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Thanksgiving Insanity!

I don’t know what has gotten in to me lately.

I’ve always loved to cook, and I’ve always loved to bake, and I’ve always loved to entertain.

 

But I think having the space to do it all, up at the lake house, has sent me in to overdrive!

 

N & I are hosting a family Thanksgiving Dinner this year, we are having it on the Saturday of the long weekend so that everyone can be there.

I may have taken “homemade” to the extreme.

 

Over the summer, I learned to bake bread.  We don’t buy bread anymore. Every couple of weeks I spend a Saturday baking, and make all our bread for the next few weeks.   A couple of weekends ago, I made extra.  I took those extra loaves and cut them up in to small cubes and dried them. Yes, I made my own breadcrumbs for my homemade sausage stuffing.  I finished up the stuffing last night, and it is sitting in the fridge, letting all the flavours combine for a few days before the weekend.

 

Another thing I (re)learned over the summer was making pastry. So far I’ve put this skill to good use with never-ending pies. made with blackberries picked from our own yard. I’ve also used homemade pastry a couple of times to make quiche from a WeightWatchers recipe.  It’s gotten to the point that I keep cubed butter in the fridge incase I have a pastry emergency.

For Thanksgiving Dinner, the pastry is being put to use in a homemade pumpkin pie.

In our house we really have to watch out for hidden ingredients in food. N’s son cannot have preservatives, artificial flavours or artificial colours, so this makes shopping for groceries a little more challenging. We have to read the ingredients on everything we bring in to the house, and keep everything that is ‘safe’ in a special cupboard.  So with this in mind, I got it in my head that making pumpkin pie at home would be easier than trying to find a canned pie filling that met the requirements. Add to the fact that N ‘challenged’ me by telling me that homemade pumpkin pie would never taste as good as the canned stuff.  Well, challenge accepted!

Last week we went up to the Old Farm Market in Duncan and picked up the necessary ingredients, and I got to work.  I roasted the pumpkin and “pureed” it by hand, since I currently don’t own a food processor. Then I popped the puree in the freezer until I had time to make the pie.  This past weekend I pulled the puree out of the freezer and let it defrost while I made the pastry.  Then I mixed up all the ingredients for the pie filling and popped it in the oven. The whole house smelled amazing, and when I gave N a taste of some extra filling I had baked, he had to eat his words. In his opinion, this is the best pumpkin pie he’s ever had.  Thank you very much!

Now the pie is in the freezer waiting for its big moment!

So the pumpkin pie is done, so is the homemade cranberry sauce and the stuffing. I’ve got one more pie to bake tonight, and then all that’s left to do is wait for the big day to cook the meal!

So tell me this, are you a home cook?  do you enjoy it, or is it a chore?

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year, or are you looking forward to being a guest and enjoying someone else’s hard work?

 

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