26 November 2009

Thanksgiving For One

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your day was good.

My day was pretty low-key which I quite enjoyed. Nothing against my family but I have come to appreciate peaceful holidays. JD is on graveyards at the moment so he was sleeping most of the day and Henry, the lab, just doesn't really appreciate Thanksgiving so I was on my own.

The best part, for me, was that I got to cook whatever I wanted and didn't have to worry about anyone else's food preferences or allergies or Thanksgiving must-haves.

My usual holiday dinner includes a Tofurky which I love, but is a lot of food for one person. This year I decided to go a different and lighter route. I made a pan of dressing with cranberry sauce on the side and pumpkin tart for afters.

My recipe for dressing is pretty easy:

one onion, diced

three stalks of celery, diced

olive oil

six Morningstar Farms Veggie Sausage Patties, thawed and diced

five slices of wheat bread, toasted and cubed

one package Original Flavor Tofurky Deli Slices, chopped

one cube Edward & Son's Not Chick'n Bullion (This has great flavor but is a little on the salty side so be sparing with additional salt if you use this.)

three cups boiling water

one tablespoon dried sage

one teaspoon dried savory (I usually use a tablespoon of parsley but was out so I tried savory)
salt and pepper

1. Turn the oven to 350F.

2. Saute the onion and celery in the olive oil on medium-low heat until they are translucent.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the sausage, toast cubes and Tofurky. Then dissolve the bullion in the boiling water.

4. Add the sage, savory, salt and pepper to the onions and celery and saute for a few minutes longer.

5. Toss the onions and celery with the sausage, toast and Tofurky mixture. Add the bullion and mix thoroughly.

6. Put in a greased baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for about thirty minutes, remove the foil and bake for about twenty more minutes or until the top is a little crunchy and browned.

I picked up a sugar pie pumpkin at the Thompson Farms produce stand yesterday for the pumpkin tart. I cut it in half and cleaned it out. I put it cut side down in a baking dish with about a quarter-inch of water and baked it alongside the dressing.

While it was cooking, I made a pie crust following Cuisinart's Basic Flaky Pastry Dough. Just as an aside, this is without question the best pie crust recipe I've ever tried. The Joy of Cooking is usually my bible for basic baking but I'll never use another recipe for pie crust.

The pumpkin only took about twenty minutes to cook. I let it cool and then removed the skin. I used the recipe from Pick Your Own which is basically freshly-cooked pumpkin, spices, milk (I used soy) and eggs. I processed everything in the Cuisinart until it was mostly smooth but still had tiny bits of pumpkin visible.

I rolled out the pie crust and laid it in a jelly roll pan, making sure there was a half-inch edge all the way around and poured in the pumpkin mixture. The recipe said to bake at 425F for fifteen minutes then turn it down to 350F and bake for a further hour or so. My pie crusts have tended to burn around the edges and the pumpkin mixture today was pretty liquid so I decided to bake it at 350F for the whole time. Since it was a tart, I figured it wouldn't take as long too cook. I checked it at twenty minutes and it was actually almost done. I left it in for a further ten minutes. I removed it and let it cool for a bit.

The dressing may not have been beautiful but it was tasty. I realized, after reading an email from my sister, that I'd forgotten to use cornbread and toast in my stuffing. Without the cornbread, though, it wasn't so dense. Not a bad variation at all.

JD tried the dressing after he woke up. Although he said he felt only so-so about dressing, he said it was “pretty good” and went back for seconds so I'll call it a success!

and I'm very pleased with the tart.

It was light and airy and not overly-sweet like traditional pumpkin pie. And, it's worth saying again, the crust was great - crumbly and crisp. I will definitely keep it on the menu for future Thanksgiving dinners

How was your Thanksgiving? Do you have menu items that are “It's not Thanksgiving without X?” Do you go the traditional route or say “Forget it. It's take-out Chinese today!”

Whatever you chose to do today, I hope it was enjoyable. If you are in one of those fields that don't stop for the holidays, I've been there and I appreciate what you do. If you were able to be with family and friends, I hope you had a good time. If you were baching it, as my dad says, I hope you were able to enjoy a peaceful day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Homesteading Webloggers
Powered By Ringsurf