Friday, January 8, 2010

Catching Up-2

Part Two: Thanksgiving

I bought a sugar pumpkin for Halloween this year with the intention of baking it and using it for something. I toasted the seeds, which are always delicious, and cut up and roasted the pumpkin. It roasted easily and then I scooped out the flesh and pureed it. I made pumpkin rolls with it. I don't normally do yeast breads, because they take so long and I'm not the best at them, which I suppose is all the more reason to do them more, but anyway, they turned out huge but really tasty. My original intention was to do them again for Christmas but I ultimately didn't because of how much time it would have taken. Maybe another year...

I made homemade cranberry sauce that turned out really good. I used lime juice and zest, currant jelly, and dried cherries as well as fresh cranberries. Oh, which brings me to this: I bought a four pound bag of cranberries from Sam's Club this year with the intention of using them all on recipe testing, and I did! It was well worth the money and lasted until after the New Year. So, if you want to do something like this yourself, I highly recommend it. Just make sure not to wash them until each use, or they'll start to go bad sooner.

I also had a major pre-Thanksgiving meltdown over the homemade pumpkin pies I was assigned to make. I was going to use store-bought crusts like always but when I told my mom this, she sounded so disappointed that I didn't have the heart to do store bought. So, homemade it was. My sister and I tested out three crust recipes before settling on and all-shortening one. I thought the one that had shortening and butter would taste better and was shocked to taste them and realize the texture and flavor were better with the all-shortening recipe. Who knew?! So, fast forward a couple weeks to the day before Thanksgiving. My sister had tested the recipes, but it was my turn now. I freaked out at work and on Facebook, but it all turned out just fine. The crust was a bit on the dry side and difficult to move over to the pans, but they baked up just fine. The filling turned out pretty good too. I used the recipe I did last year, only I used rice milk instead of soy milk. The texture was fine, but a bit too sweet for me. I had forgotten that even though the recipe calls for white sugar, I used brown sugar last year. I made note of that on the recipe card for next year and it should be perfect!

I also made a cranberry upside-down cake at my parents' house after the meal on Thanksgiving. I brought the cranberries and some of the other ingredients already portioned out to make it all there. I saw the recipe in my Cooking Light magazine, and there was a picture that looked so delicious I had to try it. It turned out great!

All in all, Thanksgiving turned out to be great for cooking. I made vegetarian gravy and a bit of a vegetable pot-pie for my cousin who is a vegetarian. She told me she hadn't had gravy in 15 years and loved it, so that was fun. No pictures of that though...! It seems it will only let me upload five pictures, so the rolls will go onto another post.

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