Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hurrah for the Pumpkin Pie

by Stephanie Black

I was going to post a picture of a turkey that I took at the zoo on Saturday, but Jeff beat me to the turkey photo, so I'm posting a photo of a peacock (and my son) instead.

As for pumpkin pie—I’ve never been fond of it. I don’t think it’s disgusting, but if given a choice between pumpkin pie and any other kind of pie, I’ll always take door number 2. Some members of my clan are keen on pumpkin pie, so we’ll have one tomorrow. We’ll also have the mandatory chocolate pie (the only kind my oldest son likes), cranberry crumb pie (a marvelous recipe I got from my mother-in-law many years back) and lemon meringue pie (my husband will make this one). And since we’re having some friends over for pie in the evening, I think I can get away with making a fruit pie too, either apple or cherry. I think I’d better go count my pie tins; I’m not sure how many I own. I’ve got a great pie crust recipe, my grandmother’s recipe. It’s the kind with egg and vinegar in it and is very hard to ruin.

We’re doing Thanksgiving dinner solo, which is not unusual for us. My parents live twelve hours away and my husband’s parents are all the way across the country. I wish we were nearer to family, but we still have lots of fun on our own. I want to get a head start on dinner today so I don’t have to spend all day tomorrow in the kitchen. It would be good to have more time to go for a walk to enjoy the beautiful weather or to play a round of Settlers of Catan. I am cursed in that game; I think I’ve won maybe once out of all the times we’ve played. It may be that I’m just not a very good strategist, but I prefer to think that the Fates are conspiring against me, because really, it couldn’t be my fault, could it?

The last couple of years we’ve cooked our turkey on the barbecue. The grill basically acts just like an oven. I object if my husband wants to try anything too experimental with the turkey, because for Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t want anything to interfere with my gravy in either volume or taste. Gravy is a vital component of dinner. Yams, however, are optional, but my husband likes them, so we make them. How about you? Yam fan or not?

My daughter's nursery leader gave her a "thankful tree." This was foam tree with foam leaves. On each leaf, we were supposed to write something my daughter is thankful for. It was cute to see the things she chose. I confess to helping her out with some of them, but others were her own idea. She is grateful for salmon, lemon cookies and Dad's bread. Me too.

So what are your Thanksgiving traditions? What are the dishes you insist on seeing (or you try to avoid) on your Thanksgiving table? Besides the food, what other traditions do you have? Come share!

Here’s wishing all of you a happy Thanksgiving!


At 11/21/2007 3:04 PM, Blogger A. Riley said...

We do thanksgiving with both sets of parents. We live about 5 miles south of my parents and 5 miles north of my husbands.

My mother makes so many pies, and always makes a double batch of "Out of This World" crescent rolls. They are the BEST.

I like to go over and help her make the pies and rolls. She does so much work for it, the least I can do is help. My dad watches the kids, so it's a break from the kids too. :)

At 11/21/2007 3:18 PM, Blogger The Mean Aunt said...

If you left now, you could be to my house in plenty of time.

At 11/21/2007 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, Settlers of Catan! That is a great game! We have the "Mormon" version called Settlers of Zarahemla. When my sons were first learning to read, they mistook "stripling warriors" for "striped warriors" and now that's what they say every time they get that development card.

Last year, at age 40, I ate a sweet potato for the first time in my life. I couldn't believe I'd let myself miss out for so long. And now that I'm older and wiser (in taste, at least) I've learned to make several different kinds of pie, including apple, chocolate cream, and peanut butter. I've even made a pumpkin pie once or twice, but like you, I don't really like it. I prefer pumpkin cake, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin marmalade.

Sadly, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, so it's just going to be another day for us. But I'm still grateful for many things ... including chocolate.

Have a great time!

Melanie Goldmund

At 11/21/2007 4:02 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

I still make the same dishes my great-grandmother served in Kansas back at the turn of the 20th century. Same recipes, even. (Different chickens, of course, but farm-fresh eggs for sure!)

My mother's favorite dish is corn pudding. I'm a little ambivalent about it, but my youngest son loves it. Whew! There is great joy in knowing it will be passed down at least one more generation.

