Before I get to the good stuff, I want to take a moment to thank all of you who sent my family so many prayers, kind words and good wishes this week. I am truly touched by the vast generosity of spirit possessed by all of you. I cannot express how much it meant to me. The food blog community, both bloggers and readers alike, are the most wonderful and caring group of people I’ve ever known. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Uncle Sal is still hanging on, but things are not looking good. He has had surgery to set most of his broken bones and the doctors are keeping him in an induced coma so that he doesn’t move around while they are mending. The good news is that he can move his arms and legs.
He also had one surgery for the burns on his hands because he was losing so much blood and fluid and his vital signs were getting too weak. It didn’t go too well and they were supposed to do another surgery yesterday to do some skin grafts, but he was too unstable for them to proceed with that. He has apparently also developed an infection in his blood, which weakens him even further.
I don’t know how this will end. I know that Uncle Sal is in good and very capable hands and that all the rest of us can do is continue to pray. I will keep you posted.
Now, on to some brighter news. My good friends from Pillsbury  contacted me a few weeks ago to let me know how pleased they were with the posts I wrote in October about their new products. In fact, they very graciously sent me this lovely gift basket filled with some pie baking essentials. The package includes two 9-inch glass pie pans, a pie server, pie-top cut-outs and a CD-ROM with photos and recipes of Pillsbury pie favorites! And, the CD-ROM allows you to easily upload the photos and recipes to your blog.
Since it’s been a while since there’s been a good giveaway on this blog, I’ve decided to gift this goodie basket to one of you. To sweeten the deal a little, (and in case you need a few good pie recipes), I am also throwing in a copy of Patty Pinner’s “Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection Of Womanish Observations, With Pie”.  More than just a cookbook, it is a collection of warm and cozy memoirs all wrapped up in between luscious recipes and scrumptious photos of – you guessed it – pies!
According to Pinner, “What a woman cooks is a window into her personality – what she thinks, how she behaves, how she feels about herself and the people she cooks for.”
Each recipe in Sweety Pies tells the story of the woman behind it. It speaks to the importance of family, friends and community. Oh yeah, and you get some great pie too! It is a lovely book that would be a welcome addition to anyone’s cookbook collection.
All you have to do to be eligible to win this great giveaway is leave a comment on this post between now and midnight EST on Monday, December 15. I know that’s not a whole lot of time, but I want the lucky winner to have this gift in time to whip up some Holiday pies! I’m also adding a little twist. Most of you know that I am also a musician. So, to be eligible, in your comment you must state your favorite song of the season. It can be a Christmas carol, Hanukkah song, a song about peace…..whatever your fave is. At midnight, I’ll have one of my trusty elves pick a name out of Santa’s hat.
Now, in case all of this talk about pie has made you a little hungry, here is a pie from Sweety Pies for you that I whipped up. She calls it My Grandmother’s Handmade Apple Pie. It is a traditional apple pie that is easy to put together and delicious to eat. I did add a cup of dried cranberries to my apple filling, because I like the bit of tartness they bring. Also, as a nod to Pillsbury, I used their Refrigerated Pie Crust . It is a real timesaver and always turns out nice and flaky. It’s a great alternative when you don’t want to make your own.
If you’d like to try making this pie and you don’t have access to the book, you can find the recipe here .
Enjoy, and don’t forget to leave your comments!