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Family Recipe

October 16, 2014

pie being madeLast weekend I made my first apple pie. Making it was, well, a piece of cake. But that had more to do with my cousin Todd who supervised the Apple Pie-A-Thon in his kitchen, than about my skills as a baker.

apple pickedWhen you’re organized and have all the ingredients and kitchen tools at the ready, making an apple pie (or anything else for that matter) is pretty simple. In one afternoon, Todd oversaw the making of 33 pies. (After I made mine, I was more useful washing dishes and organizing kitchen cabinets).

The Pie-A-Thon was part of my cousin Jenny and her husband Todd’s annual Columbus Day/Apple Picking/Pie Making weekend. They invite 40 family and friends to their upstate New York home. Sleeping bags, air mattresses and sweatshirts adorn every corner of their homey abode. The kitchen is in continual use. Kids run around nonstop, while adults chat as new faces arrive hourly. The days are interspersed with hiking, biking, campfires and eating. It’s constant fun.

pie groupBut it’s endless work, though you’d never know it.

As seamless as the weekend appeared, there was plenty of preparation that went into it. One section of their 3-car garage resembled a mini Costco as it was filled with industrial sized bags of sugar and flour (for the pies), paper goods, bagels, peanut butter, drinks, snacks and more. Much more. It’s obvious Jenny and I are cut from the same cloth, though she may be a step or two above me.

piesPlanning and hosting this event requires plenty of lists. Foods to buy, folks who are coming, and things to do. However, that’s only part of it. The part that makes your guests feel like they just had the most magical 3-days of their lives does not come from a To Do list or is found in any How To Plan a Party manual. That skill comes from within, from the love you feel for those around you. Come to think of it, that’s also the secret ingredient for any successful recipe. Oh how delicious it is.


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  1. Deborah Golden permalink

    My Grandma Helen made the best apple pie. This is not to negate all the other apple pie bakers out there. It was always delicious to the last bite and her devotion and love for her family filled your heart as well as your tummy. Your pie baking experience sounds wonderful.

  2. Joe F permalink

    I truly envy you. What great way for a family get together. I do make an Apple Tarte Tartin with Granny Smith apples. Hopefully sometime in the future, I can do it for you or Jackie.

  3. Sounds like a blast! Hope you are well!!

  4. Marilyn Solomon permalink

    Sounds & looks like lots of fun! 😀

  5. Jenny Landry permalink

    Loved this…THANK YOU.  I was actually thinking…after everyone left …beds were stripped  and all things put back in place… that I was TOTALLY ENERGIZED.  Believe it or not while I may have been a bit tired physically…its things like this that energize my soul…. You know me…everything is about the energy….walking through my home with every room consisting of laughter, puzzles …some napping…some outside jumping in leaves… just a home full of TOTAL love and laughter has totally ignited me for at least two months… 

    While some exercise for energy ( someything I obviously need to do a bit more of based on the pictures ) others take vitamins, others keep busy…I find my energy from the people I love the most… every hug every smile, every completed pie… fills the tank just a bit more.

    Thanks so much for being a part of it this year.  I hope we didnt overwhelm George.  He seemed pretty happy….and I di hope he chooses to go on the golf outing next year…if work and life permits.  The guys are NOT golfers…. but the truly have so much fun and are very relaxed….and a day at home with all the girls…chatting and laughing and making good food is just as much fun for us too….

    Anyway, I can’t tell you how great it was to have you join us this year…thanks for all your help in the kitchen and the bagels and everything else. I think being part of a group where everyone has thier niche and helps… makes it so possible….not only did Craig and Todd totally help with the cooking…you , Jackie , ruth a constant clean up crew in kitchen… but when everyone left…Eric and Mike had folded up all the tents and tables…neatly back in garage… Jaime and Gail stripped all the beds and kathy and company supervised basement clean up… seripously a HUGE help…. washing sheets and putting beds back together can happen any time… well with exception of mine and Beccas bed…..and I have just taken the week to wipe down every inch of house and floors…which I do every week anyway, …Looks like it never happened… which is actually sad…. 

    Anyway, as always a favorite weekend of mine and so glad you were here to share it with us.  George is a great guy.  I really like him… hope he was comfy..

    Anyway, I can share this on FB or elsewhere so Gail, Mike etc can read it…let me know.

    Love you,


    PS… not a step ahead of you at ALL…… just trying to catch up 🙂   LOVE LOVE LOVE you….

  6. Richard Aberson permalink

    This was so good I can’t wait for your family Thanksgiving celebration.

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