It’s been a few weeks now, since we closed our door, and I must say, as much as I miss the daily hustle and bustle, it sure is nice to have a break. I am now able to spend some uninterrupted time with my beautiful baby boy, and be the mommy I’ve always wanted to be. As much as I am loving the break, I also know what I miss the most about our beloved Sweet Melissa’s. I miss my customers, and having a connection to the shop’s fans, young and old. I miss the food, the ingredients, the smell of cinnamon in the oven. I miss seeing all of the beautiful cakes, tarts, cookies and pies showing themselves proudly in my display case. I miss the feeling of pride and joy when a customer walked out with boxes filled with goodies. These are memories that I hold most dear in my heart. However, meeting rising rent and food costs became the focus every day. Pouring over a recipe, tweaking it so that it was “just right” and watching my customers squeal with delight was the driving force behind why I entered and flourished in this business. Now, being able to spend time and talk with customers was a rare occurrence. The shop, vendors and staff kept me so busy, rarely had I time to just sit and chat about recipes with the people who loved them most.
And now , it is nearly Thanksgiving. This will be the first thanksgiving in 15 years for which I won’t bake over 500 pies for my customers and their families. Right now, I would be figuring how many pounds of apples, flour, pumpkin, cinnamon, pecans, chocolate…. will we need for next week? Instead, I can focus on just a few for my own celebration, this year at my in laws, a few more for my mom, and 2 for my sister. 8 pies. Wow, what a difference in one year. Usually, I am beyond exhausted come Thanksgiving Thursday. This year I may actually be wide awake for the whole meal!
I have always been awed by the Thanksgiving pies we made at the shop. The fact that we rolled each of the 500 crusts by hand, cracked each egg, peeled every apple, and grated fresh nutmeg was impressive, something special. We would work late into the night on thanksgiving eve, waiting for pies to cool so we could box and label them before things got even more confusing! I would not have time to bake my own pies at home, so each year I’d have a few options from the “just in case” extras we always set aside.
This year will be different. Maybe it will be the only year in the next fifteen that I will bake only 8 pies, so they really need to be special. I will be making my Pumpkin Chiffon Pie for sure- and so chose it as the first recipe to share with you- in honor of all the thousands of orders over the years. It will remind you of a traditional pumpkin pie, only better. It’s got a wonderful texture, and lots of warm spices, and is worth the small amount of extra effort it takes to put together.
I will certainly miss baking your pies this year, and I hope to be again soon. In the meantime, I am very excited to share my recipe with all of you. In a way, my pie can still be on your table this year :). I am very much looking forward to reconnecting with my friends, customers and loyal fans of the shop through this blog. I hope you will share your thoughts, ask lots of questions, and give tons of feedback on the recipes posted. I can’t wait to hear from you!