On Tradition: Or Lack there of

“Santa’s coming! Santa’s coming!” Quick pole, who do you think in my household would be more likely to shout this?

  1. Me
  2. My Mother
  3. My Cat
  4. A small child who snuck into our house at night

If you guessed anything other than, B. My Mother, you are wrong.

Thanksgiving morning every year my mother turns back time and becomes a child. She wakes everyone up at promptly 9am singing that the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade is about to start. While my father and I stumble down the stairs in our Pajamas and squirrely bed heads, whispering obscenities under our breath; my mother sits like a child on the couch watching the parade waiting for the arrival of the holiday season kickoff, Santa.

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It’s a tradition, a weird backwards tradition. The balloons go by, the marching bands, the weird singing acts that get stranger with each passing year, until finally my mother’s big moment. I watch them build, like puddles on a rainy day, her eyes slowly gloss over then overflow with tears of memories. For the past 50+ years my mother has done the same thing every Thanksgiving without skipping a beat, as a child, to young adult, to mother, to now. Thanksgiving morning has always brought her to tears knowing that the season of family, love, and Santa Clause was about to Kick off.

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Another tradition in the family is the pies. It doesn’t matter who makes the dinner, or who says they will make the desserts; my family still makes the pies. Until last year it was solely my mother; apple pie, chocolate cream pie, and pumpkin. But some traditions need to be spiced up.

Until two years ago I never made a pie, any kind of pie. You name it, I’ve never made it. But that was the year of the great apple picking. My mother and I went apple picking and bought our weight in apples. We don’t know why we did this, but for the next few weeks there were apple everything. Meals, sides, sauces, turnovers, pancakes, if you are what you eat, I was a big fat juicy apple. My favorite way to eat an apple is on a stick, covered in M&M’s and caramel, that’s when I found the recipe for a caramel apple pie.  

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It sounded perfect. What is not to love about caramel, apples, and brown sugar? There is something about this combination that is warm and inviting. It is like the pie is wrapping you with a warm brown sugar blanket saying, “sit down and stay awhile”.  I made this for the first time at home; it was a bonding experience for my mother and me, my first pie. It came out perfect. Warm, crispy, and with the home made love that you just taste. For the beginning pie maker this is one of the easiest pies you can ever make. We spent hours on the crust (as you can see in the recipe I am joking), after a few ingredients thrown together and an hour in the oven, this masterpiece is complete.

From my tradition to yours, I hope you enjoy your caramel apple pie, don’t forget the ice cream!!!

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Caramel Apple Pie

Ingredients:

1 Box premade pie crust (I recommend Pillsbury)

½ Cup caramel topping (try butterscotch caramel!!)

2 Tablespoons AP flower

8 Cups of apples that are peeled, cored, and sliced (this should be 6-8 medium apples, I always use 7)

½ Cup brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons AP flower

1 Teaspoon milk

1 Teaspoon Sugar

 

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Prepare crust as directed for a two crust pie.
  3. Combine caramel topping, and flour in a small bowl and spread it on the bottom of the pie crust.
  4. In a large bowl combine apples, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Pour over the caramel mixture and shape with the highest pile of apples in the middle.
  5. Place crust on top of apples, pinch edges all the way around, and cut air holes in the top.
  6. Brush milk over the top of the crust and lightly dust the sugar.
  7. Place in over for 50-60 minutes (Cover crust after 30 minutes of cooking to prevent browning)  

 

 

 

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Welcome to America, Its National Doughnut Day

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Today is June 7, 2013, tropical storm Andrea is drowning the east coast, my diet has officially failed, and oh yeah, its national doughnut day. Dear America, THIS IS WHY YOU’RE FAT.

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I had no plans in taking part of this apparent national holiday. I avoided Dunkin Donuts, drove past Wawa, and I even planed to make anything other than donuts. But it happened, my father called me. “Hey Lauren it’s your Dad!” His message went on, “Hope everything is well with you, and well, I wish you were here to make some doughnuts for the girls at work, they really miss your baking…” I was guilt tripped into making doughnut by a man who works 100 miles from me. Thanks Dad.

I do have a few recipes for some good baked doughnut, like apple cinnamon, or coconut, but I am still 100% against this holiday, so I rebelled without rebelling. Chocolate Chip Cookie Doughnut, that’s what I’m calling them and I’m sticking to it. Cookies that are made in a doughnut pan, so is it a cookie or doughnut? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

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These little circles of confusion would be perfect with a scoop of ice cream in the middle, or broken apart to dip in milk. They are simple as well, just take a chocolate chip cookie recipe (my favorite and the one I used can be found here), and a baked doughnut pan. Spray the pan generously with non stick cooking spray so you can get these conundrums out. Roll the dough between your hands to create a snake like figure and then lay it in the doughnut pan. Plop it in the oven at 375 degrees for 12 minutes and you have a chocolate chip cookie doughnut.

