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.
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?