I made probably the best apple pie I've ever made in my life for thanksgiving. I added about a tablespoon of sugar and maybe 1/4 tsp of baking soda to the crust, omitting the vinegar and pre-cooked the crust 'till light brown. I pre-cooked the filling, too, sauteing the apples in butter and brown sugar before adding cinnamon and cloves and a couple of tablespoons of flour. For the top crust I made my typical crumb topping--1/4 c butter, about 1/3 c each brown and white sugar, a few tablespoons flour (and I added about 1/4 c spelt flour, since we had it), and then probably a cup of oats. Spiced with a bit of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg and a bit of salt and sprinkled over the pie it was delish--and made enough for another pie.
The pecan pie was more of a tart, modeled after this one but using a graham cracker crust and pecans. Oh, and it was beautiful!
We spent thanksgiving with Matt and Sam--a couple of friends from college--and Matt's parents, who live in San Diego. It was a night of good food and good company, and between the six of us, we made it through half of each pie (Sylvia had ice cream. About 5 helpings of it).
Friday we shopped (I shopped at stores, Derrick shopped online), hung out with more college friends at the SD zoo, and had Mexican food at a local hole-in-the-wall we like.
Yesterday we shopped a bit more and just hung out as a family. We haven't done that in a while because we're all so busy, Derrick especially, and it was very nice.
To round out such a good weekend, church was actually really good today. Sylvia went through three wardrobe changes before I found something for her to wear she couldn't take apart. I made her an "I spy" bag, which she just wanted to dump out (or "spill it"), but her friends enjoyed playing with. Sunday school was probably the best one I've been to in this ward, and was actually a pretty good discussion overall. Last week (which I didn't blog about on purpose, not wanting to complain all the time) wasn't so good. The teacher isn't my favorite and I thought about not going, but went anyway and regretted the decision when the teacher (not the same one as this week) suggested AIDS was punishment for homosexuality. I was livid. I didn't walk out, though, and eventually, after several minutes of people going on about how much better the lives of those who follow the gospel are in comparison to those who don't, I asked the (rhetorical) question, "how then, do we explain bad things happening to good people? How do we explain evil people prospering? How about kids with cancer?"
So, since last week's teacher pretty much just moved on, we discussed my question this week. I didn't say much--just re-stated my question. I have my own thoughts, mostly relating to the probabilistic nature of our existence and the conflict between that and our deterministic (or Newtonian) expectations for the world, but really other people said much the same thing without relying on physics analogies. It was much more interesting to hear how people deal with the question of the unfairness of life, though, than to sit through a superficial comparative analysis of the blessedness of gospel living vs. non-gospel living.