Beth Siegalkoff

Each year on Dec. 1, dessert lovers across the United States enjoy a slice of their favorite pie on National Pie Day. While the lesser of the two celebrated pie days (there is also National Pi Day on March 14), it happens to fall smack dab in the middle of a major pie-making season.

Take away ice cream as a dessert choice, and most people are either cake people or pie people. Or, to put it another way, most people have cake or pie with their ice cream.

Combine bumper crops from our gardens and fruit trees with a booming holiday season full of baked goods, cool weather and rosy-cheeked children – it’s time to tie on those apron strings and get baking.

Of course, pies aren’t limited to dessert. Savory potpies provide comfort on a cold winter’s day and the satisfaction a family cook needs when caring for a family.

Bake up your favorite pie or enjoy some leftover pie slices from Thanksgiving. When it comes to pie, or any food really, it’s best enjoyed with others. Invite someone over for your best pie and coffee. Maybe there is a friend far away that you haven’t seen for a while. Have them make a pie or buy one and the two of you sit down and either Face Time or phone each other, and enjoy your pies together.

Eating pie starts conversations, and they are a great way to get your family talking. Some unforgettable memories have been made sitting around the dining room table eating pie.

My ultimate favorite pie is rhubarb. Not rhubarb/strawberry – just straight rhubarb. Rhubarb has a limited season, but it is worth the wait. And while I am waiting for rhubarb season, my daughter’s pecan pie will fill the bill.

So, being it is Dec. 1, how are you doing on your Christmas decorations? Don had lights up before Thanksgiving, testing their location and colors. I hope to have all the indoor decorations done by this weekend so I can enjoy it. Maybe I will go with whatever decorations are up by Sunday and the rest of the decorations will go back in the containers and be used next year.

So, along with decorating, to compliment the tree, there is the wrapping of gifts. Right now, I have several rolls of the Peanuts Gang wrapping paper each with different color and scenes. I may give each member of the family their own specific paper, or not. Wrapping isn’t the issue; it is the added extras.

So, do you wrap the gifts you give with wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, cute name tags or do you skip all the extras and just write the recipient’s name directly on the gift wrap? Do you put the items in Christmas gift bags with lots of tissue paper, or place the items you purchase in an appropriate reusable plastic/paper bag you received from a store?

I have been known to do all the above. Just depends on the size of the gift, or if I’m tired of wrapping, or if the recipient will appreciate the time and effort of paper wrapping, or if I really want to disguise what the gift is by putting a small gift in a big box.

However, if someone is on the naughty list, that someone will receive a very large brown cardboard box or a 33-gallon green garbage bag filled with crumbled newspaper with a note telling them their gift is in the chicken coop. Oh, wait, I don’t have a chicken coop! But I do have access to a goat barn. The chicken coop incident happened to my sister when she was being a snarky teenager one Christmas way back when. Oh, the fun memories.

Recipe of the day: your favorite pie

Flower of the week: Amaryllis

Dates to remember:

Dec. 7 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Dec. 20 – 31 – Christmas vacation for the schools

Dec. 21 – First day of the Winter Solstice

Dec. 25 – Christmas

Until next week – Be strong, be courageous and make a memory.