09 October 2006

Thanksgiving: Three conversations with my mum

Conversation One:
"All I do is cook all the time. There is no room in the fridge for me to put anything."
"And look, how can I put anything new in here? There's no room."
"Well, mum, maybe--"
"And Thanksgiving is coming. What am I going to do?"
"I don't know."
"What is all of this?"
"I don't know."
"Is (name) coming for turkey?"
"I don't think so."
"Why not? He always comes for Thanksgiving. Tell him that I'm expecting him."
"It won't make any difference, he probably won't come."
"Just tell him to come. And tell him that the boys will be here as well."
"The boys?"
"Yes, they are all alone, so I invited them."
"Okay...I'll ask if he wants to come, but he'll say 'no.'"
"Just do it...and I'll figure out what to do with the fridge."

Conversation Two
"He's not coming."
"What do you mean he's not coming?"
"Just as I said. He's not coming."
"Did you tell him that I expect him?"
"I invited him."
"Well, I'm sad."
"Because he's not coming."
"Will he still stop by on Thursday?"
"I think so."
"Okay. I'll have Thanksgiving on Thursday then."
"What about Sunday?"
"Oh, we'll have Thanksgiving on Sunday too."
"We'll have two Thanksgiving meals?"
"Yes. You'll be here for supper on Thursday, right?"
"Okay, but isn’t that a lot of work for you?"
"No--we'll have roast beef, mashed potatoes, and carrots. That's all."
"And gravy."
"And cranberries. We need cranberries at Thanksgiving."
"And corn."
"And broccoli...and maybe cauliflower."
"And pie. We need pie."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes--pumpkin pie with whipped cream."
"Umm...are you sure you want to make two Thanksgiving suppers this year? That's a lot of work."
"Oh no, it's no trouble."
“That’s a lot of cooking to do.”
“Oh no, it’s not.”

Conversation Three
"There’s no room in the fridge. Where am I going to put things for Sunday? I don’t know why there is so much food in the fridge. ”
“I don’t know mum. You could try cooking less food--you're only cooking for you and daddy.”
“I cook too much. I don’t like spending all my time in the kitchen.”
“I know. But what about just cooking smaller quantities and finishing up what’s in the fridge first?”
“And how will that help for Sunday? There's turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, corn, peas, mixed vegetables, gravy, cranberry, salad, muffins..."
"You don't need to make all of that."
"It's Thanksgiving. Of course we need to have all that. It would be easier if you gave me some help."
"And how many times have I tried to help? Every time I went into the kitchen to help you, you tell me I don't know what I'm doing and you shoo me out. When I make something, you don’t like it."
"Well that's right. But you should help."
"Uh huh...do you want me to make dessert?"
"That would be good. What do you want to make."
"Oh, that would be good."
"Yeah--I'm thinking apple."
"Not pumpkin?"
"No--I don't feel like cleaning out pumpkin."
"But I like pumpkin."
"You just had some on Thursday. Don’t you want something different? And I could make some ice cream."
"Can you make enough for two pies?'
"Two apple pies?"
"No. Enough ice cream for two pies."
"Two pies."
"I’ll make a pumpkin pie; it won't be that much trouble."

This not-so-little apple pie, along with honey-cinnamon ice cream was my contribution to this year’s Thanksgiving lunch. I prefer apple pies made with a number of different types of apples, but to be honest, I never really record what types of apples I use—it all depends upon what I can lay my hands upon.

This year, I met a grower at the market who had Greenings (she called them Granny Greenings)—small, green and tart, these are very good baking apples. I’d not seen them around before and she told me that they aren’t grown by a lot of local farmers, but there are a few people who do have them. From her I bought some Greenings along with Golden Delicious and from another vendor I picked up some Galas and Honey Crisps. The result was a filling that leaned towards tart (fine by me, as I don’t like overly sweet pies; not fine by my parents as they are sugar fiends), but pairs nicely with ice cream...but then…what doesn’t pair well with ice cream?

