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Apple pie with lattice upper crustImage via WikipediaIngredients:

8 cups peeled and sliced granny smith apples (or other tart apples)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of salt
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

1 All Butter Pie Crust (recipe here)


Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large bowl combine apple slices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and lemon juice. Place mixture into prepared pie crust. On a lightly floured surface roll remaining pastry dough and cut into strips. Place strips on top of apple pie making a crisscross pattern. Mix the egg yolk and water in a small bowl and lightly brush the top of the pie. Bake for approximately 45 minutes.

Serve warm topped with custard or whipped cream.

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Butter and a butter knifeImage via WikipediaThere are times when a ready pie dish will do but Thanksgiving is special so why not try making your own pie crust… it’s not as difficult as you may think.


1 ½ cups sifted flour
½ cup chilled butter cut into cubes
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold water


Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter cubes and blend with a fork or your fingers until mixture is well blended. Gradually add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing the dough gently after each addition. Once dough is well blended shape into a large ball, wrap in cling film and place in refrigerator for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from fridge and placed onto a floured surface. Using a rolling pin roll dough to form a 10 to 11 inch circle. Line a 9 inch pie pan with dough and chill until ready to use. Reserve remaining dough to top pie crust.

Makes 1 - 9-inch pie crust

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Are you looking for some fun ways to keep your children busy during the Thanksgiving holiday? Here are some fun Thanksgiving craft ideas:

Thanksgiving Wreath – Buy a straw wreath and various Thanksgiving decorations, let your kids glue on the decorations to make a holiday wreath to hang on your front door.

Thanksgiving Cups
– With the Thanksgiving family dinner coming soon, you’ll probably have a house full of kids, buy small kid-sized plastic cups and craft markers. Give each kid a cup and let them write their name on it and decorate it.

Thanksgiving Placemats – Give your kids colored construction paper and let them make turkeys. After they are finished, mount each turkey on a separate sheet of construction paper, then laminate it. Now they have their own special turkey placemat.

Pinecone Turkey
– Gather pinecones, then cut out colorful turkey feathers from colored construction paper. Use red felt to cut out the turkey’s comb. Glue your Thanksgiving turkey together, inserting the feathers in between the pine comb leaves.

Thanksgiving Flower Pots
– Buy the smallest red clay pots you can find at your local gardening store (these are super cheap), a bag of potting soil, and packages of various flowers, vegetables, or herb seeds. Let your kids write the name of the seed on the outside of the pot with a magic marker. Next, have them pour potting soil in each pot and plant the seeds. When the seeds begin sprouting in a few weeks, let your kids take their Thanksgiving pots to the local nursing home and give them away as Thanksgiving gifts to the patients.

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We all have done productions of the "First Thanksgiving" at some point in grade school. It showed several children dressed in black garb with black buckled hats. Others dressed in tan outfits and feathers to portray the Indians at the feast. It makes you wonder, was the first Thanksgiving dinner really like that?

Here’s the scoop. The Pilgrims arrived by way of the Mayflower ship on Plymouth Rock in late 1620. The first winter was rough for them and a great number of them died. Not only did they have problems with coming to a new land, adjusting to the freezing temperatures and different land, there was also the problem of communicating with the land’s current occupants, the Native Americans.

Now, it is not widely known that the Pilgrims did in fact celebrate a time of giving thanks each year even before the “First Thanksgiving” in the New World. By the following autumn, many more of the Pilgrims had died from illness. The remaining Pilgrims were to eat such a meal with the leader of the Native American tribe, Massasoit and his men.

In our renditions of the first Thanksgiving dinner there was Tom Turkey all trussed up in white booties and a pumpkin pie to boot. But this was not the case in the Massachusetts’ settlement. The main meat dish on the first Thanksgiving table in America actually consisted of deer and wild fowl.

Today we do not choose these same dishes for our own Thanksgiving meals, however, we do not face the hardships the Pilgrims did, including the fear of starving to death or dying of other illnesses due to lack of food. So, deer and other wild poultry was a huge feast for them. Another food that adorns many holiday dinner tables in modern times is potatoes and green string beans. These were also not part of the Indian and Pilgrim menu.

Pilgrims were not used to the land they had come to find and this was very obvious in the numbers of them that passed away due to lack of food. They didn’t know how to plant vegetables like the Indians did. It was almost winter time again and not too many vegetables were still available for this meal of thanks. They settled for whatever they could get.

While we today are big on stuffing with our Thanksgiving bird, none of that could be found on the Pilgrim’s plate, at least not that first Thanksgiving dinner. Bread of no kind made it on the list either. Trying to survive, the Pilgrims hadn’t built proper ovens or hearths for cooking yet. In fact, anything that needed an oven was nixed. No apple or pumpkin pies or cakes of any variety.

So, what DO we get right in our yearly “First Thanksgiving” productions? Well, not much really. Corn and other foods that had been dried earlier in the year were available along with a large amount of meat. But, when you worked as hard as the Pilgrims did to build an entire settlement from nothing, meat would stick to your bones and give you strength, so that was the main item that mattered.

So, when someone says to you that your meal is non-traditional, tell them that any Thanksgiving dinner that doesn’t feature large portions of meat with no veggies, breads, or sweets in sight, are non-traditional. Instead, create your own traditions and remember, the main purpose of this holiday is to give thanks for the bounty, whatever that may or may not be.

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