I Make 600 Pies Each Thanksgiving—Here’s What I’ve Learned Along the Way.

The minute peaches are elbowed out of the way by apples at the farmers’ market, my summer reverie is interrupted by thoughts of Thanksgiving. As a professional pie baker who discreetly waves goodbye to each pie as it leaves the bakery, I take my job se…

The minute peaches are elbowed out of the way by apples at the farmers’ market, my summer reverie is interrupted by thoughts of Thanksgiving. As a professional pie baker who discreetly waves goodbye to each pie as it leaves the bakery, I take my job seriously. Most years, more than 600 pies cross the baker’s bench on the day before Thanksgiving. This year, the approaching holiday season feels as upended as a tarte tatin. My guess is that pie sales will be brisk despite the uncertainty of gathering. One thing remains constant: Pie makes us feel better.

Except for July 4 (which this baker dubs Thanksgiving Junior) pie distinguishes Thanksgiving from all other holidays. According to a 2019 survey from The Harris Poll, 94 percent of Americans conclude their Thanksgiving meal with pie. No wonder even the most casual of bakers are prompted to reach for their rolling pins and dimpled pie plates. Thanksgiving has a way of sneaking up on us, long before our stash of leftover Halloween candy has been depleted.

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A Brief History of Canadian Thanksgiving

With the distinctive fragrance of pumpkin spice hanging in the air, many have begun rhapsodizing over the fourth Thursday in November. As a pie baker tasked with the orchestration and execution of hundreds of pies (over 700 last year), Thanksgiving is …

With the distinctive fragrance of pumpkin spice hanging in the air, many have begun rhapsodizing over the fourth Thursday in November. As a pie baker tasked with the orchestration and execution of hundreds of pies (over 700 last year), Thanksgiving is a holiday I love on a personal level, yet struggle with professionally. Staring down stacks of needy pie plates clamoring for attention, I find myself instead preoccupied, almost giddy, with anticipation of the second Monday in October: Canadian Thanksgiving.

American Thanksgiving conjures images of ginormous turkey legs and cornucopias spilling with grapes, gourds, and multi-colored corn. We envision Pilgrims sporting tall black hats adorned with gold buckles. Synonymous with our holiday are cranberry stains on starched white linen tablecloths and long lines snaking around Best Buy just shy of midnight.

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