Back when pie was P.I.E.

One of my favorite times of the year is here: It's pie season!

pie buffet

The weeks surrounding Thanksgiving are when pies take center stage. Christmas time is for cookies; Thanksgiving time is for pies. The planning for them. The baking of them. The eating of them. This is when the traditional Thanksgiving favorites top dessert menus.

I'm talking pumpkin pies, of course, but apple pies, pecan pies, sweet potato pies and mincemeat pies, too. Though I admit I've never tried the last three on the list, as traditional Thanksgiving pies at my place are pumpkin, cherry and chocolate cream. (Pecans, sweet potatoes and mincemeat aren't something I have a hankering for any time of the year, in pies or otherwise.)

Then there are the fancy-pants kinds of Thanksgiving pies seen on magazine covers and Pinterest boards, the pies I hope to one day bake, hope to one day taste. Caramel apple pie. Pumpkin ice cream pie. Peanut butter pie. Strawberry-raspberry pie and cranberry pies of all sorts, too.

I love pie.

But Thanksgiving time is the only time I make pie, the only time I eat pie.

That wasn't always the case.

For a brief period of time when my daughters still lived at home, I proposed pie as our all-time — meaning All. The. Time — dessert of choice. Not for dessert though, but for breakfast. On Saturdays. Saturdays far removed from Thanksgiving.

For several months, I offered my then-teenage girls (and my husband, too) pie on Saturday mornings. A time or two I baked a pie, but more often than not it was a perfect pastry picked up from the nearest Village Inn or Perkins, those 24/7 restaurants featuring display cases filled with full-sized pies of the most luscious sorts. Our favorite was the silky smooth French Silk topped with rich, thick, real whipped cream and chunky chocolate shavings. Runner up? A cookies and cream concoction that was to die for, at least for those who'd die for more than their share of Oreo cookies.

On very ordinary Saturdays, I'd set out on the kitchen counter the perfect pie for the family to serve themselves a piece as they woke on Saturday mornings. Alongside the delectable pie and the dessert plates on which pieces were to be placed, I set a note card on which I'd written the following:

May you always have P.I.E.
Peace, Inspiration and Enthusiasm

Those three things — peace, inspiration and enthusiasm — were what I considered essential ingredients for a fullfilled life. I wanted fulfilling lives for my girls. I wanted them to always have peace, always find inspiration, always be enthusiastic about their world and their place in it.

I wanted them to always have P.I.E.

I thought pie was the perfect way to serve up regular reminders to pursue exactly those things.

My pie-serving quest took place during my oldest daughter's senior year of high school. When the opportunity arose for parents to purchase ad space in the yearbook, space in which they could publish a farewell to their graduating children, I bought space, noted a few niceties for Brianna from Mom and Dad, and ended it with "And remember to always have P.I.E."

I wanted Brianna, as well as Megan and Andrea, to place firmly in their hearts and minds my efforts at impressing upon them the importance of P.I.E.... and pie. I wanted those pie-serving Saturdays to be added to their lists of Cool Things Mom Used to Do and become cool things they would one day do with their own children. I wanted them to always remember to have P.I.E. and to always remember Mom's serving up of such slices of wisdom.

That didn't happen.

I asked one of my daughters not long ago if she remembered all the pie we used to eat. My question sparked not even the slightest glimmer of remembrance. More recently, when the proliferation of pie pins on Pinterest reminded me of our P.I.E. eating days and I considered writing a post such as this, I asked Jim if he remembered those pies I hoped had meant so much to my family. He didn't.

pumpkin pie

Sometimes our attempts at making an impression on our children, on our families, fail. My earnest efforts at making P.I.E. an important part of our Saturdays and each and every day to come were one such failure. It was good at the time. No, it was delicious at the time. But, as is the case with all things related to growing babies into adults, that time didn't last. Our prime pie season, for reasons of which I'm not quite sure, lasted a shorter period than most other seasons of childrearing.

No matter, though. The return of pie season brings with it my hope that peace, inspiration and enthusiasm abound in the hearts and lives of my daughters — even without me foisting upon them oversized servings of French Silk Pie.

And despite being unable to share oversized servings of French Silk Pie with you, my friends, I hope that during this Thanksgiving season and beyond, you, too, will remember to always have pie. Not only the pie that satisfies your stomach, but the P.I.E. that satisfies your soul, too.

Photos: Top photo from and altered by me. Pumpkin pie photo mine (click the pie for recipe).

Today's question:

What are your favorite kinds of pie?