Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope the lousy weather hasn’t interfered with your plans.

I have lots of family and friends around, but I keep something else close by as I cook for the holiday. Many of my recipes, like yours too I’m sure, are family recipes…from my mother.

A LONG time ago, back in the 20th century, when H and I moved overseas, I was planning our first Thanksgiving dinner for friends, so I wrote to my mother (that’s how we did it then) for her famous Thanksgiving recipes. (WHY I didn’t think of getting them before we left, I’ll never know…)

She wrote me back on an aerogram (remember those?) and, in her beautiful script, she managed to fit the most important recipes I would need for a perfect homemade Thanksgiving – Turkey, Stuffing, her world-famous Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Pie.

I’ve kept that aerogram all these years and, boy, does it show every splatter and stain!

I finally glued it to another piece of paper and it’s by my side as I cook and I still refer to it. I look at her handwritten recipes and I remember the countless extra-ordinary Thanksgivings at her table and how patient she was about everything, but especially with the mess I used to make in the kitchen. I’m sad that she’s not here anymore, at Thanksgiving most of all, but I am truly grateful for all the years she was and for her beautiful spirit that gets passed on at least partly through her recipes.

I’ve given you this recipe before, but it’s the best of the bunch. It’s a never- fail, sweet, but not too sweet, Pecan Pie. My only contributions to the recipe are my own shortcrust (from a Cordon Bleu recipe) and, before baking the pie, I always fill in any spaces or gaps on the top with more pecans. Also I don't chill my pastry before rolling out. It can rest in the fridge while you mix the filling.

Have a wonderful day. Enjoy the cooking and company and try to swing it so someone else does the dishes. 

My Mom’s Pecan Pie
Printable recipe here.

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups dark corn syrup
2 tbls. plus 1 tsp. melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecan halves plus a few more to fill in any gaps
1 9"-10" unbaked pie shell (shortcrust recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  

Beat eggs just until blended, but not frothy. Add sugar, salt, and corn syrup. Add cooled melted butter and vanilla, mixing just enough to blend.

Spread nuts in bottom in bottom of pie shell. Pour in filling. Fill in any gaps in the top with more pecans. Place pie in oven. Reduce heat to 325°F at once. Bake 50-60 minutes. Makes 8-10 servings.

Shortcrust Pastry:
1 1/2 cups flour
6 tbls. unsalted butter
2 tbls. shortening (I use Crisco)

4 to 6 tbls. ICE water 

Place flour in the food processor. Add butter and shortening and pulse until evenly incorporated. Add 3 tbls. ice water and process until mixed. Add another tablespoon of water and process just until mixture comes together. You may need a spoonful or more of water. Knead into a ball and roll out between sheets of plastic wrap. Line pie dish and crimp edge decoratively.

Pie crust may be frozen in the pie dish after wrapping well. Remove from freezer about 20 minutes before filling and baking.


Sheila said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your feast was wonderful! Thanks for helping me with mine!

Kitty Carr said...

Hey Sue!

I came for a recipe (didn't you used to have a recipe search?) and I stayed for the Wicked Funny--that's you.

I forgot the recipe as I read old entries for hours, and I must thank you for my two favorite tips: Saran Wrap and freshly grated nutmeg. Since I'm addicted to Pumpkin Bread and Sweet Potato Pie, I schlepped off to two groceries at midnight (well, maybe 6 pm) to find whole nutmeg, which I knew they wouldn't have and even if they had it, they wouldn't know where it was and even if they knew where it was, they wouldn't tell me. So on to Amazon, where I got the most beautiful, fragrant nutmeg. Fifteen fat nuts that smelled divine!

Well, off to reading the rest of your older blog entries to pick up more tips and laughs.

Merry Christmas, you deserve it! And keep those laughs and tips a-coming.

Sue said...

It's always my pleasure!

You're so sweet and you've made my day...actually, year! I don't have a recipe search (do you remember which recipe it was?), but if you google and the name of the recipe, you should find it.

Thank you so much for your kind words. I’ve been such a bad blogger lately, but I’m happy you’re catching up on previous posts. How did your supermarket NOT have fresh nutmeg? That’s criminal. But it lasts forever, so enjoy it.

Have a great holiday yourself! And thanks again for the shoutout.

Kitty Carr said...

The recipe I was looking for was Brussels sprouts with cranberries and maybe bacon? I went through a phase of eating Brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt and roasted in a hot oven. It's no wonder this recipe is so popular, it’s delicious, and for a while I ate them everyday. I did find the recipe on foodnetwork w/cranberries, but I never got around to making them.

You may not be far off saying fresh nutmeg is criminal; the Alabama constitution/criminal code (they don’t know the difference) is the largest in the world and contains 900 amendments/laws. If the word “bingo“ occurs 301 times, surely Brussels sprouts deserves it’s own law. I’ll have to do a word search. And if Limestone County is authorized to “provide for the disposal of dead farm animals, and the excavating of human graves,” can we not imprison nutmeg owners?

BTW, your story of Giada and Oprah was so funny, I read it five times, and it just got funnier.