Friday, November 25, 2011

After Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner but it started me thinking about the food we eat on that holiday. For most families, the menu doesn't vary that much from year to year. We want the "traditional" dishes cooked the same way year after year. Every once in a while, some new dish gets added but most of the time things stay the same. Do you eat those dishes the rest of the year?

Take turkey. I love turkey. I'd love to have turkey more often and when we had teenage boys in the house, I often roasted a turkey as the protein for a meal. I made a little turkey gravy but the rest of the meal would not be the traditional T'day dinner. That way we had at least one dinner, maybe two and I could make real turkey sandwiches for their school lunches. Now a turkey is too, too much for the two of us. So I savor each bite at Thanksgiving.

How about sweet potatoes. How often do you have them besides Thanksgiving? I like sweet potatoes so I'll prepare them a few times during the Fall and Winter when the potatoes are so big and sweet. But it isn't a vegetable that goes on my shopping list. Usually when I see a big pile of them in the store I'll think about including them in a meal. I should include them more often. They are full of good vitamins. Unfortunately I love them with lots of butter mashed into them.

Creamed onions. Might not be on your Thanksgiving menu but it is on ours. I love them but never make them during the year. They are a bit time consuming to prepare.....and once again there is the fat factor. Cream! But really there is only 1/3 cup of cream in 10 servings.

I have never made or eaten a pumpkin pie except during Thanksgiving or Christmas. I can't say I 'love' pumpkin pie but with whipped cream it is good. I use to feel like I needed to have at least a sliver of a slice of pumpkin pie just because. I don't think I've eaten even a sliver in at least 10 years. And speaking of pie, what about mincemeat pies. We always had them while Ned's Dad was alive. I ate mincemeat pies when I was a kid but somewhere in adulthood, I decided that I didn't really like them and there were too many other good desserts to eat to waste the calories on mincemeat pies. I seldom see recipes for mincemeat pies anymore.

As long as we are talking about pies, let's talk about pecan pie. A pecan pie is so easy to make except I have to tell you that yesterday I messed one up. I made a variation on pecan pie that was basically a regular southern pecan pie but it had a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in it. I'm blaming it all on my oven here in the apartment which has a fluctuating thermostat. It was too hot at first and had to cook too long to get the center done. So I threw together another plain pecan pie....sugar, Karo, eggs, butter, salt....and into the pie shell. Easy Peasy. But do I make them during the year? Very seldom. Why not? There is no reason a pecan pie has to be relegated to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I'm sure your family has some holiday menu items that are only served during the holidays or that used to be served but have kind of disappeared from the table as the older generation passes on. Tell me about them.

7 comments:

Jonna said...

I enjoyed making a mince pie this year. I read that I couldn't call it mincemeat since there was no meat involved. Who knew?

I called it a tropical mince pie because I used a lot more dried tropical fruits in it. I thought I had raisons but it turned out I only had a few so I cut up a lot of dates, dried pineapple, dried mango and used rum instead of bourbon. It was wonderful, dense and rich and full of spices with that rum taste at the end. I think I like it better than the ones I used to make in the US which basically came from a jar.

Steve Cotton said...

My traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were prime rib and leg of lamb -- alternated randomly and cooked in various ways. Being single, it was the only opportunity I had to cook a hunk of meat for a single meal. I miss it. To be honest, I would probably commit unspeakable acts merely to taste a tender piece of spring lamb.

alcuban said...

Ah, don't write off yams, or camotes. You can glaze them and serve with some sort of syrup and the sugar high will keep you up until Christmas.

Heather said...

I messed up my pecan pies for Thanksgiving this year too. I make two pecan pies every year for Thanksgiving and I'm awesome at them. I win awards for my pecan pies, but this year they stunk because of a bad substitution that backfired. But I made a coconut custard pie from scratch for the first time, and it was amazing!!!

Billie said...

Jonna, I think I'd like your mince pie.

Steve, we keep turkey for T'day and do the side of a cow for Christmas.

Al, I'm not discounting any of those but the sweet potatoes we bought this year were really sweet already. Half a pound of butter and they were just perfect!

Heather, there must have been bad Karma for pecan pies this year. I'm going tohave to make another one just as soon as I get to farmer's market for some fresh shelled pecans. Soooo much better than the ones they have in the grocery store in plastic packages.

Billie said...

Jonna, I think I'd like your mince pie.

Steve, we keep turkey for T'day and do the side of a cow for Christmas.

Al, I'm not discounting any of those but the sweet potatoes we bought this year were really sweet already. Half a pound of butter and they were just perfect!

Heather, there must have been bad Karma for pecan pies this year. I'm going tohave to make another one just as soon as I get to farmer's market for some fresh shelled pecans. Soooo much better than the ones they have in the grocery store in plastic packages.

Sam and Bob said...

Billie...we didn't have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this year and I really missed it. I love turkey. I really like making the stuffing and cooking it in the bird. Maybe next year. We are just thankful to be here in SMA.

Sam y Bob