This Pumpkin Pie is full of spice and incorporates molasses to gives its sweetness some depth and edge.Last week, Eliza said she was grateful that I’m her mom because it means my mom is her grandma. I totally get what she means — my mom’s mom has always had a special place in my heart, too. Spending time with my grandmother always meant fun. When we visited her in Berkeley, CA, adventure always awaited us. We’d hike through Tilden Park and eat a picnic lunch by Lake Anza. We’d run wild in her backyard, racing through terraced paths lined with a forest of miniature bonsai trees. We’d share an impossibly large sundae–the Five by Five–at the old Edy’s on Telegraph Avenue. The best part, though, about hanging out with my grandmother was getting to hear her stories. Her humorous, surprising tales usually showcased her knack for enjoying every moment to the fullest. While very proper in many ways–she never, for instance, swore, drank alcohol, or raised her voice–she cast aside other conventions easily. I remember the time that, with a sparkle in her eye, she described a fancy luncheon she hosted for ladies at her church. For table centerpieces, she had artfully arranged moss and flowers inside over-sized brandy snifters. Just before the guests arrived, she placed a live frog–straight from the refrigerator–into each one. Because of the cold, the frogs didn’t move a muscle, so everyone just assumed they were ceramic. As the meal progressed, though, the frogs warmed up and started hopping around, which sent the ladies into hysterics. I especially loved when she talked about her daring adventures as a young girl. These included feats like jumping the curbs as she roller skated down Berkeley’s Marin Hill, an infamous street that boasts a 25 percent grade in places. These days, Marin Hill is part of the Berkeley Hills Death Ride, and bicyclists talk about the torture of riding UP this hill. Frankly, this hill is so steep it gives me the willies to drive DOWN it in a car, but I still love to picture my daredevil grandmother–pigtails flying–racing down this hill like a maniac, curbs be damned, I mean, darned. While her anecdotes usually had us laughing, she occasionally shared serious stories as well, like the one about living apart from my grandfather during World War II. My grandfather was stationed in Hawaii, and he wasn’t able to return home to his family for three whole years. My mom, who’d been just a baby when he left, didn’t even know her father. Every time she saw men in uniform, she asked my grandmother if one of them was her dad. When the military finally shipped my grandfather to Orlando, FL, for five months of training, my grandmother spent her family’s entire life savings to take my mom and uncles across the country to stay with him there. She said that she didn’t care what it took, even starting from zero again after he left. Her place was with her husband, and she was going to be with him no matter what. prebaking pie crusts in recipes that call for them. I make the pie just like she did, but with the addition of salt, which she shunned as forcefully as spirits. And rather than bake it in a glass pie dish as she usually did, I make it in a tart pan because the crust holds its shape better during baking. I know there are a million pumpkin pie recipes out there, but my grandma’s recipe will always be the one for me. And that’s not just because I’m sentimental, either. It’s delicious.