It’s sure chilly-chilly here tonight!! The forecast even includes snow! Suddenly it seems to be just fine to give up wishing for warmer days and working in the garden for the year — for now, baking season is here! And around our home it’s time for “special requests.” By this, I mean that it’s time for everyone to submit this year’s favourites for me to bake — or, better said, this year’s update to the list of things “we have to have ________” for Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Confession: I simply cannot keep track of who likes what and who doesn’t like what for the traditional Thanksgiving meal. So, I decided a few years ago to sort of announce the menu (though the menu doesn’t change a whole lot) and that’s when I really find out this or that child doesn’t really like this or that menu item. And then, too, I have a few others who say something like: we have to have_______!
Some recipes never change and some have sort of evolved as children have aged, tastes have matured and new favourites have come into play. Some things I don’t make bcz they just don’t taste the same as they used to taste — for example, my dear mother-in-law always used to make the most delicious layered jello salad for both Thanksgiving and Christmas… she’s living far away now and so that dish is just one of those sweet lingering memories.
Some of the must have’s include turkey — of course, fresh cranberry relish, russian cream, potato rolls, sweet potato casserole and… pies. Lots of pumpkin pies — otherwise, what would they eat for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning?? 😉 Each year I’ve been working at making sure there are lots of things from the garden for the Thanksgiving meal. So, this year from the garden we’ll have carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, pickles, raspberries to top the russian cream, apples & walnuts in the salad and pies. I’ve been making walnut pies using a standard pecan pie recipe.
Since we have walnut trees and a bazillion walnuts, it doesn’t seem all that prudent to buy pecans — though I must say pecans are pretty tasty! So… Monday’s the first “pie day.” Besides those, this year I’ll be adding Swedish Pear and Almond Cream Cake and Hazelnut pie to the dessert menu. We didn’t have much of a blueberry crop this year and though the blackberries were plentiful this year, we were attending to other things and the blackberries didn’t get picked — so, no blueberry pie, no blackberry pie this year.
I’m so looking forward to this week in the kitchen… thankful for so many things… and the beautiful music in the background.
But another confession: I do not – do not – like the smell of turkey cooking in the oven. Or turkey broth simmering on the stove. But I like cold turkey the day after Thanksgiving. And simmering cinnamon, cloves and oranges make the kitchen smell soooo sweet.