I love Thanksgiving, don't you? I love the whole don't eat breakfast, just cook all day and have the house filled with wonderful smells aspect of Thanksgiving. I love thinking about all our blessings and bounty while we are working away in the kitchen. Friends and family are such a great part of Thanksgiving too. My parents are having a great big celebration back in Asheville, NC and wanted us to come too (thanks so much for inviting us! We will miss you), but a 2 day drive was going to be too much (and Stu has tons of homework to work on over the mini break) so we decided to stay here in Kansas and have Thanksgiving with our neighbors. It will be fun, they are great people. One of the reasons I love living on a military base is your get to met and live with so many like minded people, like a community of warrior gypsies. Well only sorta...ok not really at all. But we do move all the time and become one anothers family.
So, we are making the Turkey. Turkey is great, but the sides make the meal, don't they? So I am also making sweet potato stuff and cranberry sauce and since I learned how to make the best pie crust ever I am bringing a pumpkin pie too.
It is a pumpkin pie with pecan topping. It will be good....but the crust will be GREAT! I am so happy I learned how to make good crust. I have been stabbing away at it for years but I have never been happy with how my crusts turned out until now.
On Halloween Jodi and I sat out on the front porch and passed out candy to the little horde of spooks who came to the barracks. I made Hot Buttered Rum for us and she brought down Apple Pie. Apple pie is a classic, but the crust was amazing. I took the edges of the (my) kids pieces. I loved the way the crust was flaky and kinda melted on my tongue. It was amazing....almost like a proper French croissant. There one minute and gone the next. I am sure she thinks I am a complete idiot and have no idea how to cook, but she said she would teach me how to do it.
Jodi knocked on my door yesterday after lunch and taught me how to make crust. Wow. I have seen the light. So I am sharing the recipe with you. It is totally basic, but the simple technique is what makes the pie.
Mix your flour and Butter Flavored Crisco (don't think about what it is made of, just mix it up) together with a fork until it is the consistency of couscous with some pea sized pieces. it is fun to squish the stuff up. sprinkle the salt over and mix it up some more then add 4 to 5 Tablespoons of ice water over the dough and mix it up some more with the same fork.
I used to use my hands. But a fork is so much better and more civilized, isn't it? Tools separate us from monkeys, don't they? Anyway the dough should feel like play dough. It should be very smooth and easy to work with. Just turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to the size you need. I can't wait to make hand pies with it....Maybe some little apple ones? Oh the sky is the limit!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone! May peace fill your holiday and good food fill your belly.