Thanksgiving is next week, and I’m excited. This is one of my favorite holidays because I get to spend time with my family, eat good food, and just relax which is exactly I plan on doing for most of the day.
Thanksgiving is the holiday that falls between Halloween and Christmas, so it is forgotten by all major retailers because it has no commercial value to them. I love that this holiday is the one that has not been spun into something bigger, brighter, and louder.
Thanksgiving is that quiet holiday where we eat too much, watch some football, and for the shoppers, hope we don’t get trampled when we go into the stores later that night. By the way, I will be one of the workers who have given up part of their Thanksgiving to make sure your favorite store is open for you to go shopping in, so when you are waiting in lines and wishing everyone would hurry up, make sure you thank the person who checks you out. They are not a robot and had to sacrifice time with their family and friends to work. Be nice. Be polite. Be human.
Now back to the holiday at hand. I love Thanksgiving. For me it is not some forgotten holiday, but a holiday that should be acknowledged more. Stores should close (they won’t lose that much money), families should come together, and people should be thankful for the other amazing people in their life.
My favorite part of the day is the food. What better way to spend time with family then eating good food. Some of my favorite dishes are only served at Thanksgiving. I could make them other time throughout the year, but what makes them special is that they are only served for this holiday.
My favorite dish that is served, besides the turkey, is the mashed potatoes. This may seem like a super simple, no-brainer dish, but if you’ve ever had amazing mashed potatoes, then you know they can go terribly wrong.
The other dish that is on my must have list is creamed corn, which I provided the recipe for in an earlier blog found here. I make this sometimes during the year, but if it is not at Thanksgiving then I feel as if I’ve missed something.
When the main meal is over, it is time for dessert. There are very few pies that I don’t like and this year I’m in charge of bringing the pies. There will be two pumpkin and I’m thinking maybe a pecan. It depends on how much time I have.
I make my pie filling from scratch. I even bake off my own pumpkins. I have yet to perfect making my own pie crusts, so I buy them.
To start the pumpkin pies, buy small baking pumpkins. Cut them in half, remove the seeds, and place them face down on a large cookie sheet. (I usually use something that has an edge on it in case there are a lot of juices in the beginning of the baking process.) Bake the pumpkins at 350 degrees for 2-4 hours. The insides will be soft and easy to scoop out when they are done.
Let the pumpkins cool and then scoop out the insides placing them into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and there are no lumps. I usually freeze it in freezer bags two cups at a time.
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup milk
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
Deep 9-inch pie crust
Mix pumpkin and milk together. Add eggs and mix well. Add sugar and spices including salt. Mix well. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 30-50 minutes or until filling is firm. I test it with a knife in the center. If it comes out clean it is done.
Pay attention to the crust. You can put foil over the crust only to keep it from burning if you’re having trouble getting the pie to bake and the crust is done.
I hope everyone has a relaxing, enjoyable Thanksgiving. Happy baking!