Pie Party 2019

By Terry Golson

Longtime readers of The Cooperative Horse and before that, of the HenBlog, well know why I’m not too communicative the week before Thanksgiving. I have the Pie Party to prepare for. Every year, for the last 16 years, instead of cooking a classic Thanksgiving meal of turkey, stuffing, etc. etc, we go out for Chinese food. Then, two days later, we have friends over to our home for pie. Just pie.


This year was the first Pie Party in our new home. For various reasons there were fewer guests than in previous years. But one son made it home, and Scooter said that his lap was perfect and that he should stay put forever.


Still, there were over twenty people to feed.

Each person eats about half a pie, which sounds like a lot, and it is. Partly people eat that much because there are so many pies to taste. Seven fit on the table. When one is finished, a new variety is set down.


This year ten pies were set out. A scant half of a pie was leftover.

There was:
Bacon Quiche
Corn, Tomato, Caramelized Onion and Cheddar Tart in a Sun-dried Tomato Crust
Chicken and Butternut Squash Empanadas in a Yeasted Lard Crust
Cranberry Nut Pie
Honey Lemon Ricotta Tart
Turtle Hill Blueberry Pie
Pear In Ginger Custard Pie
Apple, Blueberry and Pear in a Caramel Sauce Tart
Deep Dark Chocolate Pie in a Graham Cracker Crust
Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart in a Cocoa Graham Cracker Crust


We don’t have the turkey dinner, but we have everything else – we have our house full of good friends and our hearts full of gratitude. And there’s pie. It’s about as perfect a holiday as possible.

We’re expecting a winter storm Monday and Tuesday. In my refrigerator is a Maple Apple Pie and a second Tomato Corn Tart that I made but didn’t serve. It’s okay if we get snowed in. But I hope we don’t. I didn’t get to the barn today (no time!) and I have a couple of apples that didn’t make it into pie to share with Tonka.

What is your favorite food for Thanksgiving? If you’re an international reader, what is your favorite food in November? Tell me in the comments!

(Some of you might not know that for many years I was a food writer, and even had some cookbooks published. Here’s a list.)

30 thoughts on “Pie Party 2019

  • Miriam Hedderson

    How I love my Farmstead Egg Guide and Cookbook! And we do remember reading about your pie parties when you were living your previous life. Your kitchen there looks amazing – bet you love it. We still have Golda and Lola, our old hens, now eight and a half, cozy in their insulated coop up here in the frozen north.
    A belated Happy Thanksgiving to you and Steve.

  • Jean Husson

    I was wondering if the tradition continued. So glad to hear that it does. And Scooter still knows a good thing when he sees it. Happiest of holidays in your new home.

  • ZanBren

    I am SO inspired by your pie party tradition that I think I will start one of my own. I don’t cook but I do love to bake. What a great way to meet your new neighbors and shop owners. My favorite pie is called Mayor Rossi Special, filled with zucchini, Parmesan cheese, eggs, rice, and olive oil, and was named after a San Francisco mayor in the 1940s. I have no idea why 🙂

        • ZanBren

          Mayor Rossi Special

          1 cup raw rice
          4 beaten eggs
          4 green onions
          1 cup firm parsley
          1 cup olive oil
          1 lb. zucchini,cooked
          1 bell pepper, fried
          2 chopped garlic cloves
          1/4 ts.p salt
          1/4 tsp. pepper
          1-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

          Boil and drain the rice, mix with everything, then stir in zucchini.
          Bake at 400 degrees for 30 mins.
          I bake mine in a brownie pan. it depends how thick you want them.

  • Rebecca Stedman

    I am so happy to hear and see the pie tradition moved right along with you to a Maine. My husband and I have been looking at the pictures and thinking what an awesome thing to do and share. Cannot even begin to pick a favorite out of the list. They all sound delicious. Seeing Little Scooter was icing on the pie….love that little nugget. All our best to you and your family.
    Rebecca & Don Stedman
    Gatlinburg TN

    • Terry Golson Post author

      I always ask guest which is their favorite, and there’s rarely a consensus. This year the Gingery Pear Custard was a universally enjoyed, but the big hit was the Turtle Hill Blueberry Pie. All of the blueberries I had harvested from the front field here at our new home. They’re tiny and delicious.

