As soon as I had my coffee, I took a load to the laundry room and quartered it in. Ate breakfast in between transferring them to the dryer, folding, and getting back home. Mindful of the fact that the recipe on the smaller Libby's pumpkin makes the filling for a deep dish pie pan and that I had only a regular one, I rushed over to Wal-Mart at about 9:00 to buy one. Plus, of course, I didn't yet have the can itself, or the cream to whip.
What a madhouse! I grabbed a cart and fought my way though, only to discover they had no smaller cans of Libby's, just an off-brand one and--unusual for me--in this particular instance, I decided to skip that and go for what I've used the last fifty years.
Left there empty-handed and with a nervous, if not frantic, feeling I wouldn't be able to find what I needed. Went to Vons, just as crowded, and finally found the pumpkin and heavy cream, then waited in line for ages to pay. Rushed home, put the flour, salt, and sugar together, added the shortening and butter, then the ice water, gathered into a ball, and put it to rest in the fridge. Wrapped the presents I was bringing, rolled out the crust, made the filling, shot the pie into the oven, and let it bake while I showered. At that point, I called El to tell her I wouldn't make it at 2:00, as the pie had to cool. Called Sailboat Sue while I was waiting to wish her Merry Christmas and tell her I have something for her that I'll have to give her after. Pie finally cooled enough to pack it up. I took two trips to the car because of the presents, which I put in a big carrying case, and off I went.
Had a good time talking and laughing--and indulging in Chardonnay--then took a walk along the "river" bed* in unusually cool weather (I borrowed El's jacket).
We waited for Greg to get home about 6:30, then the five of us sat down to a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner. Turkey was the main attraction, plus biscuits and a delicious yam/pecan/marshmallow dish made by the other female guest, home-made cranberry sauce and gravy (some of the best "from scratch" I've ever tasted), fresh string beans, and great stuffing. The pie came out okay, although I think I over baked it a bit, and the cream stayed whipped. All this was accompanied by copious amounts of wine, to be sure, and it was scrumptious. After, the five of us played gin rummy amid lots of gaiety and more wine and stout (ugh! but some like it). I'm not sure what time I got home, but around 10:00; I haven't been out that late in years.
It was great fun and we go back today--El said about 11:00--to exchange gifts and, best of all, be together, always my best Christmas present.
*It's been dry for the past twenty or so years.