fine
  • fees I have to pay for services I will never utilize
  • all those useless plastic trinkets from fun meals
  • the bazillion pounds of plastic we are making from throw away water bottles
  • parking garages that don’t say they are full when they really are
  • people who incorrectly judge a book by it’s cover

 Feel free to post YOUR comment anonymously or with a code name!

Happy Thanksgiving- relax and enjoy the pie!

Aunt Helen’s Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients: (makes 2 pies)

2 pie shells

1 can “One Pie” pumpkin

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. flour

2/3 cup dark brown sugar

2 cups milk

1 tsp. salt

1 cup evaporated milk

2 tsp. cinnamon

4 large eggs, beaten slightly

½ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. cloves

¼ tsp. ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 450 º.   Mix all ingredients with a beater until well blended.
  2. Carefully pour into pie shells.
  3. Bake at 450 º for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn oven down to 375 º and bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Pie is done when somewhat solid in the middle. It will firm up as it cools.
  6. Serve with homemade whipped cream or ice cream!
  1. Kendall Walker
    Nov 23, 2011

    I want to thank you, and your aunt Helen for this pie recipe. I was lucky enough to have you share this with me last year and it was a big hit. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Brenda
    Nov 26, 2011

    I am going to try this recipe. I have more pumpkin that “needs” to be used … and I love nutmeg! Thank you for visiting my site also :)

  3. Patty Linnon
    Nov 30, 2011

    Mary, this is great. I never had Aunt Helen’s recipe for pumpkin pie. I’ll try it right after I get back home to CT. (I’m in FL right now.) And you are right about Aunt Helen. She was very special. Your Aunt Gail painted a beautiful image of her life at the funeral Mass. She was among the first feminists!

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