Tip # 1: Table Manners, use them.
What is or isn't acceptable table behavior is always a hot topic for me.
Take a look at this hilarious video.
Warning, some words unsuitable for viewing by young children.
Tip #2: While seated at the Thanksgiving table, DO NOT engage others in whether To Stuff or Not, a turkey.
It's just plain rude.
Save this debate for the day before Thanksgiving.
There are always people on both sides of this hot topic
with firmly held beliefs.
Stuffed or Unstuffed will go down as one of the great debates of our time.
I am on the unstuffed side and my turkey is always moist.
Could the pound of herbed butter under the skin have anything to do with that?
How do you do your turkey?
Anyone brave enough to deep fry?
Tip #3: Store Bought Pumpkin Pies, Don't Buy One
Are never, ever good.
We buy them because we think it won't be Thanksgiving without one.
Just say no.
|A Market Basket institution for ever. Personal Pies.|
Actually for 67 cents they're not bad.
Tip #3A: Awe Your Guests with Pumpkin Flan instead
Everyone is food shopping* this weekend.
Cross store bought pumpkin pie off your list right now, do it!
and add a dozen eggs and a quart of 1/2 and 1/2.
You'll need both for Pumpkin Flan. It is infinitely easier to make than any pie,
And no one will miss the soggy crust and brown goo the store passes off as "pie".
Pumpkin Flan is the easiest dessert you will ever make. But don't tell your guests.
Many people go gah-gah over flan and think it is extremely difficult to master.
It isn't even remotely difficult.
In fact, it is as easy as pie. Easier.
But why ruin it for your family and friends? Let them be in awe of your culinary finesse.
They will talk about your flan for days.
*food shopping: New England Speak for anything, food or not, that can be purchased at the local grocery store,
er, market...ours is creatively named Market Basket.
Pronounce market as "mahkit" and you will pass for a native until
they ask you to say Leominster or Gloucester. Or Peabody. Billerica if they have a mean streak.
|The famous statue in Gloucester, MA. Wikipedia|
Here is my personal recipe for a party size Pumpkin Flan.
Save yourself a lot of stress and make it the day before.
Set oven to 350.
- Put a big kettle of water on to boil.
- Caramelize a cup of sugar by placing it in a dry sauce pan on moderate heat till it begins to melt. Continue to cook till nice and golden in color but not too brown.
- Then pour it into the bottom of a bundt-type pan, tilt pan to coat bottom. Let cool till hardened. Place bundt pan in a roasting pan. Set aside.
- The hard part is over.
8 eggs plus 1 yolk
1 1/4 cup sugar
24 ounces half and half
1/2 cup solid pack pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla or a little more if you like
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon or so pumpkin pie spice
With mixer, beat eggs till frothy, add rest of ingredients in order listed beating well after each addition.
Pour mixture into bundt pan that is in the roasting pan.
Pull out the middle oven rack and place the roasting pan on it. Do not push the rack back in until after next step.
Pour boiling water into the roasting pan till it is at least 3/4 of the way to the level of the flan in the bundt pan. Try not to get any boiling water in the flan. This is called a water bath. It gives the flan a heavenly tender texture.
Bake about 1 hour and 20 minutes, till knife inserted in center comes out clean. Adjust time as necessary.
Cool on wire rack till no longer hot.
Refrigerate till next day.
How easy was that?
Tip #4: If You Are a Guest, Be a Good One
Thanksgiving is about thankfulness which we express by having a comfort food feast
with our family and friends. This is not the day to voice our caloric intake restrictions.
If our host is dishing out the pie or dessert, do not make a fuss and ask for a smaller piece.
Rather, be gracious and accept the plate passed to us.
There is no law dictating that we must eat the entire slice.
Tip #5: If You Are the Host, Be a Good One
Thanksgiving is about thankfulness which we express by hosting our family and friends
for a comfort feast.
This is not the day to let our guests' requests to accommodate their
caloric intake restrictions irritate us.
Serve dessert buffet style and let them cut their own slice of pie.
And have a glass or two of champagne.
Have a great weekend!
Please share you favorite Thanksgiving tips, thoughts, pet peeves, a recipe or story.
Everyone would love to hear them.