Scenes from Thanksgiving 2009

So how’d it go?

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It’s safe to say that I’m still stuffed…

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But all the food turned out great!

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Hope your holiday was fun and delicious. :)

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, DC readers! We hope you have much to be thankful for this year, and we want to thank you for all your thoughtful comments and ideas! We always enjoy hearing from you.

Biscuit says, “thanks!” too. And don’t forget to watch the National Dog Show today on NBC :-)

Biscuit

Pear/Cherry Crisp

Pear/Cherry Crisp goes in the oven!

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Pear/Cherry Crisp comes out of the oven!

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One pie down, two to go… plus pear/cherry crisp!

Apple Pie is cooling! Looks pretty good except for a small crack that developed while baking. It happens!

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Pumpkin pie is now in the oven!

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Bosc & Bartlett Pear and Cherry Crisp is currently in the works! You may remember, I couldn’t get plums. Thanks for your help in deciding!

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And it’s in the oven!

Chock full of apples!

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A mix of six, all thinly sliced.

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And now for the top…

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Don’t forget to cut slits in the top!

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And cover the ends with foil to prevent them from browning (or burning) too quickly. Remove the foil when you have 5 minutes to spare!

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Roll out!

So far no casualties!

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Food Photography – Zwiebel Kuchen

This past Sunday some coworkers and I had a small Thanksgiving potluck. The idea was to bring something from your ethnic heritage or something you grew up eating. I never had this as a child but during my visit to Europe last year I was introduced to Zwiebel Kuchen, which literally translated to “Onion Cake” (or Pie). It’s much like a quiche, however with emphasis less on the eggs.

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What are some dishes from your heritage you’ve always wanted to try?

Patient Little Pie Crusts

Hooray! It’s 0900 on the east coast and I already have 4 little pie crusts chilling patiently in the fridge.

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They kind of look like little turkey burgers, don’t they?

This year I used a recipe from my giant Martha’s Cooking School book. If you’re tackling pie crusts today, remember to have a gentle hand when adding water. Martha recommended 7 tablespoons of water, followed by 2 additional tablespoons if needed, but added a full tablespoon at a time. After 7 tablespoons of ice water I would just start sprinkling to get the right consistency – adding more water by tablespoons seems a little dangerous to me!

Good luck, bakers and cooks! Hope you make beautiful progress today.

A Question, Turkey Fry Tips & Thanksgiving Tables of Yore

Click here for a timely Slate article with pumpkin tips!

But I actually wanted to share a few different things. The first is to ask a question.
I planned on making a Pear Plum Crisp, only to find that plums are not in season and there’s no way I’ll get them. Should I…

a) Substitute plums for cranberries (I’m worried they’ll be too tart)?
b) Substitute plums for dark pitted cherries (I was thinking they’ll have a similar not-to-sweet flavor to plums)?
c) Substitute plums for apple slices (but maybe we’re getting back to too tart here?

Please let me know what you think! The polls are open (well.. the comment field anway..).

Next I wanted to share a turkey tip. Ever heard of fried turkey? It’s most definitely a southern thing. I remember when we first moved south we heard of a guy that you could pay to fry your turkey on his lawn Thanksgiving morning, in time for dinner. I don’t know how much he made doing that, but it looked like a neat gig.

In any event, we were all about adopting some “southern ways” when we got here. Fried turkey was one of these, and we bought a turkey fryer. Here are photos from our first turkey fry, back in 2003

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If you’re frying your turkey this year, please do it safely. This should never be done inside the house – do it in the yard in case the ridiculously hot oil starts to sputter. Wear large, heavy duty gloves and eye protection, and lower your turkey down slowly into the fryer. Never get closer to it then you need to. Do not allow children or dogs to be running around in close proximity. This is a giant pot of raging hot oil… don’t anger it!

Lastly, don’t scoff until you try it (I’m looking at you, Chef Edwin!). A fried turkey is a beautiful and delicious thing.

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And now I’ll leave you with some scenes of Thanksgivings past. Don’t forget those little touches that make your table look lovely.

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Try a new tablecloth or some gourds, flowers or cranberries as a centerpiece.

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And give thanks!

A Pot Pie That Isn’t A Brick

Vegetable Pot Pie

Pot pies.  That term does not stir up pleasant images in my head.  Thick pies of lead is what I see.  This image was not improved upon when I began my fast food career in high school.  There is nothing behind those counters that makes your mouth water and pot pies are certainly no exception.  I’ll leave at that, only saying that twenty pound tubs of butter are gross.

Vegetable Pot Pie

I don’t think we ever did the pot pie thing in my family and, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had one.  The weather here has been pretty nice for November but every now and then it dips down and I want something warm and hearty.  Having nothing to really go on with regard to what a pot pie should be, I decided to just go with what I would want out of a pot pie: strong presence of veggies with something that doesn’t make me feel like I ate a brick.

Vegetable Pot Pie

Vegetable Pot Pie

Any pie crust (flaky, biscuit, etc)
3 pounds yellow onion; sliced in halves
5 ounces butternut squash; cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 ounces broccoli; cut into small floret pieces
1 carrot cut into 1/2 inch half slices
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup cream (heavy, light, your choice)
1/2 vegetable stock
1 tablespoon dried marjoram

Prepare a 9 inch pie pan with your crust and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400.

Saute the onion under medium high heat with 1 table spoon of oil until browned, stirring only occasionally; approximately 6 minutes. Move to a large mixing bowl and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute the squash and carrots in two teaspoons of oil for 3-4 minutes until browning and add to bowl of onions. Saute the broccoli, corn and peas in one tablespoon oil for two minutes then add the vegetables back to the pan. Toss to mix, and the cream, stock, marjoram and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Fill the pie pan with your vegetables and either top with more crust or sprinkle with cheddar. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the crust (or vegetables) have become browned or crisp. Serve and enjoy.