Tuesday Open Thread

Happy Tuesday before Thanksgiving!

What’s on the menu? How early do you start prepping?

We attend a potluck at my aunt’s house each year. This year, I’m in charge of bringing desserts. Anyone have a totally delicious, ridiculously easy pumpkin pie recipe to share?

What else is on your mind today? Chat away!

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93 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. I use the pumpkin pie recipe on the back of the can of Libby’s pure pumpkin. It’s never failed me. This year I’m using those chilled premade crusts. I’m also doing a sweet potato pie for the first time. Friends are coming over for dessert and we may ask them to bring a pecan pie (DH’s favorite), or I’ll try my hand at that, too.

    I usually start prep the night before by cutting up the bread for the stuffing, but I’m going to do the pies ahead of time, I think. Like, one or two tonight!

    I also read a great tip for leftovers – throw extra turkey, stuffing, veggies and gravy in a pie tin (with a shell in it) and cover with a second pie shell. Pop in freezer and later you have turkey pot pie! I’m going to try that.

    Thanksgiving is one of the few days a year I do the Suzie Homemaker thing – DH does most of the cooking normally.

  2. I use my great-grandmother’s pumpkin pie recipe. It’s good and less bland than some other ones. I will post it later. That is what I will be making before we head over the river and through the woods to our Thanksgiving dinner.

    • Pie shell (unbaked). You can use two store bought ones, one homemade deeper dish or I sometimes use one store bought and then put the extra filling in a few little dessert baking dishes.
      1 15 or 16 oz can pumpkin
      1 pint half & half
      1 c brown sugar
      2 eggs
      2 tsp cinnamon
      1/2 tsp each: ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt

      Mix pumpkin, brown sugar, spices. Add beaten eggs. Add half and half slowly while stirring. Pour into pie shell(s) and bake at 350 for about an hour until a toothpick comes out clean when you insert it.

  3. I only have make 2 pies since we go to ILs. I made the fillings this weekend and will make the pie dough today and bake them tomorrow. I use to do everything in one day but now it’s easier to do it over a few days.

  4. I’m in a whiny, blah family mood. Probably not good to be in just BEFORE three days straight of family, family, family! There’s been too much family drama lately and I’m not looking forward to it continuing!

    DH got an extension on a big grant proposal – to the Monday after Thanksgiving. So the good news is that it gives him more time (which he needed) to get everything together for the grant. The bad news is that he’ll have to be working on it through the holidays and it will add a level of stress on him. I have a chunk of grading to do to, so it will be a hectic holiday.

    In *really* good news, I got blood test results back yesterday and my liver seems to finally be recovering. All the key indicators improved and one (of three) is actually in the normal range. Woo hoo!!! Still not good enough to toast with a glass of wine :-) but for the first time in six months I feel like I’m almost better.

  5. Well, I don’t think I’ll get to start making pies tonight….M had to come home from day care with a fever. Poor kid is going to be stuck to me like Velcro.

    • Poo. I guess that explains the night you had last night! Poor girl. This is Clara’s first day back to normal since Friday, so I’m just praying she doesn’t catch some other nasty crap in that cesspool during her one day she has to go this week.

  6. We’re going to my parents’ house, which is a 6 hour drive with 2 adults. With 2 kids (1 of whom is not at all capable of entertaining herself), it’s closer to 7. So I will be bringing ingredients and making my contributions to dinner once we get there. The most important item on my list is Pumpkin Spice Cake from the Cake Mix Doctor cookbook. SO SO yummy. I also use her recipe for homemade Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting. I’m kind of meh about pumpkin pie, but this cake I would push a small child out of the way for. Well, maybe not Clara. But Lucy for sure. 6 year olds are hearty enough to be on their own in a competition for pumpkin spice cake.

    • Hmmmm…..I will have to look that one up; I have the Cake Mix Doctor cookbook. I do a pumpkin rum cake sometimes but it’s got a lot of steps and messes up three separate bowls to get it prepared. I have a hunch the cake mix doctor recipe is simpler.

  7. This year, most of the people who usually come have other plans, plus I was so not up for real cooking. We’re sharing with just 1 other family, who also have a baby. They’re making sweet potatoes, green beans, individual pumpkin pies, and bringing the turkey from a local restaurant. I’m making a vegetarian main course (quinoa with apples, cranberries, and acorn squash), roasted carrots with honey-dijon glaze, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and Stove-Top (only the quinoa requires any real cooking). We’ll pick up rolls from a local bakery.

