Thanksgiving roundup & Meri’s pumpkin pie.

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, I’ve been scouring the internet, the newspaper, various cookbooks, etc, for new and inspiring dishes for this year’s Thanksgiving menu. For the past number of years, I’ve been the menu planner for my family’s Thanksgiving meal. Usually, my whole family invades my parents place for the entirety of the Thanksgiving day and I cook like a madwoman (with the help of my mom and sisters), as I try my best to bring new and fun recipes to the table each year. This is how it has always been.

But, things are changing. As many of us know, marriage changes many parts of you life – and holiday traditions are no exception. Not only do I have my family and their traditions to take into account – but I have my husband and his family to think of. Thankfully, both of our families are very understanding and we’ve been able to figure out holiday solutions thus far. The last couple of years, Nich’s mom and stepfather have been kind enough to make the driver over from central Oregon to spend Thanksgiving with my family. This year, however, we decided to make the drive to Prineville and spend Thanksgiving just with Nich’s mom and stepdad. I am excited to take part in their holiday traditions, and to help as much as I can with the Thanksgiving perparations.

That being said, I still have no idea what I am making for this year’s meal! I need to call Meri (my mother-in-law) and see what she has planned – and, of course, see what fun things I can make to go alongside her menu. Nich and I did spring for a turkey, as New Seasons Market was offering Certified Organic Heritage birds from Diestel Farms for $3/lb. (Which, if you’ve read anything about the modern turkey industry you would run far, far away from the typical bird that is served on Thanksgiving day. It is gross, to say the least. I also think that $3/lb is a steal for this kind of bird.)

All that to say, I know we’ll be having (delicious) turkey with my in-laws in central Oregon! I look forward to new traditions, and to bringing a few of my own along with me. If you’re in the throes of planning your Thanksgiving meal (as I am), here are a few helpful links that may inspire your menu!

A few of my own holiday recipes:
(Since I started this blog after Christmas of last year, I don’t have many holiday recipes of my own, but I will link to the couple recipes I have!)
*Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds
*Lemon Mascarpone Tart
*Sweet Potato Biscuits

Recipes I’ve used in past years (and loved!).
*“Real” Green Bean Casserole (No cream of mushroom soup here! This recipe is a bit of work, but totally worth it)
*Apricot Glazed Turkey with Herbed Butter rub (*I use this recipe most years for our turkey!)
*Sauteed Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon, Shallots and Cayenne – funny enough, I’ve made this recipe the last two years and I cannot find the recipe anywhere online! I think I can remember how to make it but it any of you happens to know/have this recipe, please feel free to share!

Recipes I am itching try this year:
*Celery Root Mash
*Crack Pie (The famous – and addicting – pie from Momofuku)
*Mark Bittman’s Braised Turkey
*Roasted Brussells Sprouts with Cranberry Pistachio Pesto
*Sweet Potato Pie
*Bourbon Cranberry Compote

And lastly, here is my mother-in-law’s recipe for REAL pumpkin pie. You know, the kind that is made from an actual pumpkin (and not from a can!). Its a bit of work, but is completely worth it. This is the best pumpkin pie ever.

MERI’S PUMPKIN PIE

To prepare the pumpkin:
First, you will need to purchase a small “pie pumpkin”. Most grocery stores will have pie pumpkins, but beware – they are not the same pumpkins you buy to carve! They are smaller and sweeter.

Clean out the pumpkin well. (Save the seeds to toast & eat!)
Cut the pumpkin into 2″ chunks and place in a large pot with just an inch of water. Bring to boil and then reduce to low with lid on. Steam chunks until they can be very easily be poked though with a fork from the skin side.
Take out of pot and blend or process in a food processor until smooth (you may need to add a small amount of the boiling liquid to make sure it blends smoothly. BE CAREFUL, as hot pumpkin puree burns!
Let the puree cool in large open bowl, cover when completely cool and refrigerate until needed. You can make this well ahead of time and save for later use.

For the pie:
1 pie shell
2 cups pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger & nutmeg
a sprinkle of cloves & salt

Combine all ingredients, blend well and pour into shell.

Bake 15 min @ 425 degrees, then bake 30 to 40 min @ 350 degrees. Cook until knife poked into center comes out clean. Let cool completely before refrigerating.

One Response

  1. ms. tea says:

    We will be spending the day with my mother in law as well! Though I probably won’t make the following recipe this year as she is not a goat cheese fan.
    My all time favorite thanksgiving recipe is:
    Mashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Crispy Sage:

    2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
    5 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
    1/4 cup (or more) whole milk
    2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
    4 T. Crispy sage (sautee fresh sage in browned butter until crisp, chop into little bits)
    Fresh sage sprigs

    Cook potatoes in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 12 minutes; drain well. Return to same pan. Add cheese, 1/4 cup milk, and butter; mash until smooth. Mix in crispy sage; season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over low heat, thinning with more milk, if too thick.) Mound potatoes in bowl. Garnish with fresh sage sprigs. Makes 4 servings

Leave a Reply