Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had another beautiful Thanksgiving this year. Although, this was the Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't.

Melinda and I had already decided to get our families together for dinner, but we had tried to get the guys to agree to (gasp!) going out to eat this year. (My parents and Scott's mom got together and went to a restaurant this year and the idea sounded tempting...) I normally wouldn't consider something like this, but we have had such a busy few months and Scott is so occupied with studying right now (and since he does a lot of the cooking) I thought he might consent to our evil plan.

Not a chance.

So, we divvied up the work and prepared a traditional feast. SO glad I listened to my husband. It was yummy as always and we'll have leftovers for days...
(Me, Robby, Melinda, Dan...Scott is taking the picture of course, so that he doesn't have to be in it.)

One of my favorite parts of preparing for a holiday dinner is setting the table. My mom always gave me that task growing up and I always took pleasure in making the table look pretty.

One of my other favorite holiday chores is making pies with homemade crust.
I hear a lot of people say that they think making pie crust is hard or it's too much work. I've found that there are a couple of tricks that make it easy and give you a delicious, flaky crust that is waaaaaay better than anything you can buy in the store.

Here's my recipe, with tips...

Southern Pastry

2 Cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 scant Cup shortening ( I like the butter-flavored Crisco. I always put my shortening in the freezer for a few minutes as I start the recipe. You want all your ingredients to stay nice and cold.)

Blend well with pastry blender. (You don't have to worry about handling it too much at this point - just make sure the flour and shortening are well blended.)

Add 6 Tbs. of ice water. Toss lightly with a fork. (This is the part where you don't want to handle it too much. Just incorporate the water gently. If you stir it too much your crust will be tough and won't be flaky.)

Gather into a ball. Divide in half and roll out onto a well-floured surtface. (When I roll out my crust, I sprinkle just a little bit of flour on top before using my rolling pin so that it doesn't stick. I also think a wooden rolling pin works best.) Fold in quarters and transfer to a pie tin.

Makes 2 single or 1 double crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes for a pre-baked crust.

Give it a try and you'll NEVER use store-bought crust again.

I'm thankful for so many things - like my wonderful husband, my sweet little dog, my incredible family and friends, the Gospel, the Lord, all the blessings He gives me every day, the gorgeous house I get to live in, leftovers and pie...

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Jill said...

You set a beautiful table, Jenn! And homemade pie crust is the ONLY way to go! Your pies look SO tasty, I'm up for sampling any leftovers. ;o)

Nancy said...

I love your leaf cutout on the pumpking pie. Very seasonal and gves it such a professional touch.

When transferring your crust, I don't fold it in quarters. I just gently roll it over the rollng pin and transfer it that way - a tip from my mother many years ago.

Anonymous said...

Not only are your pies beautiful but so are you Jennifer, looks like you had a great holiday, Scott Good luck this week with your LSAT-Bev Kines

military mama said...

Wow! Those pies look incredible!! What an amazing talent you have!