This year, I had Thanksgiving planned out well in advance: celebrate with my Dad and sisters on Thursday, and go to Marvin’s family’s on Friday. I had been assigned to bring a dessert for Friday’s meal and had been plotting it out weeks in advance- I was going to do some sort of pumpkin flan. However, things changed unexpectedly, and rather than stick around Detroit and dwell on the situation at hand, my mom offered to fly me out to Las Vegas to spend a couple days with my aunt’s family who live there. It sounded like a good plan- a change of scenery and some sunshine to take my mind off things.
Unfortunately for me, my one free day to explore turned out to be cold and rainy! We spent the day wandering around Caesar’s and the Bellagio, shopping and sightseeing, working up our appetites for the next day’s meal. I was assigned to make the pie crust, seemingly because my mom has some notion that I am a “better” cook than her (thanks mom, but just because I talk about food constantly and always have an opinion, does not make me a more experienced pie-maker!).
I had heard other food bloggers say that Martha Stewart’s paté brisée recipe is pretty foolproof, so I went with that. My aunt had some contraption to roll out the pie that consisted of a big square piece of cloth with a frame (see above); I think it belonged to my grandmother. It worked pretty well except that I wasn’t used to it and wasn’t adding enough flour, so I had some stickage. But by the third or fourth crust, I had it figured out. I was a little concerned that I had over-handled it, but it turned out just fine. I had extra dough and decided to make some decorative leaves for the top of the pumpkin pie, but we put them on a little too late so they didn’t brown. But my aunt’s stepdaughter, who said she had never had a completely homemade pie before (poor girl!), said it was the best she’d ever had.
All in all it was a very good meal, but the best part was the time spent with my mom, aunt and cousins in the kitchen before the meal, chatting, cooking and snacking (of course!). That’s a big part of the appeal of cooking for me- the time spent with family & loved ones- and why it can be get hard to my cooking mojo on when it’s just me, myself & I. Perhaps I will have to arrange some cooking sessions with my girlfriends to get back in the swing of things… any takers? : )
P.S. My cousin Rebecca is responsible for the pumpkin pie photo and the photo of me rolling out the pie crust. Check out her photography blog here.