Outside, bare tree-branches shiver against the increasingly near, onset of winter, while inside, the fireplace crackles and spits. A football game saunters along half-noticed on the flat-screen, and all manner of friendly hound, kitten or cousin is strewn about in the catatonic aftermath of the gluttonous feast.
And yet, there’s more.
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a final, gut-busting slice of scrumptious pie and a cup of hot coffee. It’s an all-American indulgence, an extra helping, an encore following the play’s final act. It’s the desired, expected and fitting end to the holiday—a last hurrah!
Just considering such a thing, at this stage of the proceedings, will require physical and mental strength. Some stuffed guests might even greet the announcement of “Pie!” with a soft groan. A few won’t even make the initial serving. They’ll be forced to pick from the remains, hours later, after suddenly getting jarred awake and sober by a blaring infomercial on an abandoned T.V. Yet, they’ll happily scavenge for that final, crumbly bite. No manner of “full” can deny pie with any real satisfaction on Thanksgiving.
People have been eating pie for centuries, though the first recipes made savory meat dishes, not totally unlike the “pot-pies” we sometimes bake today. The word “pie” is said to originate from the bird, magpie, which gathers random things. The first pies were simply collections of available ingredients. It was cheaper to bake crust than bread, and they could be filled with practically anything. This versatility made pie an “everyday staple” in the Middle Ages.
The Pilgrims packed along their pie recipes when they sailed to America, and they adapted to the ingredients available in the New World. The fruits and nuts introduced by the Native Americans started to be used more prevalently. The first Thanksgiving might have started the trend toward desert pies! In any case, this pie-eating custom has been happening for a long time. Perhaps, we all share some genetic craving or ancestral longing for pie.
Don’t fight it. Get in on the initial rush. Pie is meant to be shared with other people. Its circular shape invites “gathering ‘round,” and pie is easily portioned.
But, there are things to decide. What kind should you have? (I like pecan!) What sort of topping? One piece or two?
The only certainty is the need for good coffee. No pie should ever be served without it. In contemporary America, they are nearly inseparable. Did old-school diners make pies to sell more coffee, or make coffee to sell more pies? And, who started the whole scone thing? I want pie with my coffee! It’s hard to even imagine one without the other. Together, they create a sublime synthesis that undeniably exceeds either individual part. Throughout the culinary world, few pairings harmonize as easily and wonderfully as coffee and desert pie.
Once you have your slice and mug in front of you, take some time to smell the coffee. Watch the whipped topping or ice cream start to drop. Take a temperature sip of your java. Contemplate your blessings and again say, “Thanks!” Then—dig in—even Pilgrims ate pie! Stringbean Coffee compliments holiday pie.
Stringbean Coffee Company sincerely wishes everyone a happy, peaceful Thanksgiving! Thanks for continuing to make Stringbean Coffee a favorite part of your day!