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Thankful!

November 30, 2009

It’s been a long crazy week around here, that included making bread and moving way beyond puttering to high speed fits of frenzied food preparation.  Now the feast is over, the folding table is folded and the spare chairs are back doing their spare chair things, and once again I realize that I failed to photograph the event.  But I still have my memories! 

– I can’t forget the sage roasted winter squash.  It’s usually a favorite, with cubes of butternut and acorn, tossed with onions, garlic, shallots, butter, olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sage roasted until tender and golden.  And, not only is the taste memorable but so are the scars.  While peeling the butternut, I managed to peel my left index finger too in an incident far too reminiscint of Thanksgiving two years ago when my mother did the same with an acorn squash.   I am thankful that I was able to eventually stave off the bleeding and carry on with the cookery.

– My husband requested good old fashioned pumpkin pie for dessert, and I was thankful that I found this Martha Stewart recipe for Press-In Shortbread Pie Crust.  It was quick and easy to make and who doesn’t like a time-saver when they are cooking for 14? 

– I am thankful that turkey tastes the same no matter what it looks like.  I always cook two smaller turkeys rather than one huge one; they are easier to handle and cook quicker.  But, frankly, one of my two turkeys looked really weird.  It was lopsided and would not settle in straight in the pan.  I think I might have cooked Gobbles.

– I am thankful that the sweet potato casserole recipe I made makes a ton! It fills a 9 x 11 pan to the brim. Unfortunately, I burned the bottom, but we were able to just not go down too deep and there was plenty for all.

– Last year or possibly the year before, my sister and I made a great deal with each other. Since I cook on Thanksgiving and she does Christmas, the person who is not hosting takes one of the more time-consuming dishes – the glorious Caramelized Onion & Gruyere Bread Pudding.  It came out fabulous as usual.  Thanks, Karen!

– I tried something different with the mashed potatoes this year and mashed them in the food mill instead of my stand mixer.  I can’t decide if it was worth the trouble.  I did decide that next year I should try boiling the potatoes in two separate pots.  I think perhaps when I fill my largest stock pot with them, they don’t have enough room to move around and they don’t all quite cook through, and that equals lumps.  I am thankful though that a few years ago I learned the trick to keep the potatoes warm in a crock pot.  No more last minute attempts at warming them in the microwave or finding space in the oven or burning the bottom of the pot on the stove top.

– I am thankful for leftovers!  We’ve had plenty of sandwiches and today I made turkey soup and turkey pot pie.  I tried The Pioneer Woman’s pie crust recipe for it.  It uses shortening for the fat rather than lard or butter, and has some other unusual ingredients – an egg, and a tablespoon of white vinegar.  I was definitely impressed with the how the dough handled, and for me, I thought it made a pretty pie.  Here it is before baking…

Check out my attempt at making a scalloped edge! Not too bad for my first time. And here it is, fresh out of the oven…

All golden and flaky as the recipe promised, although I thought it had a bit of a greasy mouth feel and not quite enough flavor. I think I am going to experiment with this though – try it with Butter Flavor Crisco and perhaps just a little less of it, or maybe try the butter and lard combo Alton Brown uses, but with the egg. Nothing wrong with eating pie experiments!

And of course, I am thankful for my family and for the opportunity to share my love for them all with food! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. karma permalink
    November 30, 2009 8:48 pm

    Four words for you: Pillsbury Refridgerated Pie Crusts – easy and very tasty! 😉

    When I first read that you thought you cooked “Gobbles” I thought it said “Giblets!” I was going to say I didn’t remember any stories about missing giblets – from your house, anyway!

    So what did you decide about the Christmas decorating? I toyed with the idea of dragging up the Christmas village over the long weekend, but didn’t end up doing it.

    • December 1, 2009 1:33 am

      Where’s the sport in that??? 🙂

      All I did was put up some outside lights. I think I will do the rest next weekend.

  2. December 4, 2009 9:19 pm

    Jen-
    Sounds like you had a fabulous feast….made me hungry just reading it.
    Have you tried microwaving your butternut squash before you peel it? I do it for 3 or 4 minutes….just enough to soften up the skin…..makes the peeling much easier and fewer accidents! (you may already know this tip!)

    • December 5, 2009 1:16 am

      Hi Jen – that’s a great idea, and no – I didn’t know that one! I have an acorn squash leftover that I didn’t use for Thanksgiving – might have to try it with that.

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