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Hello Punkin

Thursday, November 4, 2021
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I made my very first homemade pumpkin pie last weekend, because for some reason I was craving it for the first time in my life.

Spoiler alert: it was delicious.

First I thought I was craving it because I had to throw away a 14 year old shaker of pumpkin spice the week before. Sometimes that’s just how things work with me.

It was only after I started smelling the aroma coming from the oven as I baked that beauty about 45 minutes in - that I knew I could blame it on Mona and Sammy Henderson. It could be that I was missing them, and pumpkin pie was the only suitable substitution and here’s why.

I met Sammy and Mona’s daughter, Shawnee, when I was in fifth grade, and we’ve been friends ever since.

Sammy was a big, burly man who always had a smile on his face; and Mona was the consummate southern lady and hostess who was precious and smelled so good. Both Sammy and Mona died this year, and I have missed them so much.

Fifteen years ago, I was going through a divorce and Sammy and Mona invited me to their house for their Halloween tradition of chili dogs and pumpkin pie, with their entire family of children and grandchildren.

I knew everyone of them, but to be included in their special family tradition during a rough time in my life was special. Until that night, I didn’t even know I liked pumpkin pie. But it sure tasted good. Maybe it was the pie that Mona no doubt made herself - she was a hell of a cook - or maybe it was the sweet invitation, but I never forgot that pie or that night.

When I took the first bite of the pie, piled high with extra creamy Reddi-Whip, I toasted Mona and Sammy one more time for that beautiful memory and their generosity of spirit, which stays with me today.

Follow your cravings, and hopefully they’ll take you to good food and good memories.