  • Lizzie in Cornwall

    So glad that the Thanksgiving Pie Party has moved with you!
    I’ve drooled over the list and the photos for years!!! 😉
    Here in Cornwall a family favourite used to be Pasty Pie (basically a Cornish Pasty in pie form – beef, potato, turnip and onion).
    I managed to get hold of a copy of Tilly Lays an Egg via Amazon. Waiting to share it with grandchildren one day…!
    All the best to you and yours, Terry.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      In January I’m going to take a class on British meat pies. I’ll finally learn how to do your hot water crust. Turnip in a meat pie… that sounds both interesting and good. I will keep it in mind!

  • Jan

    So pleased you have taken your pie party with you, lovely way for new friends to mingle. Scooter must have been over the moon to see your Son. I have been using your recipes in The Farmhouse Egg Cookbook the family love them. All the best now and for the future 🙂

  • Judy

    Being Vegan I no longer have the traditional turkey dinner but I love all the veggies. Two days after Thanksgiving I had some friends over and I made Seitan sausages in sauce and veganized onion dip, and veganized sour cream coffee cake. Very little left overs from my meat eating friends.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      Last year I had a vegan guest at the Pie Party. I made a couple of pies that fit her diet, and everyone else enjoyed them as much as she did.

  • Judy

    I’ve been thinking about you Terry and wondering if you would continue your Pie Party tradition in Maine – did you ever make the concord grape pie; that, and a pumpkin pie were my choices to make this Thanksgiving! Good to see Scooter again, and to see that one son made it home (the one with the cats?). I enjoy your tales of Tonka immensely, along with your all your cookbooks (1000 Lowfat Recipies particularly is a “winner” for me), Steve’s photography, etc. so you see, you and your family are high on my year round list of Thanks!

    • Terry Golson Post author

      I haven’t been able to find Concord grapes to make that pie. I was hopeful this year – my driveway has the vines. But there was no fruit to be found.

  • Tracy

    I’m not into dessert pies at all, but that corn and tomato tart looks fab. Glad you had a nice holiday and hope the rest of it is equally full of friends and family. And pie!

  • Daisy

    Love your tradition and pies. I also volunteer my lap to Scooter, love this little fur ball, would love to see him more often !

    Returning to the pies, I love each and every one that you bake LOL ! The tangy blue cheese is great in a quiche. On the sweet side, I love pumpkin that is usually served only at Halloween; also for the boost it gives, ginger is also a winner, great with chocolate ! could also be very good version of your your famous Turtle Hill Blueberry Pie !

    Hope you got to Tonka for the apple treats ! He must miss it so much when you have to skip visit(s)

    • Terry Golson Post author

      The only pie I don’t make is pumpkin, because most of my guests will have already have had that at their own Thanksgiving. But I think that I need to make one for myself!

  • John Schaller

    My favorite “normal” Thanksgiving dinner food is turkey drumstick, followed closely by the soupy, textured, slightly bitter version of cranberry sauce. I like all pies but don’t exercise enough, so do savory pies and quiches for dinners but not many dessert pies. One goal for 2020 is to get better at making crusts, rather than using storeboughts for convenience.The corn & tomato tart really caught my eye, as did several of the recipe mentions in the comments!

  • Starlucy

    The grapes you have are probably wild fox grapes, not Concord grapes…which were a very early cultivar brought in not found natural. If your fox grapes are trimmed and trained they will produce a small Concord type grape with strong flavor…and great for pies and jelly. My aunt used to use them like apples…green or ripe for pies and lots of cinnamon. Whatever fruit fox grapes naturally produce are generally eaten by birds, turkeys, and other creatures. But the vines run wild all over things, much like kudzu!

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