Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving, 2003-2008

I love Thanksgiving. I also love cooking. And for the past 6 years, I've been cooking for Thanksgiving. Here's what I've cooked:

2003- Apple pie and pumpkin pie
2004- Apple pie and pumpkin pie
2005- Apple pie and pumpkin pie (and the day after Thanksgiving, I made pumpkin muffins)
2006- This was my first year as a vegetarian!- Apple pie, pumpkin pie (this time, since I was a vegetarian and so I wasn't going to use Pillsbury Pie Crusts, which has lard, I began making my own pie crusts- which is totally worth it, though it does take more time), vegetarian gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetarian "sausage" stuffing, and cornbread stuffing (including homemade cornbread). I was cooking for like 48 hours straight. It was completely exhausting.
2007- Apple pie, pumpkin pie (again with the crusts made from scratch), vegetarian gravy, vegetarian sausage stuffing
2008- Apple pie, pumpkin pie (again homemade crust), vegetarian gravy, vegetarian sausage stuffing, two kinds of cornbread muffins (both from mix)

2003-2004, I made my pies the day before Thanksgiving, since I was in middle school, and got home early that day.
2005-2007, I made my pies two days before Thanksgiving, since at my current school (high school), we have no school Wednseday
2008- Well, I had swim practice and a doctor's appointment on Tuesday after school, so I wasn't even home until like 7:30pm. And at that point, I didn't really feel like making pies. So, I made the cornbread muffins, just to get them out of the way (they were really easy- much easier than the pies). Yesterday (Wednesday), I woke up early to make pie. Then, after I got out all the ingredients, I realized that I didn't have lemon juice (for the apple pie) or tofu (for the pumpkin pie), so while my mom was at the grocery store, I made the crusts. I was a little nervous, since the recipe I used to use for the crusts, I couldn't find, so I had to use a new one (the old one used only crisco as shortening; this one used butter and crisco). The dough was also kinda sticky, even with the flour. I guess it's the butter. Anywho, eventually, when my mom got back, I mixed up the filling for the apple pie. I also made a lattice crust (a lattice crust is when you weave strips of crust on top. It looks so pretty!).

I should also add that most years (well, 2003-2006), I end up with either four pumpkin pies, or two pumpkin pies and like 24 mini (cupcake-sized) personal pumpkin pies. See, the recipe on the can of pumpkin says it makes 2 pies, but I would always forget that, and double it. I thought I was ending up with 2 pies, in reality, there was enough filling for about 4. Before I made my own crusts, I would have to wait while someone went out and bought more pie crusts, but eventually I just made another batch of crust.

By the way, in case you were wondering, it's totally worth it to make your own pie crust. It's SO much better than Pillsbury (or whatever store-bought crust you use). Having tried two recipes (crisco, and butter/crisco), and I can say that if you want the absolute flakiest crust ever, use crisco, but if you want it a little "richer", use butter too.

I can't wait until winter break. I'll be wrapping lots of presents (as always! I love wrapping presents and tying ribbons... I should probably charge my parents this year, haha, rather than doing it for free. If I charged $5 a gift, I could make like $100 or something. But I wouldn't charge). I'll also be making some Christmas cookies. I'm thinking Gingerbread cookies (of course!) and World's Best (similar to these- - except I use two additional ingredients). When I heard it was hard to stir the dough for World's Best, I thought that would mean that it's really really thick. It is, but it's also an enormous amount of dough. Last time I made World's Best, I got well over 100 cookies (and I'm talking normal sized cookies, not those dumb little "mini cookies" that are the size of a marble).

Only 2 more weeks of school, then finals!

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