HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - With Thanksgiving here and Christmas right around the corner, many of us get nostalgic about the holidays of days gone bye - and family and friends who are no longer with us.
For one local mom, those feelings sparked a search for her late grandma's apple pie recipe, but what she found was so much more.
At the Ferrell's Henrico County home, most nights there is a smell of apple and cinnamon in the air. No, it's not one of those fragrant plug-ins...it's a pie in the oven.
For the past few weeks, Courtney Ferrell has been on a mission to re-create her late grandmother's apple pie in time for Thanksgiving.
"I had this moment where I really missed by grandmother," said Ferrell.
That's when fliers went up in Carytown, seeking the recipe. It reads in part, "I'm sure it sounds silly, but she is gone now, and that was my strongest connection to her."
"Maybe I could post a lost sign of my grandmother's apple pie recipe, and somebody out there might be of the same generation that matched hers," said Ferrell.
The end result has been dozens of letters in the mail...and plenty of baking, testing that many recipes.
Mid-way through the endeavor, grandma's exact recipe wasn't that important anymore. Courtney felt the love that went into each of the recipes - she was creating some wonderful new memories with her three kids, and each one provided new reasons to give thanks.
"There's something really awesome about a stranger connecting with the idea of their grandmother's recipe and then sending it, taking the time to hand write it out, putting it in an envelope, addressing it, putting a stamp on it, in this modern day world where nobody writes letters anymore," said Ferrell.
Of the many recipes the Ferrells have already tried, Courtney believes combining two of her favorites will almost equal her grandmother's famous apple pie.
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