Thanksgiving, start to finish

This is really start to finish with one in-between. We ended up having our Thanksgiving dinner the next day as we were invited to a neighbor’s house nearly at the last minute. Nevertheless, my carefully choreographed cooking plans worked like the usual clockwork*.

*(Po po, don’t want to hex myself)

Wednesday morning started with making cranberry sauce (the start) and pecan pie (the finish). I also made a hummus (the in-between) to take to our neighbor’s for pre-dinner cocktails. Thursday mid-morning, Daughter made the stuffing and I started the turkey. I’m from the school that it cannot be Thanksgiving if your house is not filled with the aromas of turkey et al.

Daughter’s stuffing

Some years ago I cut out a recipe for cranberry sauce and safely filed it in one of the binders with other cut-out magazine recipes. A similar recipe popped up on my desktop recently and I decided to give it a try. My usual cranberry sauce is the one recommended on the bag of cranberries – cranberries, orange, and sugar. This recipe is similar and so much for tasty.

Port-Cranberry Sauce. Combine the ½ port with ½ orange juice and three 1×3 inch strips of orange zest (I just chunked up a thick-skinned orange in place of the zest) in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Add 12 ounces of cranberries and ¾ cup of sugar* and simmer over moderately low heat about 25 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

*I used ½ cup of sugar. My first taste test was way too sweet for my palate. As the sauce sat, the sweetness dissipated and it was just delicious.

Many, many years ago the butter industry distributed a cookbook, Seasonal Celebrations Across America, in exchange for proof of purchase. Actually this promotion was held twice and I have two thin, but rich cookbooks. The pecan pie recipe is from the Woodstock Inn & Resort. The first time I made it was about 32 years ago. I took to a friend in the Netherlands.

Rich Buttery Pecan Pie. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake a pie shell, or use one readymade (I use a graham cracker crust)*.

*One year for Passover, I crushed readymade chocolate coconut macaroons to make the pie shell. Talk about rich!

Combine 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar, ¼ cup honey, and 1 stick of butter in a saucepan, mix well. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat; stir in ¼ cup heavy cream and 4 cups (1 pound) of pecans. Pour into pie crust (I sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips in the pie crust first!) Place pie on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes* or until filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack for 1 ½ to 2 hours before serving.

*I left mine in a bit longer which tends to congeal the ingredients into a sublimely yummy almost toffee instead of gooey, sticky caramel (both equally delicious). This is a different pecan pie with none of that corn syrup layer. Give it a try.

Hummus is one of those foods I learned to make thanks to zoom in our past eighteen months. Michael Solomonov and Leah Konig are two chefs who are particularly good instructions, alongside being amazing chefs, are . I’ve made Solomonov’s recipe (; it makes an awful lot. I thought I’d tried Leah’s recipe (I adjusted measurements to using only one can of chickpeas). You’d be surprised how easy both are, you’ll never buy hummus again.

Hummus (sorry, forgot to take a picture). Place 2 cans of drained chickpeas, 1/3 cup tahini, ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and one chopped garlic clove into your food processer. With the machine running, slowly add ¼ cup of reserved chickpea liquid. Process until smooth and creamy, Add more chickpea liquid for a smoother consistency. Add more salt if needed.

I’m not sure how much cooking I’ll be doing this coming week. We already started Art Week last night with a viewing of the sculpture by Lauren Shapiro at the Royal Palm Hotel as part of the annual No Vacancy exhibits. We’re off to see more tomorrow night. The Art Fairs start in two days time.

Lauren Shapiro, Site R16 Transect 1 r


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