Last Thanksgiving, Chris and I made Thanksgiving dinner for his co-workers. Because they work around the clock, every day, somebody has to miss out on their holiday meal. Luckily, the company recognizes that, and Chris volunteered to feed them.
Except somebody had to roast the turkey while the other somebody was at work. Sure, I can totally roast a turkey. I mean, it isn’t as if I’ve never roasted a turkey before, right? Oh, wait, no I haven’t. I was terrified of giving the whole team salmonella, and texted Chris with questions: How far do you insert the thermometer? What if it was too close to the bone and I didn’t know it and then it was underdone and then everybody got sick? You know, the usual Thanksgiving jitters. And in the meantime, I was cooking collard greens and corn stuffing and making a regular Southern Thanksgiving meal.
However. We all survived. And that turkey was delicious. I know you don’t eat meat, though, so let’s get to the important part: dessert. My dad’s family is a bit, shall we say… domestically challenged. So one aunt makes buckeyes that are tooth-achingly sweet, and another makes tasty sugar cookies, but that particular aunt married in, so I think that doesn’t count.
My mom’s family, however? That’s a whole ‘nother story. Cookies and pies and fruit desserts and this wonderful pumpkin roll. And pie. (Can you tell which family traditions are important to me?) So for the office Thanksgiving, I wanted to make sure there was pie. I made one traditional pumpkin pie (and by “traditional,” I mean “traditional in my family” — so I used the recipe on the back of the Libby’s pumpkin puree), and one from scratch (and by “from scratch,” I mean “I used pre-made crust. If Gramma don’t make no pie crust, Tasha don’t make no pie crust.”)
The one from scratch uses Alton Brown’s recipe. If you’ve ever made one of his recipes, you know that they’re long and involved, but the results are worth it. The one exception this rule is the roasted turkey, linked above — it’s amazingly tasty and moist, but it uses a high temp for only a few hours. So for the pie, I hacked open a pumpkin, roasted it, scooped out the flesh and pureed it, grated nutmeg and separated eggs.
Then I made 10 trips up and down the stairs to load the car with the food (still hot and covered with foil), utensils and hot pads, spilling collard juice on the passenger side seat for good measure, and drove it to Chris’ office.
And one of Chris’ coworkers asked where the sweet potato pie was. This year, he can make Thanksgiving dinner.