I trust that everyone had a great Thanksgiving! It is such a wonderful holiday – all about being together, with great food. What could be better? No worrying about presents or decorations, the focus is on food. With the major snowstorm we had all day on Wednesday, our electricity kept blinking, but still going, so the bread got baked without a hitch. I make my grandmother’s recipe for Polish bread every holiday. This year, unfortunately I forgot to bring the recipe, but Zach’s girlfriend is from Poland and her family makes a similar bread recipe! Together, from our collective memories, we pieced together the ingredients and process and it turned out great! (Lucky!!!) Our other son, his girlfriend and her father all arrived safely early afternoon on Thanksgiving, and Agata made us another guest outside!
So I have a question for all of you. Knowing that hydrogenated vegetable oil is not good for you, as it essentially never leaves your body, this year I decided to use lard in my pie crust recipe. I had to special order it from our little local grocery store. I made the dough the day before so it was fully chilled. It handled absolutely beautifully in rolling it out. I then even had time to chill the formed crust again before baking. However, my beautiful crimped sides all fell during baking.
You can see that here. What did I do wrong? Should I have used half lard and half butter?
But here you can see how flakey it was on the pecan pie. Yum!
Meanwhile, the fresh pumpkin extracted with the hammer and screwdriver produced the BEST pumpkin pie – epic – as our oldest said!
Then the next thing I want to ask you is what do you do for your green vegetable at the big meal? In my book and at our last two Thanksgiving celebrations, I did this Brussels sprouts recipe with a fish sauce – from Momofuku and published at Food 52. My husband and I liked this but as my friend Judy said, it’s an acquired taste. So my boys vetoed that recipe out of the meal this year. I replaced it with sugar snap peas (blanched for one minute) with red pepper strips tossed with a sherry vinaigrette and topped with nitrate-free, all natural bacon bits.
My theory was that this would be a great refreshing dish, a counterpoint to the richness of the dressing, turkey and gravy with the crunch of the just blanched snap peas, and the sherry vinaigrette would be a nice contrast to the maple glazed sweet potatoes. A cool, salad-like dish to be clean and different on the plate, right?
Wrong. I hated it. To me, it broke up the whole warmth of the entire meal. So what do you do? Please share!