My suitcase is packed to the brim. But despite the cold temperatures at home, my heavy coat and boots are staying behind: I'm headed south for the holidays.
My husband and I visit his parents at their beautiful home in Dallas, Texas, for Thanksgiving each year. I'll admit it's nice to soak in some Southern hospitality within their gorgeous home by feasting on delicious food and exploring their landscape in moderate temperatures.
I enjoy that long weekend with my in-laws, even though their Thanksgiving slightly differs from the celebrations I shared with my family as a child. For example, I question why my mother-in-law bakes a ham instead of a turkey and refuses to even consider making sweet potato casserole. But there is one thing we have always agreed upon: Pecan pie is the highlight of any Thanksgiving meal.
It's impossible to deny a slice of pecan pie in the official state of the pecan tree. The pecan's rich, bold flavor keeps me coming back to the dessert table for a second and, occasionally, third slice. But the pecan isn't the only star of the dessert lineup this holiday season. Several other tree nuts show off their delicious flavors and textures in a variety of sweet treats for our enjoyment at this time of year.
So after a long day of family, friends and food, I can finally slouch down into the comfy sofa - relaxed and aware of how full I really am. But I can also take this time to reflect on all the great desserts on which I gorged myself throughout all hours of the day. I already look forward to next year, when I can enjoy them all over again - with many thanks to the trees that bear fruit with such delicious, rich flavors.