Before prepping food for Christmas lunch, I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous, unseasonably *warm* (remember...Minnesota...and yes, my 35-degree morning run felt warm!) weather and headed out for a Christmas morning run. It was truly a beautiful morning with just a light breeze....and the best part was that I didn't have to dodge any ice or snow piles at all! At first I was a little bummed about not getting a white Christmas this year (in fact, I really can't remember the last time we had anything other than a white Christmas), but after my Christmas run, I decided the whole brown Christmas thing wasn't really that bad after all.
My parents and brother arrived later on Christmas morning and the kids were excited to open the remainder of their presents from my side of the family.
After all the present opening, we had definitely worked up an appetite for our Christmas lunch of grilled steak (again....totally uncharacteristic for Minnesota). We all squeezed into our kitchen and gathered round our cozy table to dig in!
When we were sufficiently stuffed, we spent the afternoon watching movies, visiting, and playing with all the kids' new toys.
Later in the afternoon, when our stomachs had finally settled enough and we were able to breathe once again, it was time for dessert. While the kids indulged in leftover Birthday cupcakes, Christmas cookies, and peppermint ice cream, we took a knife to this baby....
Yes....that, my dear friends, is a pecan pie....in the shape of the good ole' state of Texas.
When my parents and brother traveled to Texas a few years ago to visit my grandparents they had the opportunity to partake in the world's best piece of pecan pie at Gaido's in Galveston, TX. When they discovered that Gaido's shipped whole pecan pies to any state in the US, my dad made sure to order one for all of us to indulge in on Christmas. And when the online order form asked whether or not we wanted a typical round pecan pie or a pecan pie shaped like Texas, we figured we definitely needed to see...in person...the Texas-shaped pie.
I was actually unaware that pies were made to resemble states, but it does not surprise me, in the least, that there are indeed Texas-shaped pecan pies. Come to think of it, this whole state-shaped food idea isn't really all that new to me. I guess I did spend most of my childhood living in a state that manufacturers wax-covered cheese blocks to resemble its own shape.....
Anyway, the pie definitely lived up to all of its hype. I'm unsure of which part of Texas I actually ate, mostly due to the fact that my warm, gooey piece of pecan heaven was smothered in a heap of vanilla ice cream, but it was pure bliss...just the right combination of pecan and cake-like, caramel substance...it definitely was the best piece of pecan pie I've ever eaten.
And, with that perfect piece of pecan pie and the sweet taste of victory for Ben's beloved Packers, Christmas 2011 drew to a close.