So, okay this is Thanksgiving Week -we all know that. Right? And what's one of the best traditions about Thanksgiving if it isn't the Pumpkin Pie? Okay, the turkey and cranberry sauce is great, I'll agree to that. Mashed 'taters and gravy is good too but heck, you can have that with lots of other menu items, can't you? Green bean casserole is one I like a lot but some years, I guess the family gets burnt out on that one. And sweet potatoes in just about any form are fine and dandy with me but not high on the favorite list with my family. (Sometimes, I really don't understand their tastebuds at all!)
One item though that we all do really love is the good old Pumpkin Pie. (I'm pretty much the lone ranger here with my liking Mincemeat pie too, although my son will occasionally break done and have a slice of that with me.)
Because of a bit of senility a few years back that crept up on me while doing the baking for our Thanksgiving feast that year, I somehow managed to forget to add the sugar to the pumpkin mix for our pies, so every year now when I go on a baking kick for Thanksgiving Dinner, someone always remembers that year and reminds me to please not forget the sugar in the pies this year, or ever again for that matter.
I need to start my meal preparations today for Thursday's feast -if I'm going to get everything made that I want to fix this year. Tonight, I'm planning to fix my own special cranberry-orange relish that my daughter and I at least both really like. And the nice thing about it is that it will last for at least two weeks in the fridge and is great on a leftover cold turkey sandwich! (And, I do mean REALLY GREAT! Don't believe me? Try it and you'll see!)
However, I am dreading the pie preparations this year.
Pie crust is very often my nemesis. Why is that I wonder that often the things we really love are frequently things that often defy us when it comes to fixing them ourselves and yet, others can make these things, whip them up in a heartbeat with no problem? Pie is definitely my most favorite dessert -just about any kind of pie and I'm there, ready to dig in! But pie crust and I or most any kind of rolled cookie too for that matter, frequently do not get along at all!
About 10 days ago, I mixed up some pie crust from scratch and tried to roll it out and almost pitched it out as it had me very frustrated. I ended up changing my dessert plans and mushed the dough into a big ball and put it back in the refrigerator again. This past Saturday, I decided since I had a goodly amount of chicken ala king leftover from Thursday night's supper, that I would whip up some pie crust again (didn't want to risk using the stuff in the fridge for fear it would be a pain again) and I would make homemade chicken pot pie then -with a double crust, ya know, and use the chicken ala king in that. Just needed to add a little more in the way of some mixed vegetables and a few sliced potatoes too to make a really tasty filling for a pot-pie.
Well it seems I'm really on a bit of a negative roll lately with the pie crust stuff because I mixed up the pie crust, using my most reliable recipe (usually it is reliable in taste, although I often do have problems with the rolling things out, as stated above.) and began to roll out my crust. To my dismay, it didn't just tear as I tried to move it from my counter to the casserole dish, it darned near shredded on me! I've never had pie crust be that contrary under my hands!
Eventually, I ended up piecing every last bit of what I had rolled out together in the dish for the bottom crust. Every. Last. Piece! The top crust was difficult to transfer too but somehow I managed to get it moved in place without quite as much pain in the butt work as the bottom one was. I baked my pot-pie and the crust -tasty, yes -but a little overboard on the flaky side as it just crumbled up! Oh well, Mandy and I both love pot pie so we still had a feast with it anyway.
After the difficulty with the pot pie, I decided to take a chance and make a fruit pie for dessert -cherry pie to be precise -and again, the problems as before with rolling the crust and transferring it to the pie plate came back to haunt me. The pie eventually got put together and yes, it tasted very good but the amount of work that went into producing both those items was something else again in my book!
Now, between today and Wednesday, I'm going to have to give the pie making yet another shot. Can't have Thanksgiving Dinner without at least some pumpkin pies. But how will the dough rolling go this time?
I really think I will finally be able to produce pie crust that holds together while I put it in the pie pan or casserole dish the day someone in my family decides to purchase a new ebony Gibson Les Paul guitar and is able to pay cash for it too!
And, knowing what the financial situations are in the lives of all three of my kids, I don't look for that to happen anytime in the near -or the far off, very distant, future!
Which should tell you how long it probably will be before I master pie crusts!