With the holiday season around the corner, leadership consultant, speaker and author David Grossman is preparing for a much-loved annual Thanksgiving tradition – Grandma Elsie’s Famous Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and other crowd-favorite recipes.
“People often wonder why Thanksgiving gets me in the holiday spirit and I’m always excited to share with them why. It’s because it’s the season to celebrate Grandma Elsie,” says Grossman. “The story behind the pumpkin pie is almost as special as the pie itself, and we always enjoy sharing both with our clients each year.”
Instead of getting holiday gifts for friends and neighbors, Elsie Edelstein, whom Grossman adopted as his grandmother, made pumpkin pies and hand-delivered them before Thanksgiving. The blessing, as she used to say, was in the making (“food brings people together”) and in giving (“it’s better to give than receive!”)
A tradition that started with one creative and thoughtful woman was quickly adopted by her daughters and grandchildren, along with friends and neighbors, and by Grossman. For more than a decade, The Grossman Group has sent Elsie’s famous spices and shared her treasured recipes with clients, family and friends.
Grossman says Grandma Elsie helped him appreciate and pass on a wonderful spirit of thanksgiving and generosity with anyone who appreciates amazing food.
“These aren’t just any old pies,” Grossman says. “They are the most delicious, mouth-watering pumpkin pies you’ve ever tasted. Even people who don’t like pumpkin pies love her now-famous recipes. You know it’s a special tradition when clients call in early November wondering whether the agency is celebrating Grandma Elsie, and whether they’re on the list to get new recipes and spices first-hand.”
The Grossman Group also shares other delicious extensions to Grandma Elsie’s reach, which were suggested by a colleague, Brad Whitworth, and his partner, Peg Champion. Grandma Elsie’s spice mix isn’t just for pies, but for a whole host of holiday delectables.
A leading consultant, speaker and author, Grossman, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, is one of America’s foremost authorities on communication inside organizations. He is Founder and CEO of The Grossman Group, an award-winning Chicago-based leadership and communications consultancy that focuses on organizational consulting, strategic leadership development and internal communications for Fortune 500 clients. A frequent media source, Grossman provides expert commentary and analysis on employee and leadership issues. He’s been featured on the NBC “Nightly News”, WSJ.com, Today.com, in the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and CBS “Money Watch,” among others.
Grandma Elsie’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
1 envelope gelatin dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg (packed)
1/8 tsp ginger
2 eggs, separated
2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup whole milk
1 heaping cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 stick butter or margarine
We use ready-made graham cracker pie crusts, but you can also make your own – and it will be even better!
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 pint real whipping cream (this may be enough for two pies)
1 tbsp powdered sugar
- Separate the eggs from their whites. Store egg whites in the refrigerator.
- Start a double boiler on stovetop.
- Place all of the pie ingredients except the egg whites and gelatin in the double boiler.
- Heat the mixture until it is thick, stirring periodically.
- While the mixture thickens, progressively dissolve the gelatin in hot water and stir vigorously.
- When the pumpkin mixture is thick (hint: check if the spoon stands straight up), stir the gelatin-water into the mixture on the stove, over low heat.
- Let cool.
- Place the mixture in the fridge until firm (we recommend letting it set overnight).
- Beat egg whites until they are light and fluffy.
- Once the mixture has become firm, in a separate bowl, beat pumpkin batter at low speed until it is creamy.
- Then, fold the egg whites into the pumpkin batter until they are well-mixed.
- Pour the mixture into the pie shell and top with whipped cream.
- Sprinkle lightly with graham crackers.
All the Grandma Elsie recipes can be found here: http://www.yourthoughtpartner.com/thanksgiving