Wednesday, November 21, 2007

NaBloPoMo, xxi

This morning I worked and this evening I am preparing for Thanksgiving at my SiL's. Last year we spent the day doing Not-Thanksgiving things. This year we are diving in to a traditional Thanksgiving. It's my in-laws' first Thanksgiving since my FiL passed away, but they are marching forward and meeting the holiday head-on. Ironically, they are making me do the same, as we were asked to bring pecan pie. Or I should say pee-can pie ... what the hell is a pee-can? It sounds like something that belongs in an outhouse, not in a pie. My people, a gentle folk, say it puh-kahn. My husband laughs at this. But whatever. I, surprisingly, have digressed.

Back to the pecan pie. Many years ago, my mom would make The Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving. She was the go-to gal for pecan pie. In fact, her pie was so good that my uncle would put one on his Christmas wish list. Having grown up only eating her pecan pie, I never had any others to compare quality wise; but, I am willing to say it was the best pecan pie ever. Since my mom died, I have not had pecan pie. My aunt would make one at Thanksgiving and I would abstain. I once tried to have the pumpkin pecan cheesecake, a pecan pie on top of pumpkin cheesecake, at The Cheesecake Factory. I started sobbing after my first bite. Apparently I have issues with the pecan pie. Or I should say, I had issues with pecan pie being that it is the item we were asked to bring to my SiL's so I can't exactly keep my issues any longer.

Boo suggested buying one at the grocery store, but I just couldn't make myself do that. My mom and aunt would find a way to haunt my ass if I did. So, I dug out my mom's old cookbook, found her recipe, tried to remember how she tweaked it, and made a pie. Well two. My uncle is coming up for the weekend and I figured I could make him one too. He doesn't cry when he eats pecan pie, so it seemed like a nice gesture.

I cheated and used a pre-made roll out crust. Having never made a pie before, this was probably smart. Having never made a pie before it would have probably been smarter to read the directions before I threw them in the oven. In hindsight I have a couple of tips for anyone using pre-made pie crust. One, there is a reason stores sell pie weights. I didn't have those, or beans. This was kind bad. Two, that extra crust around the rim? Follow the directions and fold it over like they say. Ripping it off my result in shrinkage. If you're me, your pie crust will shrink once you fill it and stick it back in the oven. I now have a gap along some of the side bits. Whoops. Notwithstanding the crust issues, I was somewhat worried that the pie part itself might taste like ass. I had some extra filling (as my mom always did, so that has to mean I was on the right track, yes?) so I poured it into a small baking dish and cooked it along with the pies.

I had a bite. I did not cry. I did not vomit. In fact, I kinda smiled and thought, "This ain't too bad." I am going to have my husband try it and see what he thinks. If it passes his taste test, then I am bringing a pie (shrinkage and all) to the in-laws. If they don't need their stomachs pumped, I'll be giving my uncle his on Friday.

Lest you think I am some sweet nice pie making girl, I should confess that I am also submitting my in-laws to my favorite Thanksgiving dish in the world, mashed rutabaga. Having not made it in a few years, I kind of lost my sense of perspective and ended up with two huge pots of boiling rutabaga. This is not actually the first time I've done this. Several years ago I made Thanksgiving dinner for Boo and I. Only the two of us, yet our entire apartment bar/counter top was covered with food.

It might have been overkill for just two people. I might have eaten Thanksgiving dinner for weeks afterwards. Anyway, I seem to have done this whole too-much-food thing with the rutabaga. Hopefully someone besides me likes it. Boo, he does not, not in the least. In fact, he says it smells like farts. He, of course, is an idiot. Rutabaga smell earthy, homey, delicious, not farty.

If, however, the rutabaga did smell the least bit farty, which it totally does not but just say for arguments sake that it did, well then my entire house would smell farty. There is no way you make that much rutabaga and not smell up the entire house. My husband could be a very sad camper when he gets home and takes a deep breathe. Maybe the puh-kahn pie will cheer him up. Either way, I need to figure out whether to mash the rutabaga now, or wait until tomorrow when we get there.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

That there's some nice looking pecan pie. The pie crust recipe I posted on my blog is super nice and easy to roll out, if you should want to get daring and make your own crust next time (you'd only need to make half the recipe). And you can use rice instad of beans or pie weights for future reference (everyone has rice, right??)

I make a chocolate chip pecan pie which is super nice and I posted the recipe the other day... it's not like authentic pecan pie, it's more like a chocolate chip cookie on steroids, but you should try that one some time. Or maybe I can bring it next time we all do a gathering at someone's house.