The holiday season is here! And even though we’ll be celebrating as a duo this year, the first Thanksgiving away from home and our families, Thanksgiving means a table full of wonderful food.

Of course, Thanksgiving also means plenty of other things: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, football, a full day in the kitchen with new and old recipes, opening a bottle of wine, stories of holidays past and those we’re missing, and the excitement of creating new traditions for a new life. But as transplanted Midwesterners in southeast Texas, turkey and pies come before all else. The only adaptation to our new southern home in terms of food will be wood-smoking the breast, and adding a sweet potato buttermilk pie to the dessert lineup.

Today’s main task, aside from making the orange-ginger cranberry sauce and fighting the crowds at the grocery store for butter, will be for cobbling together the pies. Yes, pies plural. It’s funny because grandmothers and aunts would give me the evil eye when I’d scrape out the filling and discard the crust.

In recent years, however, I’ve come to appreciate the process of making pie. And since I’ve been eying up that sweet potato buttermilk, him a traditional pumpkin [pecan, too — but we’ll get to that later], I’m baking two small pies to satisfy us both.

While I still had bows in my hair, Martha Stewart schooled me on the finer points of making pastry dough. Here’s hoping they live up to the Thanksgiving hype [and his discerning pie palate]!

From our teeny tiny kitchen to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!