I recall the first Thanksgiving
I was designated to be the pumpkin-pie baker
and for years thereafter; pies made
with small children underfoot, pies made
with the excitement of family homecoming—
always making the dough from scratch.
Today I call upon the Pillsbury boy
to make and roll out the circle of dough
which I place into the pan, then add
the traditional filling with just the right
amounts of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
The November chill makes cozy the warmth
from the oven as I await the sweet, spicy aroma,
telling me when the pie is just about done.
How satisfying it is to delight once again
in this simple work of my hands.
I think of the many hands
along the way to my kitchen that made
possible the baking of this pie:
The grower of the pumpkin,
the wheat farmer, the dairy farmer, the egg farmer,
the hands that picked the sugar cane.
The hands of workers in a cannery,
of truckers who transport foods to the store,
the hands of the people who shelve ingredients
that come from here or far-off lands.
Hands of people I never met
yet all of them a part—whether aware or not—
of this pumpkin pie now ready
to be served at my Thanksgiving table.
© by Camille A. Balla.
Used with the author’s permission.