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Thanksgiving Dinner and Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut cream pie

Don’t know about all of you… but I’m stuffed to the gills and probably will be for several days!

Thanksgiving was a fantastic day… got to spend time with our children and their spouses, granddaughters, and both sets of children’s in-laws. We ate til we couldn’t eat another bite, watched football, played card games, sat on front porch and rocked or stood in front of the fireplace and just thoroughly enjoyed being together.

And ended the day with loads of picture taking. I take lousy pictures and wish I could just fade into the background when the iphones start snapping. Does anyone else feel that way? I look at the pictures that get posted on Facebook and see the men all looking rather stern, the girls with beautiful smiles and cute put-together-outfits and then there I am… half smile, eyes closed, and looking totally dumpy and frumpy!

But other than pictures, Thanksgiving turned out GREAT!

All the family - Thanksgiving 2017

Turkey, ham, dressing, and all the trimmings. And of course, pumpkin, pecan, german chocolate, and coconut cream pies.

Let me tell you about making my first coconut cream pie. Happened 50+ years ago… had just gotten married and wanted to make my husband a pie for his birthday.

I didn’t have a clue how to make pies… I grew up cooking – fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans… everything but desserts. We seldom had desserts at our house. Lots of fruit, but not much sweet stuff.

My Grandmother, who had cooked for the Greenwood school cafeteria for years and was a fantastic cook, made lots of pies, so I called to get her help. She gave me the recipe for her pie crust and the filling.

She said to make and cook the pie crust first, so I dumped the 5 lb sack of flour in the bowl, added 2 T. salt, scooped out all of the 3 lb can of shortening and started trying to get it all mixed up. After about 15 minutes, there was flour all over the kitchen counter, and it was barely sticking together. She said to add the 2 cups of cold water last, so I poured it in and with my hands, tried to get it mixed up. It turned into a big lumpy, sticky, mess!

I dumped it out onto the waxed paper I had put down and started rolling it out. The dough kept sticking to the rolling pin, so I finally rubbed some butter on it. I had to add more waxed paper and pretty soon, I had a HUGE rectangle of pie dough about 1/4″ thick running about 3 feet down my counter. I put my pie pan upside down on the crust, cut around it with a knife and then picked the circle up and put in the pie pan. There was still a lot of dough left, but I really didn’t need it, so I threw it in the trash can.

She had said the pie crust wouldn’t take but a few minutes to cook. So, as soon as mine got brown all over, I took it out of the oven.

My cooked pie crust

Granny said the recipe was the same for any cream pie… you just added the coconut, chocolate, pineapple or banana in after it was cooked and just before you poured it in the pie shell.

I made the filling exactly like she said. When it started to boil, I added the egg yolks and butter and cooked it for 15 minutes. I took it off the stove, added the coconut, and poured it in the pie shell. It was really runny, but I figured it would get thick when it cooled off.

After an hour or so, I checked and it was still sunny, so I poured it back into the pan and brought it to a boil again. It was still runny, but surely it would get thick this time, so I poured it back into the pie shell, which was getting really soggy, and put it in the refrigerator and waited another hour.

When I checked, it was still runny, and the pie crust was completely mush.

I threw the whole thing in the trash on top of all the extra pie dough and didn’t mention a thing to my husband about his “almost coconut pie”.

The recipe for Granny's cream pies

The next time I saw Granny, she asked about how the pie turned out. When I told her about all the extra crust, she started laughing… the recipe she had given me was for 20 pie crusts. She said she figured I would know that… I just looked at her – how exactly was I supposed to know that, I had never made a pie before?

And as far as the runny coconut filling… she said after you add the eggs, you bring the filling to a “rolling boil” and cook it for 15 minutes OR until it gets thick. Her recipe said nothing about “rolling boil” and cooking until it was thick!

It was years before I attemped a coconut pie again… but every single time I make one now, I remember that very first one and what a disaster it was.

Speaking of disasters, I wonder if there are “lessons” on how to pose for Thanksgiving and Christmas pictures! I need to Google that…

Here’s a few pics of the family – 

Family 2
Family 1
This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. Cheryl you look great! You have a beautiful family! Your family and home represents you and from what ive seen its pretty AMAZING! You are very Blessed! The pie looks delicious! Ive had pies do that too (my pecan pumpkin pie) I put 2 full pies on top eachother to have a MAJOR mess in my oven ? happy belated THANKSGIVING!

  2. Cheryl I have a gravy story that is so similar to that…. i wound up with enough for Scott’s army!!(no idea who he was but heard that all my life) anyway. It was hilarious!!! I have learned how to make pretty good gravy now tho!!
    And…. your pictures are all very good!! Beautiful family you have !!!

  3. Hilarious. I remember my first pie crust. It was really really bad. I finally gave up and use the “red box” for all my crusts.

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