Over a dinner party that we hosted this past summer, I revealed a secret to my long time friend, Julie. I can’t make my own pie crust. I’ve tried. And failed. Repeatedly. The entire endeavor ends with me enormously frustrated. Who needs pie anyway?! Secretly though, I really wanted to be able to bake a fabulous pie. My maternal grandmother was known in her neighborhood as “The Pie Lady” and this always makes me smile. Julie, being the talented baker and amazing friend that she is, promised to teach my daughter and I this Thanksgiving. We gathered in her kitchen this past Saturday and spent the day baking and laughing. I have a serious weakness for handwritten notes on recipes. We gathered ingredients and set to work. Julie is a fantastic teacher and made everything look so easy. We measured, poured, and laughed. We told stories and talked about music. We learned baking secrets! We adore Julie. I’m enormously grateful that my daughter gets to know her and that I get to witness their relationship evolve. Priceless moments in the kitchen and my heart is full. The moment of truth arrives as we bring the dough out of the refrigerator.And step by step, we roll out the most gorgeous dough I’ve ever seen. It seemed….dare I say, simple? Approachable? She made it look easy. It could have been those fantastic Santa aprons she bought my daughter and I! Time for the filling! And a little crumble top for our Dutch Apple Pie…Golden, bubbly, and gorgeous straight out of the oven! It smelled A.Mazing! In addition to the Dutch Apple, we also baked a phenomenal Kentucky Derby pie and a Chocolate pie. In short, we think she is a baking goddess! We’ve had pie for days and we’re in heaven! The pies were outstanding and my confidence for baking increased exponentially! As it turns out, I wasn’t patient enough in my previous attempts and I had this silly idea that the pie dough was supposed to look perfectly rolled out in the pie plate. Also, rolling it out on parchment paper is a game changer. I’m grateful for my new skill set, but I’m even more thankful for this new tradition of baking with loved ones during the holidays. I’m thankful for friends who feel like family. I’m thankful for stories that are shared in the kitchen. I’m grateful for buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth pie crust. And I’m grateful for pie! I’d love for you to share some of the things you’re grateful for this season!