December 7, 2012

Holiday Cheer - Pie and Perspective

By Patricia W. Fischer

One of the best things about the holidays is food. People you don’t see all year gather to make the most amazing dishes, many of which are covered in butter, cheese, sour cream, half and half, canned milk, chocolate, and/or some sort of gooey syrup that takes you days to lick off your fingers…the list is endless. 

Cookies, cream puffs, divinity, pecan pie with the perfect crust, whipped cream, turkey with apricot dressing, homemade fudge…sorry I blissed out there for a moment. Let me get a towel to wipe the drool off my face.

Okay, I’m back.   

Food and the holidays go together like nothing else, but isn’t it amazing how food can mean so many things to different people?  

This time last year, I started thinking I wanted to be around for many more holidays after I got on the scale. I weighed in at 230 pounds, which wasn’t so bad if I had been 6’ 3” and playing strong safety for the University of Texas (Hook ‘Em Horns!). But I’m 5’ 3” and in my forties. We were trying to adopt a child to add to our fantastic family and I kept looking in the faces of our children and thought, “I’m 100 pounds heavier than I was when I graduated high school. This has to stop.”

This may not sound very holiday cheery, but bare with me here, it gets fantastic.

I decided that family, not food, would become my focus for the holidays and I changed the way I ate and lived my life. It became the gift I gave myself.

By summer I’d lost 40 and have kept it off since. Along with changing my body, I changed my debut manuscript and after far too many revisions, I finally got it just right. In May, I sold, Weighting for Mr. Right, to Soul Mate Publications. The next day, we got the phone call that we’d get two children eligible for adoption.

Talk about a stressful time and perfect opportunity to do nothing, but eat to deal with all the happiness, but I didn’t. I’d changed my awareness and I’d focused on my health and wellness. Besides, I’d started looking pretty good in jeans (the ultimate test) and I wanted to keep it that way.

Amazing how something as simple as changing how you eat, alters many other things around you. My heroine starts the book at the first of the year, unintentionally making a huge change in her life and finds herself in the process.

I still enjoyed the foods I’ve always loved, but far smaller portions. Now, I actually taste what I eat instead of shoveling it in a mindless haze.

Did my reduction in calories make me like the holidays or any family gathering less enjoyable? Actually, I enjoyed it more because I didn’t sit around eating the entire time. I got the chance to visit more, talk to family I hadn’t seen in far too long, and I didn’t feel sick afterwards. I left with happier memories, more pictures, and less stress about if my jeans were going to fit the next day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to share my grandmother’s pecan pie with a perfect crust recipe with you, but know you don’t have to eat it all in one sitting.

Take a bite, ask the person next to you their favorite movie, the first song they remembered by heart, or the best trip they’d ever taken.

You never know that piece of pie might last you far longer than you think because you focused on the conversation, the family, instead.

And in that process, enjoyed it far more.

I wish you all a fantastic holiday season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Weighting for Mr. Right is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Soul Mate Publishing

Pecan Pie

By my great-grandmother Jeannette Pardo Stidham (as she wrote it)

Cream 1 TBSP butter with 1 cup brown sugar
Add 1 cup white corn syrup
Stir until well blended
Add 3 well beaten eggs, pinch salt, 1 TBSP vanilla
Add 1 cup broken pecan nut meats, broken
Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell
Bake in hot over at 450° for 10 minutes
Reduce heat to 300°, bake 35 minutes longer

May serve with whipped cream

Perfect Pie Shell

1 ½ cup sifted regular all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup vegetable shortening
6 TBSP cold water
1 egg
1 tsp white vinegar

Sift together flour and salt.
Add shortening and mix with fork or between your fingers until crumbly.
Add egg, cold water and vinegar.
Stir well and form into three balls and chill.
Makes three large crusts. Maybe be frozen.

Patricia W. Fischer can be found at her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Pintrest and loves to have company come by to see about give-aways (hint, hint).


Sandy L. Rowland said...

Love pecan pie. One of my favorites, but I do have to watch my intake, getting too old to eat tons of everything. Thanks for sharing.

Ally Broadfield said...

What a wonderful, inspiring post. Your book sounds fabulous as well. Best of luck with it!

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Patricia. I need to say that Patricia and I participated in the same diet, The Stefan Pinto C Diet. but she did it first, and lost more weight than I did. Still, it was a good experience and as Patricia said, we learned how to 'eat right.' I'm going to try the pecan pie recipe! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Tanya Hanson said...

Howdy, this sounds so delish but I am so terrified of any recipe with more than five or six ingredients LOL. As you can deduce, hubby does all our cooking. Merry CHristmas, everyone.

Judy said...

Yummo! Thanks for sharing!

paulab said...

I really enjoyed your post and the recipe sounds perfect. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Linda Carroll-Bradd said...

Sharing your new perspective is wonderful. I like the idea of interspersing the treats with real-time conversations. Since pecan pie is my husband's favorite, I'm going to have to try this recipe.

Callie said...

Well, we have things in common, Patricia. I have a few books with Soul Mate, I went on a diet this year and so far have lost 37 lbs., and I have three adopted children. (are you sure we're not the same person??) Best of luck with your book, and success in life. The pie sounds yummy.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Love pecan pie!!

Lovely post and your book sounds really good.

Love soul mate tales. I have a few myself. :)

Merry Christmas!!

kmnbooks at yahoo dot com