Another pie making day from hell…Thanksgiving dinner tonight with friends…

    The cherry pie crust ended up thick due to the awful heat and humidity today. Hopefully, it will taste good.

Kathy and Don are hosting an early Thanksgiving dinner for their American friends, Rita and Gerhard, and the two of us. Kathy managed to find a small turkey in Nelspruit. Turkey isn’t often consumed in South Africa and is usually purchased only for visitors from the USA.

The last time we all had Thanksgiving dinner together was in 2018, when we lived in the Orange house. The day before the event, I made eight pumpkin pies, which I described in this post. It was a hot day, with temperatures running at 102F, 40C, and pie crust dough. See that post here.

Pie crust dough should not get above 70F, 21C and although I got up to make the crusts at 6:00 am this morning, it was already above 80C, 27C in the kitchen. Here is an interesting article about making pie crusts in too cold or too hot temperatures.

Of course, I waited to turn on the oven until I’d made and rolled all the dough and placed it in the tins. But, like in November in 2018, once again, it was challenging, and my crusts had to be thick to put them in the pan without them falling apart.

On top of that, I was making Don’s favorite cherry pie, which requires a lattice top. Rolling and cutting those strips to keep them from breaking apart as I placed them on the pie was, once again, very tricky. Finally, I resigned myself, again, that the strips would have to be thick to prevent them from breaking. Fortunately, the crust is flakey and delicious, so eating big strips of dough won’t be so bad.

The pumpkin pie’s crust wasn’t perfect in appearance, but we’re expecting the flavor to be good.

If we had planned this Thanksgiving dinner for Sunday instead of today (my fault when Kathy asked which day was better), the temperature would only be a high of 70F, 21C, which would have been perfect pie-making weather. Oh, well, history certainly does repeat itself.

Right now, the pumpkin pie is baking after Tom helped me get the cherry pie out of the oven. With no regular pie tins, I am using tinfoil pans, which are flimsy in South Africa. I used two tins for each pie to make them slightly sturdier. We’ll see how that works out when we drive the pies to Kathy and Don’s later today on the very bumpy dirt roads in Marloth Park.

We’re scheduled to arrive at Kathy and Don’s home at 5:15 pm, 1715 hrs. At 7:00 pm 1900 hrs, Eskom, the electric company, will be instituting the second load shedding (power outage) since last night at 9:00 pm, 2100 hrs, which started right after we got home from Jabula. We’ll be dining in the dark.

Luckily, last night, we still had WiFi when the power went out and could stream a show in the dark. Before we dozed off, the power had come back on, 2½ hours later. Once again, tonight, it will be out until 11:30 pm, 2330 hrs. Depending on how late we stay at Kathy and Don, tonight might be a repeat of last night.

Last night we had a fun time at Jabula. A lovely couple from Scotland who lives in Marloth Park approached us while we sat at the bar before dinner with Rita and Gerhard. This couple greeted us warmly to tell us they’d been reading our posts for a long time.

They felt like they knew us after our detailed daily exposes. We all laughed at the irony of being at Jabula on the same night. We’ve experienced this many times as we’ve traveled worldwide, especially on cruise ships when people recognize us from our photos. It is these memorable interactions that make our travels all the more enjoyable.

There we sat with dear friends Rita and Gerhard, whom we also met due to our posts who stumbled across us on the web years ago. We love this! How lucky we are!!!

We’re hoping you’ll have a delightful weekend too. Be well. Be healthy. Be happy.

Photo from one year ago today, October 8, 2020:

This photo was posted while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #200. While in Bali in 2016, the two Ketuts, our cooks, walked in bare feet in the rain-flooded road to the villa to make our dinner, leaving their motorbikes elsewhere on higher ground. For more photos, please click here.