At home this second day of Thanksgiving. Tomorrow–back to the Minnesota History Center to help with a members-breakfast celebrating the opening of our new exhibit, Then, Now, WOW!  More on that another time.

Thanksgiving Day is one of those times that connects us so deeply to our life experience, and to the present moment as one prepares the traditional feast.

I was up at 5:45 a.m. On our kitchen island, I light a candle in memory of my foremothers–Gulina, Johanna, Lena, Nickolina, Meta Catherina, Maria, Augusta, Eva, Hattie, and my mother Eleanor–and in honor of my Aunt Pearlie, and my mother’s cousin Marian Nelson Glew who took me under her wing while I was in college.  Marian coached me on the finer points of making bread, rolling sugar cookies, making pie.

There are many women for whom I give thanks early on Thanksgiving morning, among them Laura Lind Webster.  When I was newly married to the pastor of our church, Laura–whom I had known all my life–gave me a recipe with the simple words:  You might like to have this.  It was her recipe for Never Fail Pie Crust.  It never fails, she said.  It is, perhaps, one of the most valuable recipe in my collection–and in all the 38 years that I’ve needed to make pie–for lawn socials, picnics, Memorial Day dinners, pie and coffee events, dessert, and for Thanksgiving, this recipe never fails.  Here it is–it makes approximately four crusts.

Never Fail Pie Crust

3 cups flour, 1 1/4 cups shortening, 1 tsp salt:  cut shortening into flour and salt.

In a separate small bowl, combine 1 well beaten egg, 5 tbsp cold water, 1 tbsp vinegar.  Pour into flour mixture all at once.  Blend the mixture with a spoon just until flour is all moistened.  This is an easy crust to handle and can be re-rolled without toughening.  It also keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

You’ll give thanks for Laura Lind Webster, too.