Thanksgiving is probably the holiday most imbued with traditions. This year shake it up- but just a bit.
Last night I saw Bobby Flay lose a throwdown Thanksgiving Dinner because he didn't have any mashed potatoes! Well, duh! But you can make them ahead and keep them hot in a crock pot eliminating the last minute rush. Consider having a fresh vegetable side dish, too.
If you have a large frozen turkey, it should already be thawing in the refrigerator. If it's not thawed in time, defrost in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes.
Cranberry Sauce is always a favorite and can be made several days ahead. You might want to try a new salad or side dish but don't stray too far.
When someone offers to "bring something", let them. Light appetizers, fresh bread or wine are easy to bring and are one less thing to worry about.
Plan ahead for the big dinner and look for recipes that say "MAKE AHEAD!" Set the table the day before and evaluate your oven space.
Remember, the best part of the day is sharing with family and friends. Here's a recipe for a pumpkin pie from Baking Basics and Beyond that's just a little different.
Pumpkin Streusel Pie
Contribute a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner, and you will be a very popular guest.
Pastry for a 9-inch single-crust pie
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Heat oven to 425°F with oven rack in lower third.
Roll out pastry into an 11-inch circle. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and lift it into 9-inch pie pan. Unroll and press dough into pan edges and bottom, making sure that the pastry is not stretched.
Combine pumpkin and 3/4 cup brown sugar in large bowl and mix until sugar dissolves and no lumps remain. Add eggs, cinnamon, and salt and whisk until smooth. Stir in milk. Pour pumpkin mixture into pastry shell.
Bake 15 minutes.
Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar with flour. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces. Stir in pecans.
Reduce oven to 350°F. Crumble topping around outer edge of pie. Bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until set in center and a knife comes out clean although it will be wet. Cool on wire cooling rack at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with whipped cream. Store in the refrigerator.
BAKER’S NOTES: Test for doneness about 1/2 inch away from pie’s center—the filling should look set and not jiggle. When pumpkin pie is baked too long, the crust will become soggy.