Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Simple in nature - no gift giving, no chocolate bunnies, nor even Great Pumpkins. At most there were paper pilgrim cutouts and hanging Indian corn on the front door.
In our house, the Macy’s Day Parade always was on as my mom pushed to get the "bird" in the oven. My little brother and I contributed to the dinner by tearing the bread for her Pennsylvania Dutch stuffing. Usually that meant leaving out two loaves of bread for a few days for it to go stale. If the bread disappeared in the interim (i.e., eaten by three boys and their friends), then we just spent Wednesday night toasting freshly bought bread and dicing it into Stove Top cubes.
Growing older and a bit more useful I learned to make a pumpkin cool whip cheesecake. Now this diet-buster consists a layer of mixed cool whip and Philadelphia cream cheese and another layer of mixed vanilla pudding and canned pumpkin. Now “make” should not be confused for real cooking or baking. The basic ingredients results in a tasty dish no matter what order you mix them together.
Making “David’s pies” was something that mom and I did together. We usually started just about the time Santa made his appearance in the parade. This meant that she was either late with cooking or I was late getting over to the house. We learned that we could put them in the freezer to set. These shortcuts were just what families do to make everything work out.
This Thanksgiving I will be traveling so I do not plan on making the pumpkin cheesecake – at least not for Thanksgiving dinner. However, I will tune into the Macy’s Day parade so that I continue to honor a family tradition. I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Thanksgiving.
PS I have attached links to recipes for both the stuffing and the pies.
Pennsylvania Dutch Stuffing
Pumpkin Pie Cheese Cake