Let the eating begin

It's the day before Thanksgiving so if there were ever a time to talk about food for the first time on the blog, I guess this is it.

We go to my parents' house for Thanksgiving every year and even though we have a rather small gathering, we of course make way too much food and eat far more than we should. That's also why a Thanksgiving morning walk on the beach has also become a tradition! I'm going to put in a few extra miles tomorrow and actually walk down the beach to the beach that we're meeting at to go for a walk so that I can incur a little less guilt come dinnertime.

When it comes to cooking, I excel in the baking area so it's no real surprise that I pretty much always bring dessert to every event. Trust me, it's better that way (I do not have nearly the cooking talent of my in-laws). I can also make a pretty good mashed potato. And I'll tell you why they are good: because I put fairly liberal amounts of half and half and butter in them. I'm sorry folks, that's just what it takes to make a good mashed potato and if you're going to eat something on Thanksgiving then I think it should taste as good as it can even if it's really bad for you.

The funny thing about the mashed potatoes is that there is a fair amount of sneaking involved in the making of the potatoes. I can tell you the rest of the story here because my mom always forgets to read my blog and therefore this secret is still safe. My mom doesn't think "you need all that fattening stuff" in mashed potatoes. Her idea of mashed potatoes is potatoes and skim milk. I kid you not. A few years ago my sister-in-law and I established a routine that involves one of us distracting my mom in the kitchen while the other dumps the naughty stuff in the mashed potatoes and mixes it in before my mom notices. And then we try not to giggle when my mom mentions how good the mashed potatoes are.

The Impatient Gardener -- Pecan Pie -- Thanksgiving

This year I'm bringing pumpkin cheesecake and pecan pie for dessert. I hate pumpkin pie but cheesecake is a whole other animal. I made one of these several years ago but I can't figure out what recipe I used, so I'm going to use this one from Bon Appetit minus the marshmallow topping (gag). The gingersnap crust is key. Sooo yummy. And we have a few non-cheesecake lovers in the family so I'm also bringing pecan pie. I've yet to make a REALLY good pecan pie, but I keep trying every year. I know that I like lots of pecans (and that toasting them first makes them pretty darn good) and shot of orange zest really keeps the sweetness in check.

So what are you cooking for Thanksgiving? And if you're a "neighbor to the north" what's your favorite dish to bring to a party?


  1. My addition to the fairly traditional thanksgiving fare (i.e. the things our families always made) is this recipe from Martha Stewart. I hate that I love something she has her name on so much, but I take a modicum of comfort knowing she probably had very little to do with it and it was likely a product of her very talented and under appreciated editors. In any case it was the first recipe I ever have seen in print that I had to immediately try, and its a huge winner. I look forward to making it every year and it has become a new staple in our thanksgiving menu. http://www.marthastewart.com/335982/pan-roasted-balsamic-onions

  2. My Nephew & I are cooking it all. We are sticking to the traditional stuff, but he is making a key lime pie for dessert. Not too shabby for a 13 year old who loves to cook with his aunt. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    1. I bet you have a great time doing that with your nephew! And key lime pie is my all-time favorite dessert.

  3. I looooooovvvvveeeeeee pecan pie. Love. It. I hope we have some at my family's lunch tomorrow. I am a crap cook. I tried for the first decade that Marc and I were together, but now that we are in decade #2, I have admitted that I suck and made my peace with it. Happy Thanksgiving, Erin!

  4. I'm the queen of baking in the family too, so it's always dessert for me. I also haven't mastered a pecan pie - must give it another try as it's my son's favorite.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Erin.

  5. I made a pumpkin cheesecake one year that had a layer of mincemeat on the bottom (on top of the gingersnap crust). All my favorite flavors in one dessert and looked pretty as well.


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