Our kitchen table is one of those items in our home that my husband found in his first apartment after moving to New York City. It’s been used as a TV stand, a desk, a work space, and a place to break bread with friends. It’s sturdy, not very pretty, and is a constant reminder to me of humility and thankfulness. An old chunk of wood that is covered in different tablecloths year-round is the place where we make memories with friends and family while we share food and laughter. Lately most of that food has been vegetables from our CSA share.
A comfortable meal with old friends included sauteed broccoli and baked butternut squash while we caught up on our daily lives. A laughter-filled meal with new friends brought new vegetables to sample in a huge stir fry and delicious sliced-seasoned-and-baked potatoes while we shared stories of artistic inspiration.
This week will bring family and friends here as we host Thanksgiving for the first time. We’ll add two folding plastic tables to our old reliable hunk of wood, borrow a few more chairs from the neighbors, and savor both the culinary delights and company. Every day in our home we are thankful to have more food than we need to survive and so many loving relationships that our hearts just overflow with joy.
Two pumpkins from upstate for pie, CSA potatoes to mash, and some good ol’ Midwest casseroles (along with plenty of other things!) will join the turkey on Thursday, with leftovers and board games after the food coma wears off. What delicious dishes will you be gathering around?
Here is the Thanksgiving pie recipe that I will be trying for the first time. Although I’ve made hundreds of pies in the last eight years, this will be the first time ever for me to make a pumpkin pie from scratch, start to finish!
Roast Your Pumpkin
Roasting a pumpkin is very simple. Cut the pumpkin in half horizontally. Scoop out the pumpkin seeds and reserve. You can roast them later for a delicious snack.
Turn the pumpkin halves cut sides down on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 for 30-40 minutes, or until you can stick a fork in the outside of the skin and have it pierce easily.
Let the pumpkin cool and scoop out the insides. Process the pumpkin innards in a food processor until smooth.
You can freeze the pumpkin or refrigerate it for up to 7 days.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1.5 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp salt
1.5 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Roll out the pie crust and place in a 9-10 inch pie plate.
- Fill with aluminum foil and add pie weights on top of the foil.
- Bake on the middle oven rack for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pie weights and the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the crust is a nice golden brown.
- Remove the crust and turn the oven down to 350.
- Place the beaten eggs into a large bowl.
- Add the spices (cinnamon through salt) and mix well.
- Whisk in the cream, brown sugar, granulated sugar, until well mixed.
- Strain the mix through a sieve into a medium saucepan.
- Add the pureed pumpkin and mix well.
- Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
- Continue to cook for 8-10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and reads 150 on a candy thermometer.
- Pour the pumpkin puree into the pie crust.
- If you have leftover filling, pour it into ramekins.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the custard is set.
- Cool and serve with whipped cream.
If you were touched by the recent storms, seek out the shelter and company of your loved ones. If you have more than enough to give, share what you have with those who have nothing. Reach out, serve, and give of your time and donations. To some, just the thought of sitting around a battered wooden table with full bellies, laughter, and love this Thanksgiving is more than they can imagine right now. For me, I’m just so thankful how many people we can squash around that old table. And for pie.
Enjoy! And be thankful every day!