Oh my, aren’t firsts nice?

Thanksgiving Day last year I was a nervous mess, queasy and excited about the next morning when I’d meet him for our first date.

Now our first Thanksgiving together as a couple has come and gone, calmly, quickly. How things change in a year.

There were calls to family afar, chatting with those we love about the day’s festivities. There was wood smoke wafting in from the patio and the smell of various things as we cooked throughout the day, the parade and football humming in the background. And then the feast came forth.

Exactly the right amount of food for us [thanks to a few intense minutes with the calculator], and oh was it all marvelous! What I most looked forward to were the Brussels sprouts. I wait all year for fresh sprouts, and the many different ways you can dress them up for the holidays. Even more exciting this year because I would be trying them out on he who swore [note past tense] he dislikes the tiny crucifer. This would also be the year I give pies a chance.

I’d say it was our best Thanksgiving yet:

Pecan wood smoked turkey legs and wings, eaten how else but caveman style.

Wild rice and sautéed mushroom salad.

Creamy smashed red potatoes swirled with warm roasted garlic paste.

Brussels sprouts coated in olive oil and roasted in a hot oven until crispy.

Orange ginger cranberry sauce

And an effervescent, not too dry Zardetto Prosecco Brut.

Not quite as decorative of a crust, but pies baked in springform pans are rather dainty. Like a tart. If you’re looking to bake pies to give as gifts, I must insist you try this method. And I also must insist you try Deb’s Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie A slice of Heaven — so light and airy! The pumpkin from Irma Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking was also terrific! I like pie Well I’ll be.

Like many great discoveries, I owe this one to him and his insistence on “pah.”


Pumpkin Pie [makes 1 – 7″ or 8″ springform pie + 2 to 4 muffin tin pies]

Printable recipe

Martha’s dough pressed into a buttered 7″ or 8″ springform, blind baked

1 large egg

1 c freshly cooked or canned pumpkin puree

3/4 c evaporated milk

1/4 c sugar

2 T + 1 t firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/2 t pure vanilla extract

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t ground ginger

1/4 t freshly grated or ground nutmeg

1/8 t ground cloves or allspice [I did a combo of the two]

1/4 t salt

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Whisk eggs thoroughly in a medium bowl. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and all remaining ingredients; whisk until fully combined.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the blind baked crust and bake until the center of the filling seems set but quivery, like gelatin, when the pan is nudged, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack, then refrigerate for up to 1 day. Serve cold, at room temperature or slightly warmed. Accompany with whipped cream, if desired.

Note: You could easily double the recipe and make a larger springform pie.

Adapted from Joy of Cooking