Saturday, November 12, 2022

Getting Ready To Be Thankful

We are only four days away from the Bread Baking Babes's a seasonal bread, so don't miss it...but it's also time to start planning for Thanksgiving here in the U.S.A. I'm already thankful that the election is mostly over and thankful that it was a bit of a surprise how some races turned out. I'm also thankful that Pi continues to improve a bit each day.

Planning for Thanksgiving varies depending on if you are the person providing the turkey and gravy (and usually the stuffing) or if you are the pie baker or the sides maker or the one who takes care of the libations.  Below are some links to recipes that will help if you need to bring pies or the stuffing.

This year we have been invited to Thanksgiving with our family in Healdsburg and I suspect that I'll be bringing pies...probably pumpkin and pecan. For the pumpkin I generally use the recipe on the Libby's canned pumpkin can, but I add some extra cloves, a bit more ginger and I include 1/8 teaspoon of allspice and the same amount of nutmeg, although the recipe doesn't include either of the last two.

If you want to be more interesting, there is always Pumpkin Pie Spectacular (above)! Gingersnap crust and Streusel both make this a more glamorous pie and one with lots of flavor.

The classic pecan pie recipe found on the Karo Dark Corn Syrup label is a classic for a always works and is delicious, if very sweet. To make it show-worthy, be sure to turn all of the pecan halves curved side up before baking. It's little touches like that which elevate a standard into a showstopper.

Of course you'll need a good pie crust recipe. I have two to recommend: a food processor butter version that always works, and a non-dairy version of the one I learned from my Mom. Both make two discs of dough, so you could make both the pumpkin and the pecan version...or maybe you would prefer to make a cream pie like coconut cream (below)

or banana cream...both are sure to be hits. 

There is also a nice recipe for a cinnamon-crumble topped apple pie that is perfect for fall and easy enough that my grandson made this one.

Want to go a bit more sophisticated? How about a milk chocolate and caramel tart? Oooh La La!

So that's dessert taken care of if you like pies. Still, an iconic dish for Thanksgiving, along with turkey, is stuffing. There are lots of ways to go for this side and many folks have their favorite. Since Thanksgiving is all about the eating and about traditions, go for the favorite. My family likes one that uses both stale bread and fresh cornbread, along with a saute' of onions, celery, and parsley and other herbs. Sometimes the mixture includes chopped apple, and/or pecans and it's always moistened with chicken broth. I like to bake most of it in a greased casserole pan but I always use at least a cup or two of it in the cavity of the turkey to add the flavors and fragrance of the stuffing to the bird.

Well, that's a good start on recipes. I'll try to do some more side dishes for you in the next day or two and then type up the recipe I use for the turkey. I've been using oven bags to cook the Thanksgiving turkey for a very long time...over 40 years I think...and the turkey is always moist with them, so why change?

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