Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Pies and A Birthday Cake Remembered

For those of you wondering how the pie-a-thon went yesterday, I managed to not only bake four pies but also a batch of brownies for Amanda being that the pies are off limits!  I baked one pumpkin pie, two traditional apple pies with crumb crusts (I can't make a top crust for love or money I'm afraid!) and, using a recipe that Lois sent me, I made my very first cranberry-apple pie.  Here be the finished products  -

The cranberry-apple will be going to work with me later today, the smaller apple pie will be going to work with me for my 16-hour Thanksgiving Day shift, and then the other two will be going to my Mom's house on Friday when Amanda and I will be getting together with my brothers and their wives as well as my son, his wife, and my grandson for a big Day-After-Thanksgiving dinner.  Who needs to be jostling around at a store with crazed shoppers on Black Friday when you can be eating a nice dinner and enjoying some family time?!?  Not me!

As I was baking all of those pies yesterday, I couldn't help but think about the main thing my mother used to always bake at this time of the year and that was an angel food cake with mocha frosting - my Dad's very favorite cake for his birthday which would have been today.  Were Dad still with us he would have been turning 75 today.

I know I've posted these pictures in the past but - honestly - they're two of my very favorite pictures of my father taken when he was stationed overseas and I was really, really young (if I was even around at all!).  My father joined the Air Force when he was only 17 years old and made a career out of it retiring in 1972 at the not-exactly-ripe-old-age of 37 with a pretty distinguished record to boot.

Dad fought in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War and he received both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal while he was stationed at DaNang Air Force Base where he was an aircraft mechanic on F-4 Phantom fighter planes. The F-4's were a long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber that served as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force in Vietnam and my Dad could fix them like most guys can fix lawn mowers.

Dad was really, really good at what he did and was even asked once to fly with the Thunderbirds, the Air Force's air demonstration squadron,  as one of their mechanics but he turned the offer down saying that he didn't want to live out of a suitcase or leave my mother alone with us four kids while he flew all over the countryside and the world to Air Shows and the like for three or four years.  I'm pretty sure, though, that he was honored to be asked and it was pretty good bragging rights to have your Dad asked to fly with the Thunderbirds - especially amongst other "Air Force Brats"!

Even though it was ultimately the exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam that gave my father the cancer that caused his death almost 7 years ago, I honestly don't think that he would have done anything different with his career choice.  It was a career that gave him the chance to see a bit of the world and also to provide for his family even though he sometimes had to leave that family behind while he was deployed overseas.

When Dad was stationed overseas, he obviously missed out on those birthday cakes my Mom would bake for him but whenever he returned that was always one of the first things he'd get - along with a big bowl of rice pudding and meatloaf (he thought my Mom's meatloaf was pretty much better than anything else in the whole world).

Anyhow, I hope there's angel food cake with mocha frosting where my Dad's stationed now and I also hope that he knows that even though he's gone, he hasn't been forgotten.  Happy Birthday, Dad; we miss you.


  1. Holy cow! I see Amanda in that last photo, right down to the "smile."
    And you look like him, too!
    My mom use to make the same cake - my dad loved it, too....

  2. Nice Tribute Linda. Us girls love our dads. Thanks

  3. I'm sure your Dad has the sweetest assignment ever now. Don't you wish you could find as good as your Dad?I sure do!

    And those pies look yummy!

    Big hugs xo

  4. Anonymous9:54 AM EST

    Like Gracie said, I see you and the kids in Dad... isn't that awesome?

    Let me know how the cranberry pie went over... That was my old college roomie's recipe. I guess that next time you can make two from that recipe if you use a regular crust instead of a deep dish...

  5. of course he knows he's not forgotten

    the photos are wonderful Linda, he is so handsome and kind looking

    as for all your baking - wow! I'm a terrible baker so I'm impressed

    Happy Thanksgiving

  6. Thanks for posting the photos of your Dad. Since I'm new here, I never saw them. The holidays are a time for family. Be they with us now or in our memories. I can see why you are so proud of him. And you are truly blessed to have him as your Dad.

    Now working 16hrs? Yikes! I can shop for 16 hrs....but working?

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family :)

  7. Now I'm very hungry. I love cranberries. Please mail a slice.
    I love the pictures of your father.

    Have a wonderful holiday, Duchess!

  8. oh that baby face! this is a lovely post honey. i know he can read it too.

    you know with all agent orange did to the troops that i KNOW of, i often think about the vietnamese and how it affected them too but i never hear about that.

    happy thanksgiving, your pies look wonderful!

    smiles, bee

  9. Sweet tribute to your dad...strong genes there, girl! Those pies look wonderful. Pass me a sample of each one of them!

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Big hugs...

  10. The pies look wonderful. Where's the ice cream. Just saying.

    Your dad was an amazing man. What a wonderful tribute to him as well.

    Have a terrific day and a very happy Thanksgiving (even if you are pulling a double). Big hug. ;)

  11. That's a lot of pie to eat.

  12. Thise pies look just delish! Wish I was there to help you eat them :o)
    Happy birthday to your dad in heaven!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Lin!

  13. I miss ya girl friend... look I stopped by 2 days in a row.. I want some coffee and some pie.. yummy for the tummy

  14. I will always consider it an honor to have met your father, even at such a difficult point in his life. I stand in awe of those who have served in a way I have never done -- that includes both you AND your dad! I know for sure he's munching on angel food w/mocha tonight and weighing in on my side...I still think you look like your Mom!

  15. Those pies look yummy, but your dad looks even more yummy. What a handsome man!
    I know you miss him. Thanksgiving is hard for me because it is the last time our family all was together before my dad passed (5 years ago) on Dec. 22. Christmas is even harder because he was buried on Chritmas eve.
    I hope you have a wonderful time with your family.Sorry your working tomorrow but I knw you will enjoy your day on Friday. I will be at work at 4:45 AM that day..Ugh

  16. Oooooh, I wish you could email one of those pies to me!!! lol They sure do look delicious and no doubt your co-workers and family will enjoy them a lot.

    Your dad was a very handsome man and so young when he joined the Air Force. A lovely tribute for what would have been his 75th birthday. If he's having angel food cake where he is, then my dad must be sitting next to him sharing a piece because that was one of his favourites too:) xoxo

  17. Just came across your blog. Sounds like your dad was a great guy =) Awesome pics!

  18. What a beautiful tribute to your dad! Wonderful post, Linda. :)


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