But I really just dropped in to wish you and yours a glorious Thanksgiving! When I count my blessings tomorrow, know I'll include the "family" I've found here on the Frog Blog. Love you all!

At 11/21/2007 4:55 PM, Blogger Worldbuilder Robin said...

Well, I had a big long comment written about family and pumpkin pie, but it won't post. So let me sum up:

Thanksgiving means family, and pumpkin pie with tons of whipped topping.

At 11/21/2007 5:05 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

For the past five years I've cooked the turkey using Alton Brown's recipe. Basically, you soak it overnight in a brine solution (that's full of nummy spices) and then cook it the normal way. It's fantastic.

At 11/21/2007 9:04 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Yum, yum, and yum! All this wonderful talk of food is making me even more excited for tomorrow.

At 11/22/2007 12:40 AM, Anonymous marlene said...

Interestingly enough, when a wild turkey walked through our back yard last week, it looked very much like your picture of the peacock without the exotic colors. Our wild turkeys lack any of those majestics looks when they fly, which they do, but not very high.

I've found that Thanksgiving in New England is basically the same as in Utah except there really are those who do serve octopus, and rather than sweet potatoes, they have a lot of (no not samp which is basically corn meal mush, but) winter squash. The best part about Thanksgiving dinner to me is making enough so we can have leftovers--and eating so much of the main course that we save the pie for later and eat it when we're not too stuffed to really enjoy it.

Oh, I looked at the clock. Happy Thanksgiving!

At 11/22/2007 1:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what we do is everybody in our family ( I have 11 brothers and sisters, 7 of them are married and 15 niece's and nephew's)comes over for dinner and we all have somthing to do. like I have the fruit salad (because I can't cook) my brother has pumpkin squares (this really yummy thing that we got out of a family fun magazine) my sister has crab salad (gross!)ect. and then we have grape juice with sprite in it and then when we are all ready to eat we all say something we're thankful for. but last year my oldest brother got tired of that and started writing mean things about everybody on one of the table cloths. speaking of which I need to go see what he wrote about me and scribble it out.
Happy Thanksgiving!

At 11/22/2007 1:56 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Wild turkeys! I'd forgotten about the flocks of wild turkeys that would show up in our neighborhood now and then when we lived in Massachusetts. They were fun to watch. And I'm with you, Marlene--I love leftovers!

Anon, we do the Sprite mixed with grape juice too, but for Christmas Eve instead of Thanksgiving. Good stuff! And I'd better not give my kids the idea of writing on the tablecloth--no telling what they'd say!

At 11/22/2007 8:59 AM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...

We have a strict policy of one pie per person at Thanksgiving dinner. This means I made 7 pies yesterday. My husband shared this information with a co-worker. She said, "7 pies? What's that for? 20 people?"

Umm, no. Seven.

For the record, 2 cherry, 2 pumpkin, 1 raspberry, 1 apple and 1 pecan.

At 8:57 on Thanksgiving morning, 1 pumpkin is gone and there are pieces missing from the cerry and the pecan.

We have pie for breakfast!

At 11/22/2007 11:16 AM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

We have turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green salad, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and rolls. There must also be olives and pickles present. Yams are optional, as is green bean casserole. It all depends who's doing the cooking. This year it's me. No yams, no casserole. There's enough food there already, people!

We're also doing apple, pumpkin, coconut cream, and one other kind of pie, and I don't know what it is because my mom's bringing it and she's not here yet.

I've heard some people serve macaroni and cheese with their meal (whatever) and some forgo the turkey altogether. That's so unAmerican.

But now I need Alton Brown's recipe and the cranberry crumb recipe. Hand it over, people.

At 11/22/2007 1:24 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I love pie for breakfast too, but on the day after Thanksgiving. No one is permitted to dig into the pies before the feast!

Tristi, I'll e-mail you the cranberry crumb recipe.

At 11/23/2007 11:51 AM, Blogger Marsha Ward said...

I went to my daughter's house for the meal yesterday, and had macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving for the first time ever in my life. I forgot to ask if that was traditional in someone's family (it's a mixed household).

One Thanksgiving at my sisters house, there were 21 pies! I kid you not. I think we had less people than pies.


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