My family ate 3 whole turkeys this Thanksgiving*. There were 9 of us around the table. That’s 1/3 of a turkey for each person. This is the gleeful insanity with which my family celebrates Thanksgiving! So I can remember the goodness of our menu for next year, here’s what we did.
Roasted our turkey using Sara Foster’s method using my aunt and uncles apple wine instead of cider. Sadly, we left it in the oven a little too long. It smelled amazing and was pretty tasty, but my mom’s turkey was better. My mom’s everything is always better.
I also tapped Sara Foster for her homemade green bean casserole recipe. I’m sorry, her Creamy Green Beans with Crispy Shallots recipe. Oh. My. Land. I’m pretty sure I’m everyone’s favorite person after making this. Brad and I keep asking ourselves, Why do we only make green beans this way once a year? You know I’ll be pulling this recipe out in January when it’s so cold my eyeballs freeze in their sockets and I need some comfort food to help me remember why we live in Iowa. (I used red onions, spelt flour, and coconut oil to fry the onions on top and skipped the cornstarch altogether.)
Embarrassing story time! Two Thanksgivings ago, I made cheddar biscuits that were so brick-like in texture, greasy in touch, and salty in flavor that my parents unceremoniously fed them to our dog. I’m a walking cliche. This year, I triumphed with Jacqui’s spelt biscuits. I’ve made these three times now and they’re always better than I remember them being. And I always remember them being totally delicious. The only change I make is to replace the almond milk and vinegar with kefir. Works like a charm and uses up a fraction of the vats of kefir we have brewing in our house.
And then there were the pies! We made two this year. One for people who like pumpkin (a pumpkin pie) and one for people who don’t (a pumpkin apple pie). I know. We’re so mean. I made a test pie the Sunday before because now we’re using spelt flour, honey, and all those ingredients that typically aren’t in holiday recipes. The test pie was…eh. And I so wanted it to be perfect because I love nothing more than 1) giving my husband pumpkin pie because he lives for it, and 2) giving someone a familiar food, watching them taste it and love it, then telling them it’s good for them! BOOM. So I ditched my crust for the “Everyday Pie Crust” by, you guessed it, Sara Foster, which I found in the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens (I was such a good corporate citizen this month!). Unfortunately I can’t find it online, so I’ll post on it in a bit, because I want to remember exactly how I made it since it was stellar. Then, for the pumpkin pie filling, I followed this recipe, but I made a few changes: I didn’t separate and whip the egg whites because I did that for the test pie and it was too airy for us. I love the slight resistance to the fork that a dense pumpkin pie offers. So I just put the whole eggs in at once and the density was perfect. I also used about a spoonful less honey and used cow’s milk instead of coconut milk, although I bet that would be really yummy. Though I previously professed my undying affection for streusel topping, I didn’t use it here because sometimes tradition matters. (How many times in one month can I link to that video, I wonder?) For the pumpkin-apple pie, I used the same crust and this recipe from Whole Foods for the filling. Changes in this one: I used sucanat in place of the brown sugar, tapioca starch instead of corn starch, honey instead of granulated sugar, and whole milk in place of evaporated. Shout out to my sister Jill, who made the pumpkin part of this one and, as always, was ever so patient with all my swap-outs. Jill, it’s true. Your pumpkin part was better than my apple part. (Actually, everyone pretty much raved over the whole pie. So note to the wise: Nobody (especially me) likes plain apple pie. Stop making it.)
We also made a salad.
And my mom made the most unbelievably satisfying leek and sourdough stuffing and if she’s reading this, she should know she has limited hours of time to send me that recipe before I disown her forever. It’s simply impossible for me to live without it any longer.
And I didn’t take pictures of any of the food. In fact, all I have to represent the day is this adorable picture of my sister in her adorable slippers and my adorable apron. Even she can’t stop looking at herself, she’s so adorable.
OH. Before I go, I have to tell you all about The Morning After breakfast Brad and I made. (Ew. “Morning After.” If I had more dignity, I’d change that.) We whipped up a few eggs with a couple handfuls of spinach and cooked them without stirring, sort of like an omelet without any stuffing. Then we put the eggs and some grated raw Gruyere on a split spelt biscuit. Heaven, my friends.
*I guess I should add that Brad and I froze half of ours and have been meting out the rest for other meals. Plus we brought one turkey over to a friend’s house for turkey + dessert, and there were about 25 people there, so we didn’t ALL eat ALL the turkeys. At least not yet.