Also For those of us who were wondering here is a list of US national food days:

January

January 2 National Buffet week

January 3 National Chocolate Covered Cherry day

January 2 National Creampuff Day

January 20 Cheese Day

January 23 National Pie Day

February

February 9 National Pizza Day

February 15 National I Want Butterscotch Day

March

March 7 National Crown Roast of Pork Day

March 8 National Crabmeat Day

March 9 National Blueberry Popover Day

March 10 Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day

March 12 National Baked Scallops Day

March 13 National Coconut Torte Day

March 14 National Potato Chip Day

March 17 National Corndog Day

March 23 National Chip and Dip Day

March 31 National Clams on the Half Shell Day

April

April 2 National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

April 12 National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

April 17 National Cheeseball Day

April 24 National Pigs in a Blanket Day

April 25 National Zucchini Bread Day

April 26 National Pretzel Day

April 29 National Shrimp Scampi Day

May

May 4 National Candied Orange Peel Day

May 11 National Eat What You Want Day

May 17 National walnut day

May 24 National Escargot Day

May 28 International Hamburger Day

June

1st Friday National Doughnut Day

June 16 National Vinegar Day

June 17 Eat Your Vegetables Day

June 25 National Catfish Day

July

3rd Sunday National Ice Cream Day

July 3 Eat Beans Day

July 6 Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day

July 7 Macaroni Day

July 15 National Tapioca Day

July 15 Gummi Worm Day

July[when?] Fresh Spinach Day

July 18 National Caviar Day

July[when?] National Daiquiri Day

July[when?] National Junk Food Day

July 28 Hamburger Day

August

August 3 National Mustard Day

August 3 Watermelon Day

August 8 National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day

August 23 National Sponge Cake Day

August 26 National Cherry Popsicle Day

August 28 Crackers Over The Keyboard Day

August 29 More Herbs, Less Salt Day

August 30 National Toasted Marshmallow Day

August 31 Trail Mix Day

September

September 4 National Macademia Nut Day

September 5 National Cheese Pizza Day

September 7 National Acorn Squash Day

September 13 National Peanut Day

September 14 National Eat a Hoagie Day

September 15 National Linguine Day

September 16 National Guacamole Day

September 18 National Cheeseburger Day

September 19 National Butterscotch Pudding Day

September 26 National Better Breakfast Day

September 28 Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children

September 30 National Hot Mulled Cider Day

October

October 4 National Vodka Day

October 20 National Brandied Fruit Day

October 24 Bologna Day

October 24 National Food Day

October 25 National Greasy Food Day

October 28 National Chocolate Day

October 29 National Oatmeal Day

October 30 Haunted Refrigerator Night

October 30 National Candy Corn Day

November

1st Thursday National Men Make Dinner Day 1998, Sandy Sharkey

4th Thursday Turkey Day (informal name for Thanksgiving Day)

Day after Thanksgiving Sinkie Day

November 1 National French Fried Clam Day

November 1 National Cook For Your Pets Day

November 2 National Deviled Egg Day

November 3 National Sandwich Day

November 4 National Candy Day

November 5 National Doughnut Day

November 6 National Nachos Day

November 7 National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day

November 7 National Eating Healthy Day

November 8 National Harvey Wallbanger Day

November 8 Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day

November 9 National Scrapple Day

November 10 National Vanilla Cupcake Day

November 11 National Sundae Day

November 12 National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day

November 12 Chicken Soup for the Soul Day

November 13 National Indian Pudding Day

November 14 National Spicy Guacamole Day

November 15 National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day

November 15 National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

November 16 National Fast Food Day

November 17 National Baklava Day

November 17 Homemade Bread Day

November 18 National Vichyssoise Day

November 19 Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day

November 20 National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

November 21 National Stuffing Day

November 22 National Cranberry Relish Day

November 23 National Cashew Day

November 23 National Eat A Cranberry Day

November 24 National Espresso Day

November 25 National Parfait Day

November 26 National Cake Day

November 27 National Bavarian Cream Pie Day

November 28 National French Toast Day

November 29 Throw Out Your Leftovers Day

November 29 National Chocolates Day

November 30 National Mousse Day

December

December 1 Eat a Red Apple Day

December 1 National Pie Day

December 4 National Cookie Day

December 8 National Brownie Day

December 13 National Ice Cream Day

December 19 National Oatmeal Muffin Day

December 21 National Hamburger Day

December 25 National Pumpkin Pie Day

December 27 National Fruitcake Day

December 30 National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

December 31 National Champagne Day