  8. as usual Kelly’s working and Liza is at her dad’s so I’ll be solo for the day.. I”ll go for a walk, watch my dvr of the Sondheim 80th birthday concert from 2 years ago (which is now my Thanksgiving tradition) and put the lights on the outdoor bushes.

    when Kelly gets home around 4pm we’ll go to my friend June’s for a late supper

          • Laura… I would give my eyeteeth to have one living parent let alone two… let a lone a grandparent… and a sister. What you have is something I woudl walk on glass to have.

              • it’s ok…I just really really miss my family this time of year… the other 11 months of the year I bite the inside of my cheek and it’s no big deal but since they all pretty much kicked off between Tgiving and Epiphany it sometimes is a bit rocky.. but you know.. ain’t no big thang :-) it’s cool .

          • you know.. I know you’re kidding …but … phrases like this actually don’t make anything any better.. I had someone tell me they were estranged from their parents and so I was better off…um.. dead is dead. as in gone. as in forever. AS in you can’t mend any fences, you can’t ever say that one more thing, you can’t ever have that one more hug…families are difficult yes.. I won’t deny that… but the glibness with which people think saying ” you can have mine” is being funny or helpful.. it’s not… it’s not at all. I don’t want ANY family.. I want MY family… again. just once. I’ve lived as long without a dad as I did with one, 23 years… 5 without a mom, 9 without a sister.. and it. never. stops. hurting.

            • I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to take your feelings lightly. I would like to be with my mom for the holiday if I could but neither she nor I is well enough to travel. I totally get missing the relatives you love.

              I have a separate kind of jealousy and that’s for people who *like* their relatives. My family and I don’t even exist for my father. As in, Does not acknowledge me if we happen to be in a room together. Politely asks my husband who he is, as if he’s never met him. He has our pictures all over his house so to outsiders it *looks* like he has a happy family that includes a daughter, but he hasn’t spoken to me in 30 years and couldn’t pick DS out of a lineup.

              Which makes my husband so so nuts, because his dad is dead and DH would give his eyeteeth if his dad could spend even one hour with DS. I never met the man but he did an amazing job raising DH and I know DH is the father he is because of his dad, who spoiled him in all the right ways and made him feel so, so loved. Loved in his bones. I don’t know that feeling. Bad timing kept us apart, he died before DH and I met.

              Sometimes even when they’re still alive, there is no repairing those relationships when you’re dealing with profoundly wounded, irretrievably fucked up people. The reason my parents found each other was not healthy. My mom has been able to grow and change and yes, actualize her potential to some degree. She can experience mutual affection. My dad never has and probably never will, and the emptiness in him actually feels dangerous to me.

              I’m glad you had them as long as you did. And I’m sorry if I hurt you with my glib comment.

              xoxo

              • What I sometimes think (and am jealous of) is if someone had a good relationship with a parent or sibling, when they’re gone, the memories can be a comfort. But for instance with my brothers, we’ve never been close, & they’ve actually been cruel to me several times, & so if something happened & they were gone, I wouldn’t have a lot of good memories. I’d be sorry but I’d also be sorry that there’s no comforting experiences that I can look back on. Missing my grandparents this time of year also brings me happiness to think of them. It won’t be the case with several members of my family when they are gone.

                • you know what’s funny? My sister and I had a VERY rough relationship.. she was a gigantic pain in the ass and INFURIATING at times. And I miss her so much it physically hurts

                • Yep. This.

                  We had a near-death scare with my dad a few months back so I had a pretty good dress rehearsal of how I would feel. I felt obligated to my brothers and wanted to make share to lighten their load if I could. We took care of what needed doing. And after that, feelings-wise — nothing.

                  We debriefed when we sibs were together in August. My older brother says he has no feelings for my dad, but he is actually pretty furious at him. My younger brother is a very forgiving and dutiful person who will always hang in there. I don’t want him left holding the bag, at all.

                  I think I grieved losing my father already, during high school, at my wedding, when my child was born, etc. I guess I’m not one of those people that “blood” automatically counts a great deal with. I wonder if that makes me cold.

