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Thanksgiving is tomorrow! (As if you didn’t know…) It’s always been my favorite holiday, and not only because it’s practically synonymous with pie. I’m going to be trying my hand at two new recipes from Ken’s book later this afternoon; Jellied Cranberry-Pecan Pie and Triple-Layer Pumpkin Chocolate Pie. I’ll be sure to post pictures soon.

Ken also just posted a recipe for Maple Pumpkin Pie on his blog, so make sure to check that out if you’re planning on making a pumpkin pie for tomorrow’s feast but haven’t yet settled on a recipe. Oh, and if you’re baking Thanksgiving pies of any sort, leave a comment and let me know what you’re making!

I wanted to share some pictures from my last “holiday weekend” back in early September. We still had lots of summer visitors over Labor Day, which was fantastic. IMG_1539

Even my dad came out for his first visit to Simi Valley! Our Labor Day weekend activities included hiking, sea kayaking, and mini golfing. The weather was beautiful and the views from the mountaintops were too.



Dad was able to share some of his thoughts at our church service on Sunday morning, on praise, joy, and creation. Here’s a really cool picture a friend drew during his talk  which sums it all up. I am thankful to have a dad who always has uplifting thoughts to share and who is focused on things like love, beauty, and peace. In fact, the title of my blog was his idea. Snuck “peace” right in there.


(It’s Sweeny. Not Sweeney. Just for the record.)

On Sunday evening of Labor Day Weekend, before Maggie and Sara and Mike were leaving for the airport, we ended up cooking quite a feast and it felt more like a summery Thanksgiving than anything else. We were feeling particularly thankful for all our blessings. Maggie is vegan and often uses the phrase “vegan love feast” to describe a particularly joyful, delicious meal. Our feast that night was mostly vegan…except for all the grilled chicken we made for all the non-vegans who were partaking. But it was still a love feast.


I made a pluot-blueberry pie filling, just like I had made for Bear Lard Pie, but obviously didn’t use bear lard in the crust. That would have really killed the whole vegan thing. No butter, either.

Ruth and Bethany came over and Bethany was so helpful with her brilliant pie-stirring skills.


I even glazed the pie with coconut almond milk, which was very vegan of me.


While the pie baked, Obi and Bethany passed the time by striking similar poses on the couch.


IMG_1591Black-Eyed Pea Curry, Raw Pad Thai, and Edamame Hummus. Yum!


I could literally compile an entire photo album of pictures of dogs (mainly Obi) looking longingly at my pies.


IMG_1610Strawberry coconut milk ice cream, anyone?

Enjoy your love feasts tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!