Well today is Wednesday, and cook I did, although I'm not really sure if this counts or not since I wasn't really trying out new recipes from my cookbooks, but instead making the old standbys that have graced our Thanksgivings for years...like frogeye salad...um yeah.
Actually, recently my Thanksgiving specialty has become Pecan pie. I made one for Thanksgiving a few years ago, and my dad has been raving ever since, and thus my calling in life has been found. I figure, though, I'll make him as many pecan pies as he wants as long as he's around to eat them. Eating pecan pie won't be the same without him.
Pecan pie itself is one of those recipes that really impresses guests, for some reason, but is, in fact, the easiest pie to make, ever (unless you count those pudding pie things in pre-made graham cracker crusts, but I'm going to have an elitist moment and declare that those don't count). The trick, I think, is to get really fresh Pecans and be generous with them. The best source I've found is a little shop called Kitchen Kneeds, but it's very local. There's one in the middle of Ogden and one on Redwood Road in the Taylorsville-ish area. There may be more, but those are the only ones I know of. (ok scratch that, the best source is my Grandpa's tree in Arizona, but since he passed away a few years ago, that became less of an option) Anything sold in a grocery store probably won't cut it.
The other reason my dad rants about mine, I think, is that it's my mom's recipe from a cookbook from the 1950's. Man, those guys knew how to use fat in their cooking. None of this lame-wad low calorie crap. You can compare recipes from the 1953 version of the Better Homes and Garden's cookbook and the current version, and one now will have half the fat, skip a bunch of steps, and not taste nearly as good. Of course, if you want to live past 60 without having a heart attack, maybe this is not such a bad thing, but here's what I figure; if you're eating dessert, make it good, make it satisfying, and only eat a little bit. If you're craving something, eat it--so you don't go around eating everything else and not being satiated.
So, anyway, here's my version of Pecan Pie.
Crust: from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook 195? (it doesn't even have a copyright date)
This is from the How to make plain pastry directions.
2 C sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 C. shortening
6-7 Tbs cold water
I'm not actually going to write out the directions, but I also added 1 egg yolk and a splash of vinager, and it worked pretty well.
The filling is adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Dessert Cook Book 1965
Southern Pecan Pie
2/3 C. Sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup
1/2 C. dark corn syrup
1/3 C. Melted butter or margarine
1 C. (lots of handfuls) of pecans
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell.
Beat eggs thorougly with sugar, salt, corn syrup, and melted butter. Pour into unbaked pie shell and sprinkle pecans over the top until there's enough to fill the top layer of the filling. Push them down into the filling with a spoon so that they are just coated.
Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) 50 minutes or till knife inserted halfway between the outside and center comes out clean. Cool pie before serving.
Their version vs. my version.
See, there you go, peice of cake...er, pie.
Incidentally, I did actually make frog eye salad as well, for the first time on my own. Which also went pretty well, but I think I sort of scrambled the eggs into the sauce. :P Once we got the whip cream in, though you really can't tell.
So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, go eat some turkey.