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Nash, Edith / Practice the here and now: selected writings of Edith Nash

Nash, Edith
Grape pies,   pp. 18-19

Page 18

Grape Pies
 When Paul and Walter, Richard and I were growing up, we celebrated Thanksgiving
with a vengeance. All the relatives came from far and near. The children
had a special children's table (greatly resented by me) with a favorite aunt.
There were two enormous turkeys to be carved at the end of the big table,
one with oyster dressing and one with chestnut, carved by my father at one
end and an uncle at the other.
 In later years family friends joined us, and one of them, Edwin Herbert
Lewis, wrote a blessing to be read as a responsive reading that was very
beautiful and very thankful, and did not mention God once.
 Our mother was the queen of the occasion. Our father made the place cards,
carved, and read the blessing, but his contribution paled beside the majesty
of her hospitality.
 Sometimes there were humorous skits performed in the sated afternoons, written
by our clever aunts. One time the twins, Paul and Walter, who were apt to
wear different colored ties so they could be told apart, sneaked upstairs
and exchanged ties to confuse their adoring public. The afternoon
wore on, later and later, and although everyone said they could never eat
anything again, our mother began to get out. ~ - the turkey and the vegetables,
the whole groaning board again for supper.
 After this had happened several years and was therefore a tradition, Paul
announced that it was boring to eat the same food twice in one day, and he
would make a special dessert for supper. Our mother did not really care for
competition in meal planning, buying, writing menus, and organizing the cook
and the two maids who served for the occasion. But he did it anyway and decided
on grape pies. I had never heard of them and was therefore fascinated by
the idea of an exotic dessert.
 Paul bought dark, dark blue grapes bursting with juice, cooked them to extract
the juice, and made a custard. Somehow I associate this with Mrs. Moody's
cookbook, but it is not known to me today, although I have the book and still
use it

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