Quick Thanksgiving Tip

Hey, friends! Super quick Thanksgiving tip for ya…

Here’s the situation: 

This is my son, Ian.

Ian experiences disability. Communication disorder. Intellectual disability. Post-traumatic stress disorder from early-life trauma. And myriad other challenges. His life is harder than mine, in other words. He has to navigate a rerouted brain every minute of every day. It’s unbelievably hard work, and he never gets a break from it. 

So when it’s this kid’s birthday — his 18th, no less — a BIG ONE — I try to actually organize a celebration. Like, plan ahead and everything. Invite friends from his class more than the night before. Prep his preferred foods. Make him feel special and at ease.

Not to brag excessively, but I ROCKED it this year. I invited the friends FIVE DAYS ahead of time. I sent Greg to get the pizzas. And, best of all, I snagged frozen pumpkin pies — his ultimate favorite dessert — ON SALE. Really, this should be a lifestyle blog because I HAVE MY CRAP SO TOGETHER I SHOULD BE TELLING OTHER PEOPLE WHAT TO DO. 

The morning of the party, we found some 4th of July streamers, wrapped them around our Christmas tree and, VOILA!, we were even decorated.

I pulled the pies out of the freezer to thaw and patted myself on the back for thinking ahead and honoring my kid in the way he wanted that was also EASY ON ME. Win/win, folks! Win/win.

Toward the end of the party, I put candles in the pies, and we sang Happy Birthday.

Which is when I saw the candles … leaning …

Like the Tower of Pisa. 

And I noticed the filling was a little… soupy.

And the crust was kind of… doughy.

And that’s the moment I figured out THESE WERE NOT THAW-AND-SERVE PIES, friends.

These were RAW pies that needed to be COOKED.


Which is why I share this teeny, tiny Thanksgiving Tip with you today:

If you buy frozen pies, friend,
CHECK THE BOX to see if those suckers need baking.
And, if they do, I don’t know —
maybe BAKE THEM before serving. 

In conclusion, the Pioneer Woman and I are basically the same person, and you should come here for lifestyle and baking techniques more often. 

With love,




P.S. I did bake those pies. 

P.P.S. They were ready 45 minutes after the party ended.

P.P.P.S. My kid was Not Unhappy because Less Pie for his guests meant More Pie for him. So we may still be working on social skills around here, but in my kid’s book, this was a major win.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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13 responses to “Quick Thanksgiving Tip”

  1. You are the best!! I’ve done things like that. You’re in great company. I’m glad he was not upset about it. Great kid!

  2. It’s an AND/BOTH kind of thing. Gets more pie, and gets friends over, both are great. You win for raising kids that get the and/both of life. ♥

  3. I managed to make sandwiches this week for 4 kids’ lunches with meat that expired two weeks ago. STILL shocked they didn’t die or at least vomit violently. Now I’m tempted to ignore expiry dates which is probably a bad idea.
    Also, we melted the kettle yesterday – just a teeny bit on one corner (are they still called corners, if it’s a round base? I should know this – I’m a math teacher). Yep – melted it on the arc of one entire sector. Sometimes you just have to keep typing and it will all work out okay.
    If not, great blog material 🙂

  4. A friend who does not cook offered to bring the pumpkin pie one year for Thanksgiving. We discovered after dinner that it was not cooked. An hour later we had warm pumpkin pie, and it was ok. But that pie cold was nasty. I’m glad your son wasn’t upset!!

  5. I had a similar birthday party debacle for my 7yo earlier this month.

    We made the plans, and invited the peeps, and I even CLEANED THE HOUSE and made the cake EARLY, so I would be ready, and not trying desperately to frost a hot-from-the-oven cake in the middle of the party like last year.

    And then the frosting. Let’s just say that I needed a better plan for it, because a package of cream cheese, a dollop of clotted cream, and 3 cups of powdered sugar disappeared into it and left no sign. I resorted to dumping in powdered milk and then, when I had emptied that container, went for the tapioca starch.

    The end result was drippy, sticky, rope-y, and an unfortunate compromise between white and clear in color. Well, I say “unfortunate”, but it would have been awesome if we were doing a bukkake photoshoot instead of a birthday party for a 7-year-old.

    It also tasted a bit like chalk courtesy of the tapioca. And there was twice as much as I could convince to stay on the cake. I do mean “convince”– layers were slipping and sliding around ála the cake from the Disney Sleeping Beauty.

    We finally finished that frosting today, a full three weeks post-birthday, on some whoopie pies. Yes, literal whoopie pies. I swear I am not making another sex joke here; I do have some decency.

    My kitchen will probably be sticky underfoot until the end of time. Your kitchen looks remarkably un-goopy by comparison.

    So there’s that.

  6. Whenever we put candles in a pumpkin pie for #1 son’s birthday, I now think “somebody’s drunk in the kitchen!” in my head thanks to my husband’s fondness for Jim Gaffigan’s humor.

  7. You are one of the most amazing and amusing women-moms in the world! I’ll take advice from you any day of the week! I hope you and yours have a wicked blessed Thanksgiving!

  8. I loved having pumpkin pie for my birthday cake. And I, too, would rather have had it all to myself. November is obviously the best time for being born because we November people know whats up. Happy Birthday to Ian!

  9. I am smiling bigly here. Because I love the photo and all those great kids. Because there was unbaked birthday pumpkin pie instead of birthday cake. Because I, like your son, can see the fabulous potential in unbaked pies ….. future eating all for me. Yes. A complete win. I plan to follow your lead for Christmas here. Serve unbaked pumpkin pie with its future potential for it to be all mine. Tell your son Happy Birthday from a fellow (sister?) pumpkin pie lover.

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