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Thanksgiving Pie Chain Letter

Thanksgiving Pie Chain Letter


Dear Friend,

You have been selected to receive this chain letter because of something you did somewhere, sometime, for someone. This act of yours mattered and was remembered with gratitude by the sender of this letter. So for a moment, sit back and delight in the surprise of being remembered for your good works. You deserve it.

This chain letter began in Afton, Minnesota, in November 1993 to celebrate and make personal the spirit and intent of Thanksgiving Day. The chain is no longer confined to November, nor to that little corner of the world where it started. Gratitude knows neither season nor boundaries.

This is not your ordinary chain letter. This chain letter will not bring you good luck. It will not make you rich, not prevent you from cruel misfortune. You won’t get anything back from this chain letter. It’s not about getting, it’s about giving—Thanksgiving.

Unlike other chain letters, you do not have to send books, money, stamps, aprons, cards, or dish towels to a name at the top of a list. You do not have to respond within seven days or risk a lifetime of bad luck and misfortune. You do not have to weigh guilt or annoyance before hitting the Delete key. You do not have to do anything at all; the chain will go on without you. But if you choose to join in, you will cause hundreds more to be thanked for something good they did in their lives. You will sleep better tonight and a friend might just cross the street to hug you rather than only wave. You will have the great enjoyment of knowing that you are part of life’s fabric and have been both weaver and tailor.

The pie recipe is to share because pies are an important way of saying thank you. Like compliments and recognition, there are never enough good pies, and this one has all the wonder and delight of the discovery of a new star. It is not a difficult pie to make. Even if you are only halfway competent in the kitchen, you should be able to pull it off just fine. Try to make this pie and deliver it along with your letter. This recipe was created as part of a traditional Thanksgiving feast, no matter where or when it is celebrated.

To keep the chain going, just copy and send this letter by e-mail, snail mail, or hand delivery. There is no list of names to cross off or add to, but there is a space at the bottom for you to write your own personal thank you. Be specific about your appreciation. Send it to no fewer than two people, for surely there are at least two people you are beholden to for something. Start your own branch and see it wind through your family, childhood friendships, teammates, work partners, teachers and coaches, former bosses, even people whose names you don’t know. Do it now while that reckless impulse is still fresh in you. You will never regret it. And you don’t have to stop at two. You don’t have to stop at all.

If the chain is never broken, it may go around the world three times and be translated into fourteen languages, but more important, the simple act of giving thanks will assume a life of its own. And sometime when least expected, you might receive the letter again, thanking you for a kindness you thought long forgotten. What goes around, comes around. As it should.

With kind regards,

[your name here]



(photo by orchid8)

Thanksgiving Pie


1 (9- or 10-inch) piecrust, prepared or made from scratch


3 apples (use a soft, sweet variety like McIntosh or other sauce variety)

1 (12 ounce) package fresh whole cranberries

1 cup light brown sugar


¾ cup walnuts

¼ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup white flour

3 tablespoons butter, softened or cut into bits

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 big pinch salt

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  • Prepare the piecrust and fit into a 9- or 10-inch pie pan.

  • Peel, core, and dice the apples.

  • Place the apple pieces in a large bowl with the cranberries and 1 cup of light brown sugar; mix well and place into the pie shell.

  • Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; pulse for 5 seconds.

  • Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until blended but still crumbly. (If you do not have a food processor, chop the nuts by hand and blend them with the rest of the ingredients with the back of a large spoon.)

  • Spoon the topping all over the pie.

  • Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees for 30 more minutes; cover with foil to prevent the topping from darkening too much.

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