As the holidays approached, writer Lee “Valentine” Smith followed up his recent interview with Megan and Rebecca Lovell to ask about some of their favorite family Christmas memories.
Rebecca: I think one of the longest-standing traditions we have as a family is, we have this book-on-tape, Patrick Stewart reading Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Every year, whether we’re driving in the car to whoever’s Christmas dinner or we’re all in the house after having opened stockings, we put it on the stereo. It takes about two hours and we’ve had the same copy, in the same dual-case, with this picture of him on the front in a turtleneck. It’s awesome!
Megan: We’re fairly fanatical about stockings as well.
Rebecca: We’ve had stockings for every year that I can remember. One year, our sister spent Christmas in Tahiti and mom sent her stocking there to have a stocking to open on Christmas.
Megan: We all have our stockings that we’ve had since we were babies, with our names embroidered with needlepoint. We love the stockings.
Rebecca: And eggnog. The women in our family really cherish a season in which we can just drink copious amounts of eggnog – and gain about 16 or 17 pounds a year, on the average.
Megan: Oh and the ultimate Christmas tradition, musically is…
Rebecca: The Nat “King” Cole Christmas Album! It’s the ultimate Christmas album.
Megan: This year, I got my first record player and we just moved up and helped our grandparents move out of the house they’d been living in for 40 years. I went through their records and I found a vinyl copy of it! It’ll be playing non-stop through the Christmas holidays.
Rebecca: Probably our first ever gig was at Christmas. We don’t generally carol or sing at the holidays, but when I was about four or five and you were probably six, Megan, we got hired for our first gig. Our orthodontist hired me, Megan and our sister to go around to all of the other different orthodontists within the Atlanta area, and we played the violin and sang. Our mom, bless her heart, drove us around and she had us dressed in black velvet with cummerbunds and our hair in curls. We sang a bunch of Christmas carols like “The Holly And The Ivy” and three-part, violin stuff. That was actually our first gig as a band! The guy was so cool, he paid us $50 each and he paid us in one-dollar bills. We felt so rich.
Megan Lovell’s Pear, Apple & Gruyere Cheese Pie Receipe
Favorite pie crust recipe (that yields enough for two shells)
3 oz Gruyere cheese after the addition of butter or lard
4 pears, peeled and sliced
4 honey crisp (or Granny Smith) apples, peeled and sliced
1 generous tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
For the dough: Mix dough together (add the Gruyere just after you add your fats) and allow to chill, at least 30 minutes. Cut the dough in half, roll out one section for the bottom of the pie, enough to fit in a 9 inch pie pan. Place in bottom of pie pan. Roll out the second half and cut into ten equal sized strips for lattice crust (Optional).
For the filling: Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl until apples and pears are well coated with flour, sugar and lemon zest/juice. Pour fruit into pie crust. Cover your pie with the top layer, lattice or full crust.
Bake for about an hour at 400 degrees.
Serve warm with ice cream.