Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's all about family, gratitude and good food! It's interesting to talk to people about what HAS to be on their Thanksgiving table when the meal starts. I know people who insist on brussel sprouts, or ham, or rice pilaf. I was raised a Thanksgiving traditionalist: turkey, mashed potatoes, candied yams, stuffing, and cranberry sauce - with a table for pies of every kind.
Nowadays it's less about the variety of food and more about the company at the table for me. People gathering over a communal table to discuss what they're grateful for. There should be more Thanksgiving dinners in politics...just sayin'.
My contributions to the Thanksgiving feast this year include:
Apple crisp pie
Green bean casserole
and a store bought pecan pie that my mom couldn't pass up.
Mashed potatoes are starting to appear more at our dinner table. I haven't mastered gravy making, so most of the time I make them yummy by adding butter, milk, cheddar cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. That way no one complains about the lack of gravy. I never peel my potatoes before boiling and I mash by hand, the old-school way. We like them a little chunky.
Sweet potatoes are my family's favorite. We always have a stock of sweet potatoes in the pantry. For Thanksgiving I'll be making three types of sweet potatoes. I love this recipe - for Thanksgiving I'll be making the potatoes with that topping and with plain marshmallows. I'm also going to try a new recipe:
SUNRISE SWEET POTATOES
Green bean casserole will be a new adventure for me. It gets eaten one time a year - Thanksgiving - and I've never made it. It might make it on the menu more often if I ever remembered to actually purchase the French Fried Onions. It's a simple recipe, right on the package of French's French Fried Onions or found here.
That brings us to the pies. Pie fits into the category of yummy but kind of a pain because you have to roll it out...right there with sugar cookies, pizza dough and biscuits. If you like homemade pie crust try this recipe:
BROOKE'S BEST PIE CRUST
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup water
In a bowl combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Roll out dough on a floured counter. Don't over work it. Makes two pie crusts or one double crust pie.
If you want a new recipe for apple pie, try this one:
APPLE CRISP PIE
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
6 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 7 cups)
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tbsp. sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 450°. Prepare pie crust in 9-in. pie plate. Set aside.
Prepare topping: in a medium bowl combine flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in almonds. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine brown sugar, apples, lemon juice and cinnamon. Toss until well coated. Spoon apples into pie crust. Sprinkle with topping.
Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350°. Bake until bubbly, about 40 minutes longer. Remove onto wire rack and serve warm with whipped topping or vanilla ice cream.
My husband's only request other than a good football game for Thanksgiving is Chocolate Pie. He makes his own, seriously, because he's that into chocolate. I still have this recipe written on an envelope scribbled on the drive to Vernal for our first Thanksgiving a month after we started dating. Thankfully the recipe and the chocoholic are still mine!
SHANE'S CHOCOLATE PIE
9 tbsp. cocoa
2 1/3 cup sugar
4 tbsp. and 2 tsp. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten
3 1/8 cup milk
4 tbsp. and 1 tsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix cocoa, sugar, salt, and cornstarch together. Add milk slowly and mix well. Cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Add beaten eggs and cook until thick enough for pie. Cook slowly over low heat stirring constantly. Add butter and vanilla. Pour into baked pie shell and top with whipped topping.