Garden & Gun

Slice of History

generations of traditions have always made me a bit envious during the holidays. My family can’t trace our lineage much past my Delta-born great-grandmother, an unfortunate reality for many folks in the African American diaspora. Watching my friends bounce from house to house, collecting plates of. But once I hand them a slice, slightly warm, a small scoop of cold vanilla ice cream dolloped on the side, a sparkle in their eye pops. The butternut squash often conjures for converts pumpkin or sweet potato pies, but with a different texture and taste—less starchy, a little sweeter, with a tang—as the scent of vanilla and nutmeg hits their noses and envelops them in a familiar feeling. Anyone who tries a piece tends to want one every year. ¶ That enthusiasm always makes me feel good, even in uncertain times. And while my family can’t trace its history back very far, the fact that this strange pie is my grandmother’s own tradition, instead of someone else’s, makes me appreciate even more that I now get to carry on the recipe and share it with others.

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