Friday, 4 December 2015

Pumpkin Pie Story*

*Watch out for run on sentences and other unacceptable literacy habits.

Last week was American Thanksgiving. Over the years we have done a bit of Thanksgiving, but not on Thursday because it is a working day here and you can't do justice to a dinner like that when you don't know the arrival time of the Thoughtful Man.
So, we generally have it (when we do) on the Saturday. It used to be that we had people around to 'experience' Thanksgiving dinner. Over the years the Thanksgiving  I cook doesn't much resemble the one my mom cooks because I have blended in British. and in the last several years, I only do a token attempt because we have Harvest already in October which we celebrate with the church. Besides, A Certain Young Man has either been in uni or in America or too busy or something.
And furthermore, on the changes in the meal, it also has something to do with the fact that I am 1 person and my mother had 4 girls and before we moved when I was around 10, we had Thanksgiving with my dad's family who also had 4 sisters/sisters-in-law + Grandma. And so you could do this kind of a meal as a team!

But this year A Certain Young Man wanted to do a Turkey with a capital T. He is volunteering to do it... the turkey, that is. (He doesn't 'cook' unless it involves meat.) Well, there was a bit of a 'discussion' when he found I was already doing something on the Saturday last week. And was not willing to give on what he was doing on the Sunday.

So, a compromise was made and we are doing it tomorrow. (Even though I am meant to go to a Christmas lunch at 12:30! So, I won't eat much.)

Because it seems A Certain Young Man is really hankering after an American version of Thanksgiving - meaning the sort of food he had when he was living there with my parents and being fed by all their friends because he was such a polite young man (!)... I decided to do a few things I don't normally do.

1-peel the potatoes before cooking and mashing. (I had digs/lived with a family in college who kept the peelings on because it was more nutritious. This sounded like a plan to me instead of wasting valuable time rushing around whilst making dinner!)

2-used a recipe out of one of those recipe collections by real people - a New England version. I found a mashed potato recipe which has sour cream and cream cheese which can be made ahead and set in the fridge, then baked on the day. This also sounded like a plan, so I made that yesterday.

3-found a recipe for green bean casserole in another one of those books. Years ago I got fed up with the version I had been making, but A Certain Young Man has specifically asked for that. So, I made this today and put it in the fridge to bake on the day.

And then I made pumpkin pie. I usually double the batch so I can freeze one for another day. It takes the same amount of time, except rolling out the pie crust. I got a ready-rolled shortcrust pastry because it tastes more like what I remember of some Thanksgiving relative's pie crust (mom made oil crusts, which are not quite the thing for this)...and the American pie crust recipes call for shortening, which we don't have and which I always forget to buy the alternative to use with an altered recipe. Besides, ready-rolled means you are on your feet for less time, which really counts when you are already going to be on them more than you are meant to be doing.
However, I generally make one ready-rolled crust stretch to work for 2 pie crusts!

So, there you are and that is the big story for today...apart from the fact that my feet hurt and I need to cook the sweet potatoes tomorrow. But I am going to mash them because they are sweet enough and none of us can stomach any longer the thought of sweet potato slices with syrup and marshmallows baked to a golden gooey mess to be eaten as part of the main course! Someday, I might just make that for pudding/dessert so we can see if we can tolerate it that way. It makes my teeth hurt to think of it!

Oh, did I say there are 3 of us? I have already warned A Certain Young Man that I am not doing a Sunday dinner to follow that! We should have more than enough left over even if he eats his (ab)normal amounts!


Kathleen Loomis said...

Hope your dinner is great!

Have you ever made your pumpkin pie as a custard dish, omitting the crust? (a) less work (b) is tastes great as a side dish/vegetable. If you add sugar in your recipe, just add less or none, but use the same eggs, spices, etc. If you make it with sweetened condensed milk it will be as sweet as pie but you can call it vegetable/dessert.

Maggi said...

I hope he appreciated the effort you made.