Once a month, my friend Kathie and I have the pleasure of selling cookies during lunch at Mr. D’s middle school. Kathie has two eighth graders there and I just have Mr. D. Like Mr. D, Kathie’s son loves having his mom sell cookies, because he knows there is a cookie coming his way that day. It is a highly anticipated event for our sons to have their mommies at school. It is a different matter with her daughter, though. Yes, most of us of the female gender can relate to not wanting to have our mothers at school. In my day, I can just imagine my mom selling cookies and humming Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” while groovin’ to the beat. Total embarrassment. So, Kathie uses the “shock and awe” technique of middle school parenting with her daughter. She doesn’t give her any warning of the upcoming attack of cookie selling. She just shows up and it’s “shock and awe”. It’s truly effective parenting at its best.
Selling cookies to the middle school crowd is cultural experience. I feel like I’m the Margaret Mead of Middle School America while I am there. It is truly mesmerizing to see how these twelve and thirteen year olds interact. There are tables and groupings of different kids – there are the regular, goofy middle schoolers, there are the more “mature” ones that have discovered the opposite sex and hold hands, there are the girls going through the too much eyeliner stage and the boys going through the not enough bathing stage. There is the table of awkward girls playing duck, duck, goose (which is the table I would have sat at), the table of “cool” kids and the table of kids wearing black whose eight inch bangs obstruct their vision. Fascinating stuff. Margaret Mead once said, “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” I like to think that is happening my son’s school – my observations from the cookie booth lead me to believe it’s a pretty good place for him to be.
Well, now how do I transition from middle school to pumpkin pecan pie? Well, not very elegantly….But, I will say I made this pumpkin pecan pie a couple of weeks ago and my middle schooler, who swears he hates nuts, loved this pie. It was very tasty. I’d only give it a 3 on the heartiness scale because the layers of each type were a little scant. If I made it again I’d probably beef up the layers. This pie keeps the pumpkin and pecan layers truly separate. If you want the pumpkin and pecans blended together, Paula Deen has a pumpkin pecan pie recipe does just that. I’ll have to try that one next year. Anyways, this pie is a nice addition to the holiday pie repertoire and the good thing is if you don’t have time to make a separate pumpkin and pecan- just do this one!
Okay now, awkward transition back to Margaret Mead….I love this quote of hers, it is so true! And, I bet she would have loved this pumpkin pecan pie.
“Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.” –Margaret Mead
Pumpkin Pecan Pie
- 3 eggs, divided
- 1 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
- 1/3 / 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 t. cinnamonn
- 1/4 t. ground ginger
- 1/8 t. ground cloves
- dash salt
- 2/3 cup corn syrup
- 2 T. melted butter
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 to 1 1/4 cup pecan halves
- 1 recipe of your favorite pie crust
- Roll out pie crust and place in pie pan. Flute edges.
- In one bowl combine 1 egg, pumpkin, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Spread in pie crust.
- In another bowl, beat 2 eggs slightly and add corn syrup, 2/3 cup sugar, butter and vanilla. Stir well and then add pecans. Carefully spoon over the pumpkin layer.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until filling is set. Cool before eating.