Friday, November 28, 2008

Must Go: What a Turkey

Not a gorgeous bird, but I had to bury that poor-little-matchgirl post in which I referred to my "sad, soon-to-be-unemployed self." 

Thanksgiving: wonderful, though perhaps Owen could have thrown one or two fewer tantrums. And perhaps I could have been a little nicer when Isabel turned up wearing my new shoes. Fire crackling then finally roaring. Nuclear family plus Grandpa John. The turkey: a non-organic 15-pounder from Safeway roasted Barbara Kafka-style at 500 degrees. Alas, the high-heat method did our turkey no favors. Coal black in places, brown and leathery in others. The pan drippings burned and the resulting gravy: inedible.
Fortunately, turkeys are big birds and there was still lots of beautiful dark meat tucked away. It's hard to ruin a whole turkey and we feasted like drunken pilgrims. 

Isabel made the pies, crusts and all. Not to boast about my girl, but, wow. The pumpkin pie was excellent, another annoyingly perfect Alice Waters recipe. In the pantry-cleaning spirit Isabel made the pecan pie using a can of Steen's cane syrup that came into our home sometime during the Clinton Administration. Conveniently there was a recipe on the back of the can which yielded a delicious, swarthy, craggy pie. It wasn't the kind of pecan pie with a pale, jellied interior (which I happen to love, thank-you Karo corn syrup) but a dark, rich, complex dessert. I wish I'd taken a picture of the handsome pie instead of the can of cane syrup. Fortunately, I did capture the baker.


  1. Was Isabel's roll in the cooking revealed last night? I hope not, because I missed it completely. Anyway, I thought the whole event was smashing, even the games I lost. And, Isabel, those really were good pies.

  2. I'm really, really impressed that Isabel can make a pie on her own. My children are very good at consuming pies, but their involvement in making them stops at pulsing the Cuisinart when we're cutting the butter into the dough. I didn't make a pie until I was about 24, and only recently have I become confident or comfortable with making the crust. Thanksalot, on the topic of pie crust, where do you come down on the whole butter vs. shortening vs. lard debate? I've settled on Christopher Kimball's recipe for pie crust (from The Cook's Bible), which uses three parts butter to two parts shortening. That works well and I'm sticking with it.

  3. I used butter and shortnig in the crust.

  4. I used butter and shortnig in the crust.

  5. I used butter and shortnig in the crust.

  6. Am starting from the beginning, back in April!, of Tipsy Baker, (remember My Bombay Kitchen?) and love love love what yer doing, Tipsy! The writing, the pictures, the whole concept is wonderful. What a joy! A lot to catch up on. And reading from the outside in......

    Hey, thanksalot, I wish I coulda tasted those pies! Alas, I'm all the way out here in Taos, New Mexico :-)