When the plan is no longer the plan… also, pie.

It’s Thanksgiving and I should probably write about all the things I’m grateful for. There are a load. Given that I have a brand new baby, three other healthy kids, a husband worthy of romance novels, and wine… well, I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I also have a book deal, a literary agent and a bookshelf packed full of reading goodness–all things that warrant waves of gratitude.

I’m not going to write about that though.

If there’s one thing the past two weeks of newish motherhood have taught me, it’s this–the plan is no longer the plan.

I have three other children, so I get that things won’t go as my meticulous written directives warrant. Still, I planned and prepared for the pregnancy and birth of my fourth baby. I couldn’t have known the midwife I became friends with–the one who has delivered thousands of babies including mine–would retire in August. I couldn’t have known that in the final hours of my pregnancy I would end up switching providers to a specialist because of pre-eclampsia and a… wait for it… ten pound baby.

At some point during my pregnancy and labor, the plan was no longer the plan. And isn’t that just a metaphor for life?

When those plans go out the window, the only thing we can do is march forward with what we’ve been given and do our best. This week that means I have a newborn who sleeps occasionally, eats constantly, and spits up on me regularly. I have three other children who are enamored with holding him. And I have a husband who took paternity leave so that I could recover in relative peace.

And I made pie. Because sometimes that’s all one can do.

Below are my go-to recipes (with adaptations) so you can too!

Cherry Pie

The perfect pie crust courtesy of Melissa D’Arabian. Skip straight to the part about pie crust–you can ignore the part about the potato torte. The pie crust will make two 9-inch pies and this crust recipe is the only one you’ll ever need.

And the perfect cherry pie recipe. Substitute four cans of tart cherries (with juice) and substitute a few glugs of almond extract for the vanilla. Or do both vanilla and almond extracts–I won’t tell. Then boil the whole mess on the stove before you put in the pie crust. It’s easier than the way the recipe is originally written.

How long should you boil it? Awhile. Until it is thick and looks like it belongs in a cherry pie.

Then you’ll only need to bake it for around 20 minutes. That’s a guesstimate–it may be more like 30 minutes. Just watch until the crust is golden brown.

Happy Thanksgiving!