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Nonnie’s Apple Pie
My grandmother Nonnie’s Apple Pie is special. She and I have been close since I had enough hair to wrap in a bow. Nonnie put the first bow in my hair! She is one of the greatest cooks I know. Last Thanksgiving Nonnie and I made Nonnie’s Apple Pie for our big family Thanksgiving Dinner. Pies are one of the most important things at Thanksgiving. We made pecan pie, apple pie, and chocolate pudding pie. Nonnie taught me how to fold the dough for the crusts to perfection. Somehow she does it perfectly every time.
We made two because it is a big favorite. Nonnie and my grandfather Bopa had a running apple farm where my mother and her 3 sisters Maggie, Ann and Liza grew up. It is not a working farm today but there are still some apple trees on the land. Nonnie and Bopa live on the farm where my mother and her sisters grew up. I love visiting and hearing stories about what life was like when my mother was a little girl living on the farm.
Nonnie’s Apple Pie is an absolute classic in the Manion family. I can not remember a Thanksgiving without an apple pie at the dessert table. I love the smell of apple pie when it comes out of the oven. It is like a burst of cinnamon. And the steamy sugar just pops into your nose. It smells warm and wonderful. Best of all, Nonnie’s Apple Pie tastes as great as it smells.
When you take a bite of Nonnie’s Apple Pie, it is a warm and wonderful in your mouth. You get the softness of the cinnamon, the crispness of the apple and then the crust is amazing. Finally, you taste the coldness of the rich vanilla ice cream hitting your mouth because, of course, what is apple pie without vanilla ice cream?
Nonnie was so ecstatic about making apple pie with me it made working in the kitchen even more fun. I know it may sound weird, but apple pie will forever remind me of Nonnie.
After making our Nonnie’s Apple Pie, we made Pecan Pie. Pecan Pie is one of my mother’s favorite. A lot of other people love pecan pie in our family too. It smells incredible! Just like the smell of a bottle of vanilla extract, but with a bit of warm pastry smell too. It tastes just like it smells. I love making Pecan Pie with Nonnie because it is another classic in the Manion Family.
Lastly, we made Chocolate Pudding Pie. Nonnie had brought the recipe from her farm house in New York to Massachusetts. We had never made this pie before and discovered it does not smell like much except when you pull it out of the oven, except for the smell of pastry from baking the crust.
After the crust cools, we added homemade chocolate pudding. When it came time to serve the chocolate pudding pie, Nonnie and I pulled it out of the fridge. Then it smelled like wonderful chocolate that hits your nose with a cold rush and a tickle. Nonnie always wants to try something new and fun, and that is why we made Chocolate Pudding Pie at Thanksgiving. She is good at spicing things up!
It’s always a ton of fun getting to spend time in the kitchen with Nonnie. I absolutely love cooking with her because each time I make a recipe with her I learn something new. I especially love cooking with Nonnie at Thanksgiving. Whether it is baking pies or playing scrabble, it is what I look forward to the most.