Spent most of the day catching up with family and friends and neighbors. When I wasn't doing that, I was helping my mother make pies for tomorrow.
I don't usually do that, to be honest. In the old days, I'd be at my home with the kids and just focusing on what I needed to do and take care of.
So it was interesting to be in the kitchen today. Pecan pie? I had no idea how that was made. And had I smelled it in the early stages, I'm not sure I'd ever have eaten it. (I'm the same way with chess pie.)
I stuck to make the cheesecake. That I can handle and have made for years. I can also do many other baked goods but my mother was surprised to learn I had no idea how to make a pumpkin pie. Or a sweet potato pie.
I told her, "We're really not pie people."
And we're not.
And, most important, my kids are like me, if we're having sweets, we want chocolate. In fact, the cheesecake pie I made today is a chocolate cheesecake pie.
So I made some cakes to help out. A lemon cake, and a pound cake and a chocolate cake.
Which had my mother expressing surprise that I made all three cakes from scratch and yet I have no idea how to make a pie crust (other than a graham cracker crust) or to make a pie itself.
It's just not anything that ever interested the kids so it's not anything I ever bothered to learn.
And that led her to share some stories about how my sisters, my brother and I had favorites that she'd have to cook. Which was the best part of the day, hearing those stories.
I am the only one in my family that loves Chinese food. Every birthday, whether money was fine or tight, I could count on having a chocolate cake and Chinese food. If it was tight, it would just be enough Chinese food for me. I didn't know that back then. If things were fine financially, we'd all eat Chinese.
And learning about that, I immediately started reviewing all of my birthdays as a child. So it was a fun day. And my mother made more pies than are needed. Truly, there's probably going to be a pie for each person. I made the one pie (cheesecake), the three cakes, a tray of brownies and some fudge.
You can help her today but, come tomorrow, it will be, "Everybody out of my kitchen! It's too small for everyone to be in here!"
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):