Now, I know that you probably won’t really need to make a pie this size on a regular basis, but you may want to just keep the rough proportions of the various types of apples/sweet to tart…

Apple Pie with Cardamom
1 10” deep dish apple pie, serves 10-12

150g (¾c ) vanilla sugar (plus a little extra to sprinkle on the crust)
pinch of vanilla salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
ground seeds from six cardamom pods
1 ground clove
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2kg (approx 4.5lbs) apples: 5 Greenings (600g); 4 small Golden Delicious (400g); 3 Gala (600g), and 2 Honey Crisp (4oog)
1 dspn lemon juice
Pastry for a 10” double-crusted deep-dish pie
1 well beaten egg

In a small bowl mix together the sugar, spices and cornstarch. Set aside

As you peel, core and slice the apples, sprinkle the lemon juice over them to prevent browning. When you are done, take a couple of spoonfuls of the sugar mixture and add it to the apple slices; mix everything well.

Preheat the oven to 425F/220C.

Line your pie dish with pastry. Sprinkle on a couple of spoons of the sugar mixture. Spoon in the slices, being sure to press the apples down, making sure there aren’t big air pockets. Sprinkle more of the sugar onto the apples as you tip them into the dish, making sure you have some to sprinkle on top of the apples after they are all in the dish. Place the top crust on the pie and pinch the edges and prick little air vents in the usual way. Brush on the beaten egg and sprinkle with a tablespoon or so of sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes. Turn down the heat to 350F/180C and bake until the crust is golden and the fruit is all bubbly—about another 40 minutes.



add this page to del.icio.us


Anonymous said...

This pie sounds wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

Your mom sounds so cute!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

hey, i didn't know canadians had thanksgiving, too—learn something new everyday. : )

what does cardamom do to the flavor of apple pie when used in addition to cinnamon? i'm curious 'cause it isn't a combination i normally think of, though i'm sure it's good.

happy thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

oh my G-d Jasmine, that was way too funny. sounds like a whole Jewish mother/daughter routine to me ;o

hope u all ate well and had a great time.

Sara said...

Ah moms...gotta love them! Hope no one at Thanksgiving exploded with all that food.

jasmine said...

Hello all

Kat -- Thanks...It was really good...I still need to practise my pastry-making...

Ivonne -- TFE also thinks she's cute...and either an older version of me or I'm a younger version of her...apparently we have similar mannerisms...hope you had a great turkey day!

BP -- Yup...we do...most cultures have a harvest festival. Cardamom works really nicely with cinnamon and cloves--it has a bit of an astringency that works well, especially if it's in very sweet things.

BB -- You have no idea how often I've been told that :) Hope you had a good Thanksgiving too!

Sara --well...I'm wearing clothes that used to be too big, the guests took enough food to last each a week, and we are thinking of Christmas supper...


Lis said...

hahahaaa! Apparently, I am your mom. Yes, who would have guessed it?? I get the same from both my mother and Hubbs.. there is never any room in the fridge.. why are you cooking all that food there are just 2 of us!? Honey, we're only having over the Powell's - not the Powells, their neighbors and my bowling league. hahaha! I'm floored when my mother says similar things to me as it's her fault I am the way I am, yes?? Don't we all end up being like our mothers? I am getting better though.. the longer I've been out of the restaurant biz the smaller my meals become.. I'm sure once I hit 70 there will be just enough for Hubbs and myself (and maybe just 1 neighbor.. or 2) Gah! :D

Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

I forget about Canadian's thanksgiving when I'm not there.

Now I need to make pie! Oh, and I added your link to my blog, because your just so dang cool.


Sean Carter said...

Moms are the same...love them always....you can also check out this neat Thanksgiving Blog for cool ideas and suggestions.

Ruth Daniels said...

What a wonderful post. I felt like I was first eavesdropping at my mother's when I was growing up and then later (to this day, actually) at mine.

Thanks so much for the memories -I'll be smiling all day.

Christine Medifast said...

The classic times of a Canadian Thanksgiving. I still have similar conversations with my own mother each year and I always end up making the pumpkin pie. Thankfully my husband is America so we so Canadian Thanksgiving and then the American one as well so I get to make an apple pie for his mother.

This is a great post and I love the recipe. I know this is 3 years old, but I couldn't resist!

Thanks for sharing your holiday wonders with us.

Christine M.