Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving, Food and the Garden

I have made the traditional cranberry relish..cranberry sauce...I never know exactly what to call it...with fresh cranberries, orange, orange zest, clove and a wee bit of cinnamon...and the house smells great. Just like the holidays have arrived! Which I suppose they have. How did that happen already?

I have also pre-cooked and mixed up the squash casserole with fresh yellow squash and fresh oregano from my garden. We are still enjoying going out to the garden for fresh herbs and some vegetables. Earlier this week we had roasted red peppers on homemade pizzas from the bell peppers that are now starting to turn red...and we have lots of them in various shades of green to red, still on the plants. We have several jalapenos ready to pick, lots of very green tomatoes that survived the cold nights a while back, and we picked two small eggplants several days ago. Wow! Eggplant and jalapenos in late November. My okra is huge, and still has blooms and little baby okra, but the growth of the okra has slowed down a lot in the cool weather, and it takes a long time (especially considering the usual growth rate of okra) for them to get big enough to pick. Even my basil is still surviving, which makes me very happy. I think that is what I miss the most through the winter and early spring...not being able to go outside and get fresh basil in just the amount I need.

Another dish I am making for Thanksgiving tomorrow is buttermilk pie. I have been a big fan and critic of buttermilk pie since we stopped at a small home cooking type restaurant in East Texas after berry and peach picking one summer about 6 years ago. Since then I have sampled and critiqued (right texture? creamy enough? too much nutmeg? no nutmeg? too dry?) many slices of pie from restaurants and cafes all over. But, I have never made a buttermilk pie myself. I know, it's funny, because I bake a lot...maybe I was a little intimidated. (Would I not live up to my own standards?) The recipe I am using we looked up on the internet a few years ago, is titled the "Best Ever" buttermilk pie. I recall that it was part of an article about buttermilk pie, and how a southern girl had to convince her friends where she was then living that the idea of buttermilk pie was not weird or gross but was in fact VERY good. Sounds great; however, this buttermilk pie recipe has no nutmeg...not the slight perfect amount, not any. So, of course I will be adapting that recipe and adding a hint of nutmeg with fresh whole nutmeg and the essential nutmeg grinder that my son Damon gave me.

No comments: