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Tom Haines
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Talking Travel with Tom Haines

Email|Print| Text size + By Tom Haines
Globe Staff / November 24, 2006

If for some reason you find yourself here in the digital world on Thanksgiving morning, instead of out there in the scent-filled land of turkey and gratitude, don’t expect to find any relief. I’m here to talk about apple pie.

If there is one place that does Thanksgiving, it is New England. (Though I did enjoy a very passable Thanksgiving feast in 2000 at a friend’s apartment in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, juste en face, as the French might say, of the externally-plumbed Pompidou Center. The turkey was delicious; the wine even better.)

Well, times have changed a bit for me, so this week I found myself standing at my son’s preschool fall concert, wondering how exactly I was going to come up with the apple pie I’d committed to deliver today to my brother’s Thanksgiving table.

A month or so ago, I’d harvested a nice bag of MacIntosh apples at Shelburne Orchards, near the shores of Lake Champlain, just south of Burlington, Vermont. The owner, Nick, offered his favorite recipe for an apple pie on the bag.

It was the first pie I’d ever baked. Thanks to Nick, and his recommended two sticks of butter, even the neighbor I subjected to bad homemade pasta only a week before was drawn indoors as the pie cooled on the counter.

None of that this week, as Thanksgiving was looming large and in addition to the pie I had promised to mash up some horseradish potatoes. So I turned from the 4-year-olds in the preschool singing “Oats and Beans and Barley Grow” and made a plea to Miranda Russell, proprietor of Russell Orchards, the excellent local farm out Argilla Road in Ipswich. She promised they’d have some prepared pies through yesterday; only need to pop them in the oven for 45 minutes, while chomping on turkey and quaffing wine. I planned to throw in a dozen cider donuts for good measure.

I mean, hey, it’s going to be getting cold out there, and it never hurts to have a few extra pounds if you fall over and get stuck in a snow drift.

May every plate be so full today. Happy Thanksgiving!

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