Posted: Nov 27, 2013 6:00 AM
 
Every Thanksgiving, I make my mom's cherry pie recipe and, through the process, learn more about family traditions and bonding moments between me and my children. As my kids grow older, I hope they'll understand the importance of this family ritual.

I learned how to make my mother's cherry pie recipe in a church basement kitchen during our homeschool home economics class. My mother was a pie making expert, even providing an official pie baking clinic for the women of our church once, and while I had watched her make pies dozens of times growing up — her hands covered in flour, her lips pursed as she concentrated on rolling out the dough — I had never really thought of her baking skills as heritage. Even then in that church basement as I listened to her detailed instructions and watched her careful demonstration of proper dough rolling, I didn't realize what a gift she was giving me.

Fast forward 20 years.

allParenting Kelle Hampton cherry pie

I'm a mother of three children now. Separated from the rest of my family by five states, the new traditions of Thanksgiving lie in my hands. I am Matriarch, hear me roar! I knew the very first time we celebrated Thanksgiving in our own home that my mom's cherry pie would be part of our traditions — not just because it tastes good, but because I value every childhood memory of my mom making that pie and now realize the gift these traditions are. They're heritage. They build the bridge between generations.

I value every childhood memory of my mom making that pie and now realize the gift these traditions are. They're heritage. They build the bridge between generations.

While my kids are free to roam and play during most of my dinner preparations on Thanksgiving, I call them in for pie-making. They're too young to memorize recipes quite yet or to know the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, but they're plenty old enough to feel that it's special. "Grandma Krissy taught me how to make this crust," I tell them, "and her mama taught her." And while I guide my girls' little hands as they fork Crisco into flour and attempt to hold the rolling pin steady, I pass on my mom's pie advice to them. Like if the dough gets flaky and is falling apart, you just "show that dough who's boss."

In a flour-covered kitchen, we're making memories. It's my favorite part of Thanksgiving.

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