Friday, November 23, 2012

My Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving Day is all about food. Here is a delicious though decidedly random look at the food that I prepared and ate on this glorious day of abundance:

Cinnamon rolls for breakfast. This one is mine.
Slicing apples for an apple pie. We are planning lots of rich, creamy, decadent desserts but always include one simple pie in the mix. 
Onions, celery, apples and sage simmering together for the dressing. This is my most favorite smell of Thanksgiving morning, and reminds me of my grandmother very much indeed.
Mixing the filing for the pumpkin cheesecake. Years ago, my friend Heidi shared this recipe with my daughters when teaching a class about each of the fifty states. Connecticut has a reputation for its annual pumpkin-throwing contest - the locals refer to it as "punkin chunkin" and my second-born fell in love with this cheesecake, which bears that name.
Angel food cake for the spongy trifle. It's a family tradition to bake this on Thanksgiving Eve...wouldn't feel right if we didn't. Also, angel food is my traditional birthday cake. Just thought you should know.
Filing for the apple pie on the left, bottom crust waiting on the right. Classic pies make a big mess, and I always tackle them first, to get the mess out of the way.
Even though it's a messy process, there is something very satisfying that happens when I get a pie put together and seal it up. I feel very accomplished.
The spongy trifle comes together in layers. Starting at the bottom with cubes of angel food cake spread with raspberry jam, we next add bits of fruit - mandarin oranges and bananas - then this vanilla custard. Crushed shortbread cookies and whipped cream on top are still to come.

When my daughters were tiny, we read a story about a naughty little girl who snuck into her mother's pantry and ate all the spongy trifle that was meant to be served at her birthday party. My eldest wondered exactly what a spongy trifle might be, so I found a recipe and we made one, just for fun. Ever since then, this English dessert has become one of our Thanksgiving traditions.
Peeled and diced, these potatoes are well on their way to being mashed. Sorry 'bout it, guys.
Biscuits, standing at attention and waiting for a turn in the oven. My grandmother used to spend hours making her Thanksgiving rolls from scratch; she often gave me the job of rolling bits of dough into one-inch balls, and plopping three of them into each buttered compartment of her cupcake pan. After they were baked, they would pull neatly apart into three sections, and that is why they were called cloverleaf rolls. 
Two pretty Punkin Chunkin Cheesecakes, fresh from the oven.
Whop, whop, the turkey is done! Technically, it's a turkey breast...we all prefer white meat. I always use an oven bag for my turkeys; they cook evenly inside the environment of the bag, and clean-up is a dream. 
Mashed potatoes and a glorious chunk of melting butter.
Acorn squash. Or Danish squash, as it's called on the west coast. I think acorn squash is a much cuter name.
Homemade cranberry sauce, another dish prepared on Thanksgiving Eve.
The biscuits are hot and flaky, even if they are store-bought.
The green bean casserole traditionally sits in this overflow spot on a cupboard near the table. The matching casserole of dressing (or stuffing...same difference) will soon join it on the left.
The table is set, the turkey is carved, the beverages are poured. 
Bring on the people and let the feasting begin!!

Several hours later...time for dessert!!

You may choose between spongy trifle under its blanket of whipped cream, peanut butter hot fudge pie, pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream, or a simple little apple pie with vanilla ice cream. 

Or you may choose all four. We won't judge.
I started with a plate full of spongy trifle, and then came back for more. It was heaven.
I'm thankful for the outrageous bounty of my Thanksgiving table; may I continue to appreciate each bite of food I put into my mouth in the upcoming year.

* * * * *

More Thanksgiving stories!

Pumpkins, Acorns, And A Leaf
Teaching My Own: Talking Turkey
I Will Be Thankful When It's Done
Giving Thanks For Thanksgiving
Giving Thanks For Sly And Soul Train
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Thanksgiving
Thankful For The Forest
"T" Is For Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Dinner
Looking Up: Thanksgiving Edition

* * * * *

I like to write stories about pies. If you like to read stories about pies, try these:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment...I'd love to hear from you!