Showing posts with label thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thanksgiving. Show all posts

November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Stuff and Stuffing

Yesterday the Peanut and I braved the cold (Winter, we are so not ready for you...) and while he slept cozily in his sling, I browsed a few of my favorite stores, searching for Thanksgiving stuff. You know, some turkey-themed napkins, a floral arrangement, maybe a new table runner... decor that oozes Thanksgiving. 





Oh, there was Christmas stuff galore in every store. I didn't mind... it is November after all, and Christmas is a mere five plus weeks away. But Thanksgiving is over a week away -- how could there be NOTHING on display? Even the clearance racks came up short. 

One of the sales ladies asked me if I found everything I was looking for, so I asked if I was missing the Thanksgiving stuff. You know, cause Thanksgiving hasn't happened yet. She looked surprised that I would dare shop before Thanksgiving for turkey-related items.

I left thinking she was the turkey. 

I'm still slightly baffled by this. So I went home to search for my stuffing recipe. I may not have any Thanksgiving decor for the table, but by golly, my stuffing will happen again this year.
My family has never been much for Thanksgiving traditions, besides of course, the actual turkey and enough for leftover sandwiches the day after. In high school, I spent the holiday with a friend's family out-of-state. Post-college, I've shared Thanksgiving meals with strangers and friends, in obscure places like Ukraine where cranberries and turkey weren't to be found, overseas on a ship in West Africa, where I stuffed myself so full that I had to unbutton my jeans, and a progressive meal at three different homes in one night in England, chauffeured by our office's treasurer.

With such a hodge podge of Thanksgivings, I wanted to start a few traditions of my own -- like my stuffing. In all of the years that my mom has made a wonderful feast, I don't remember her ever making stuffing. I figured I could easily incorporate it into a family meal as an addition.

Okay, so it's not my stuffing. It's the Food Network Magazine's. I made it two years ago for the first time, and then again last year. I decided it needs to stay. 

But when I looked in my nifty recipe book, all I found was the cover sheet with the photo of the stuffing. The paper inside listed mix and match potato dishes, not the stuffing. Apparently in my madness to sort my recipes, I tossed the actual recipe, thinking that it was on the potato sheet instead. 


I mentally composed an email to the Food Network to BEG for their recipe, since I had accidentally thrown it out. I figured I'd give them the whole Thanksgiving-might-be-ruined-story. 

Thankfully, a quick search online yielded the mix-and-match stuffing recipe, and I didn't have to beg for it. Now you have it too. You're welcome. 

Happy early Thanksgiving...  and if you want to knit a quick gift for a friend's child, try a Thanksgiving Bird Blanket. Gobble, gobble.

December 7, 2012

Pilgrim Boots and Second Thanksgiving

In early fall, I knit these fabulous legwarmers. I had a friend model them for me, along with a pair of boots I purchased for my recent trip. 

I have strayed far from my college Doc Martin and Birkenstock days... and while I wear the latter obsessively over the summer, I usually wear boots with heels when I go out in colder weather. (I am short. Every little bit helps.) When I planned to visit a friend in Idaho, the Sailor suggested I get a more practical pair for both the plane and the trip out West. 

My friend's son thought they looked like pilgrim boots. 

I concur a little, but I'll bet the pilgrims didn't have boots quite so comfortable. 

I also thought the pilgrim boots comment was somewhat appropriate, since last night, we celebrated Thanksgiving again. 

There were cranberries, and mashed potatoes and stuffing and a turkey and of course... pumpkin pie. I have made lots of pies in my life, but for some reason, I have never once made a pumpkin pie. 

So, for Second Thanksgiving, I made the pumpkin pie. This is the work of art, fresh out of the oven. We also experimented and cooked the filling without the crust as a sort of custard. It too, was fabulous

Maybe it's funny that we celebrated Thanksgiving a second time, two weeks after the first one. But really, why shouldn't we celebrate Thanksgiving more than once? Every day, we can find things to be thankful for. 

I am thankful for many things, but today, I'm especially grateful for my boots. It's been raining all week, and now today the snow finally started falling. 

My boots, paired with last year's woolly knit socks similar to these, create the perfect winter footwear.  

November 26, 2012

Leftover Turkey Pie

Thanksgiving yields a bounty of leftovers -- no matter how big or small your gathering is, it always seems like there's at least some extra turkey in the end. 

I make two things incredibly well -- my potato salad and real chicken pot-pie. When in doubt, I make and bring either of these two items to pot-lucks or I make them for guests. People have different ideas of pot-pie though.

I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country, and the first time I ordered pot-pie in a local restaurant, I looked up from the floating noodles in dismay. My mother must have seen my face, because she calmly explained to me that this was not pot-pie. 

My Chicago-born parents made it clear for me at a very young age that chicken pot-pie has a crust. As the floating noodles were not encased in either a top or bottom crust, it would stand to reason that I never ordered that version of the dish again (although I did finally yield to hometown tradition... and I learned to make the PA Dutch version. It's not bad, but I still don't think they should have called it pot-pie. It's more like chicken noodle soup with chunks of potatoes.) 

Pot-pie to me is pure comfort food, all in one dish. The standard recipe I use calls for carrots, celery and onions, all tossed with chicken broth, milk and a little flour. The recipe also calls for peas, but as the Sailor can't stand them, I always omit them, even when he's not home. This time, I added some leftover spinach that has been staring at me from the fridge for the past few days. And of course, instead of chicken, I used the turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving. Flaky pastry dough tops off the pie. (I'd love to use a bottom crust, but considering the amount of butter that goes into the dough, I usually just put a top on the pie.)

There is no photo of the finished pie because let's face it, it never lasts long around here. 

I still had tons of both white and pumpernickel bread leftover from the stuffing I made last week though, so I decided to make croutons with them while the oven was still warm. The pumpernickel took forever to dry out, and I'm not convinced the cubes are fully dry. They are however, delightful while they are still warm, with a few chunks of cheese. 

(Never mind those mini pumpkins -- they're another leftover on the list...)

November 21, 2012

Stuffing and Stuffed Apple Pies

Tonight was a baking feast, even though I'm not even the one making Thanksgiving dinner. My mother has the whole dinner planned out, but ever since last year and thanks to a Food Network magazine mix-in recipe, I've declared the stuffing to be the tradition that I make and bring every year. (Mom never made stuffing in any case, so it's not like I took anything away from our Thanksgiving... I just added to it...)

Tonight there was stuffing prep: 

More stuffing prep:

And yes, even more stuffing prep. This stuffing rocks. Seriously.

Sometime after that, I got around to the dessert. My mom already has the pumpkin pie sorted, but since I had leftover dough from a meat pie I made when the Sailor was still home, I thought I'd make individual apple pies -- easier to freeze in case there are any leftovers. (But realistically, who said there would be leftovers?) I've already devoured one (not including that mini leftover test chunk in the middle of the tray...)

Happy Thanksgiving!