                  It makes me very happy that my mom and have I the relationship we do now, and I will certainly grieve her deeply when she’s gone.

  9. We’ll go to my folks, which isn’t that big of a deal since they live 2 blocks away. It’s a little anti-climatic, but we’ve had just enough crazy in our lives lately thankyouverymuch.

    Moved my office today and I’m just a little too happy over it. It’s back upstairs, out of the big cubicle warehouse and into my academic department. I’ll be on my own which sounds just lovely after having to plug one ear to have a phone conversation for the last 2 years.

    Only downside to the day is that we’re still fighting with H’s school. Apparently his 504 is their new excuse for why they won’t let him be in advanced math. The fact that that’s a violation of federal law is getting us nowhere, so DH and I have to put on our mama/dad grizzly bear attitudes I guess. Very much a first world problem I guess, but he’s so miserable in class right now and he’s taking a hit on his confidence because he just won’t believe us when we tell him that it’s not his fault he didn’t get placed in advanced math, it’s ours.

      • I’m thinking I’m going to start with my friend at the Dept of Ed who’s in charge of SpEd programs. She’d be the investigator we’d start with anyway. He’s supposed to take the SAT this spring anyway for some program he learned about at school. I figure it can’t hurt to let him take it, right? (Even though I’m pretty sure the program is a scam- it’s all the way in Baltimore and it sounds a little too “Whose Who Among________” to be real.)

        • My younger took the SAT in 7th grade for the Duke Tip program; she scored well enough to be admitted, but had zero interest in summer classes. Can’t blame her there. Maybe acing the math portion will be a nice confidence booster?

        • I took the SAT in middle school for a summer camp at Purdue. I LOVED it. I took chemistry and aerospace engineering. So if the Baltimore program is a scam, I’m happy to talk to you about the Purdue program :-)

          Sorry about all the other crap with H’s school. What a bunch of jerks. I hope that your friend at Dept of Ed helps get this resolved correctly and quickly.

          • This one’s at Johns Hopkins- summer classes and stuff that cost a fortune- and it feels like it’s just a way to recruit kids early. (We had one at MU when I was a student there and that was totally what it was.) But it would be nice for him to get a little confidence boost if he does well. He’s actually pretty intrigued by it.

            • I really did love the Purdue one. It was really great to spend two weeks with other people who were as nerdy – or even more! – than me. Huge confidence boost in middle school that it was ok to like this stuff and that I wasn’t alone. There were probably recruiting aspects of it, although I don’t remember that at all. I just liked the cool classes, students, teachers, living in the dorms :-) And it wasn’t competitive. Maybe that was because it was middle school and we weren’t really thinking about college yet. Just having fun. If H is like I was, I bet he’d have fun at one of these programs.

            • We had a Johns Hopkins recruitment meeting at S’s school. It’s legit – I mean, not a scam. They run academic summer programs for gifted kids. L had HS friends who did it and loved it. Whether you agree with their model (using the SAT to identify gifted middle schoolers) or not is a different issue.

              • Yeah, it’s not the SAT thing that bugs- it is what it is. It just felt a little like “Come to a FREE weekend at Disney- just listen to our sales pitch about this timeshare!”

                It’s a moot point since Camp fills up most of his summer anyway. He saw that they require the SAT and he was intrigued that someone his age could take it. He’s going to do the practice test tomorrow while I’m baking. That may be enough to put him off the idea.

                • my sister did a SAT thing that ended up with her going to a summer camp at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She majored in biomedical engineering, so obviously something clicked for her!

                • Or not…my guilty secret…I loved the SAT practice tests. They were fun. :)

                  And I also did a summer “come to a free weekend at Disney” program. It changed my life. Quite honestly. It opened my eyes to a wider world and more possibilities for my future. I didn’t go to the hosting college in the end, but I’ll be eternally grateful to them.

                    • Also — DS got a few awards and was recommended for a few programs that seemed scam-y to me. I called a few local private school admissions offices to ask if the programs were money-makers or truly good for the kids. Not sure if you have that option but it’s one way, if you don’t have your own word of mouth, to check such things out. I know my son’s cousins went to “Summer at Stanford” or “Summer at Georgetown” programs which, yes, they technically stayed in the dorms on prestigious campuses, but content was zero. And big $$

                    • Oh…though mine was free. Big money wouldn’t have been an option for me… If they’re asking for thousands, I’d keep looking for a better fit.

              • One of my work kids finally felt normal when he did the Johns Hopkins summer program. Too bad it’s only for a few weeks. I wish he could feel like that year round but the gifted schools around here cost more than the family can afford.

  10. I am so happy to have a five day weekend coming that it’s not even funny. And my girl will be home in a couple of hours. And a swim meet, which will be thankfully short.

  11. We will be alone at home this Thanksgiving — just the four of us. We’ve alternated holidays with our parents since we got married, so it is our Thanksgiving to be with DH’s parents [dad]. But he doesn’t want us to come and he refused to allow us to bring him to our house for the holiday. So, we are honoring his request and just hanging with the four of us — which will be nice in its own way but also kind of sad. I’ll be cooking the whole shebang — cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, rolls, pecan pie. The turkey is smoked turkey breast coming from a nearby BBQ restaurant — they always do a great job and I don’t have days of leftovers to worry about.

    Saturday we will travel to Waco [90 minutes north] for the high school football playoff game, (DS is in marching band) which will be played at my alma mater’s stadium. I am hoping that the good mojo Baylor had going for them last week when they knocked off #1 Kansas State will hang around for our team. We are playing the same team we played in the playoffs last year, a very white suburban high school who made racial slurs toward our African American players at last year’s game. I am tired of football this year, but I really, really want to beat them.

  12. I must share: we just adopted a greyhound this week, and so for my birthday, my bro and SIL sent me a dog-themed sweatshirt. But it’s not a ‘hound; it’s that poor dog from the video on YouTube with the caption “The maple kind yeah???” LMAO.

  13. First Thanksgiving as an officially separated couple. We will all be together though at my sister-in-laws house. Last year the sh#$ was really starting to hit the fan and it ended quite badly so this year the whole focus is to keep it good for the kids. Breathe in, breathe out. The soon to be X and I can get along and there are parts of each other we still really like, but the flip can switch kind of easily. BUT it will not happen for these holidays. Luckily there will be no alcohol involved (thanks to my daughter’s therapist who thank God had some stern words for my X and basically gave him no choice in his decision that he wouldn’t drink when he had the kids. Actually we agreed to not drink when we had the kids. This was not a difficult thing for me at all.) which should help.

  14. Doing my third annual Thanksgiving in Melbourne the Saturday after. Having about 18 people over in total – family friends, my SIL and her family and us. People are great about doing potluck, so all I’ve got are the pies, the turkey, the cranberry sauce and the mashed potatoes. Plus all the housecleaning (urgh).

    I really love doing Thanksgiving – it’s our best, easiest, most joyful family holiday in our family, so I don’t have the stress about it like I do around Christmas. My mom is a wonderful woman on a lot of levels, and being a gracious hostess is one of those things, so I try to do it as she would do it.

    Of course, we are missing the Aussiegeek family, so it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darned fun.

    • sniff. Nearly got there…. We’re doing a pool party with one other family. I’m doing the turkey, she’s doing the wine and pies, and we’re sharing side dishes. And I’m not even inviting the inlaws. Ha!

    • I love Thanksgiving, too. I think it’s partly because there’s no pressure around gifts. Oh, and the awesome sweet potatoes I make with brown sugar & pecan crumble topping.

      • Recipe? I make sweet potato scones and sent DH to the store for them. He came home with enough to feed an army so I’d love a tasty way to use some of them up.

        • SO easy:
          YAM MIXTURE
          -1 large can of yams (you would substitute this for your real yams – cook/cut into large cubes)
          - 2 eggs
          - 1/2 C Milk
          - 1/2 C Sugar
          - 1/2 C butter (I actually barely add any butter to this part, but you can experiment to your taste)
          -1 t Vanilla
          Mix above ingredients, put into baking dish.

          CRUMBLE TOPPING
          -1 C crushed pecans
          - 1 C Flour
          - 1 C Brown Sugar
          - 1/2 Butter, softened
          Mix topping ingredients together, spoon over yams.

          Bake @ 350deg for 35 minutes.

          So easy, and always my favorite part of the meal.

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