This week’s Sunday Series is centered around the upcoming holiday, filled with everything from a guide to cooking on the big day, ways to give back during this thankful time, documentaries to watch with your loved ones and a family recipe to make. We hope you all have had a wonderful weekend and feel free to share what made you feel inspired/brought you joy this week!
Julia- This past week we planned out what we’ll be contributing and bringing for Thanksgiving on Thursday. We’re celebrating this year with my mom’s side of the family that lives here in Edisto Beach. While Thomas loves to cook, I really wanted to bake something. I mentioned it to my mom and she suggested I make a family favorite, “Auntie Alice’s Pumpkin Pie (Alice was my Great Grandfather’s Sister who lived to be 102!). I’ve only ever tried to bake a pie once before and it was sort of an epic fail that my family won’t let me live down. It was a vegan/gluten free pumpkin pie that didn’t hold its consistency and ended up as more of a pumpkin soup once we cut it. This time around, I’m going fool-proof with a recipe I know will be a hit. Since I’m guessing many of you are currently seeking out recipes and planning your meals, I wanted to share this family gem in hopes it can make its way onto your Thanksgiving table this year, too!
Auntie Alice’s Pumpkin Pie:
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup pumpkin (canned)
1 ½ teaspoon Allspice
1 cup cream, whipped
1 ½ Tablespoon melted butter
3 eggs beaten separately
Blend together in order and pour into ready made pie crust (or make your own ahead of time)
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
Thomas- The Very Serious Guide To Cooking A Thanksgiving Feast:
For me, cooking for a crowd, especially for a crowd on Thanksgiving is no joke. I take it very seriously. Julia’s family can attest to that as a couple of years ago I kicked everyone out of the kitchen because they were in my way. While you don’t have to be as serious as Gordon Ramsey (or me) in the kitchen, I have some tips to make sure your meal goes off without a hitch. Here are my tips:
Start your prep today- Yes, it’s Sunday and Thanksgiving is on Thursday but in my opinion there’s no place I’d rather not be than the grocery store buying everything I need on Wednesday. Write your list tonight and plan on getting as much as possible tomorrow (Monday). Tuesday is when I start brining the Turkey (a method I do everytime I cook the turkey). If you forget anything you can always pick up forgotten items on Tuesday or Wednesday. Wednesday night I spend planning out the timing of all of the dishes and the prep time for each. I even print out a schedule for the day. I cut and prep whatever ingredients I can on Wednesday night too so that Thursday is less panic mode and more execution.
If you are bringing a dish don’t assume you’ll show up in someone else’s house and be able to reheat your dish to whichever temperature you need. You most likely won’t be able to pop it on the stove or throw it in the oven with the turkey. If you are bringing something hot, think about how you are going to keep it warm without being in the way once you are there. Maybe offer to make the salad or bring your own slow cooker. This year, we are driving an hour to spend Thanksgiving with family so I’ll be packing up our dishes in our Yeti cooler which I’ll fill with hot packs. If you are hosting, make sure you know what others are bringing and ask those dish carrying guests to think ahead about whichever constraints you may have in your kitchen.
Don’t let dishes stack up- If anyone offers help, or if you are the one offering to help the chef, just point to the dishes. That’s one of the reasons I start Wednesday night with prepping ingredients, that’s one more load of dishes I can wash before going to bed.
Plan an appetizer and put drinks in a cooler outside of the kitchen- This trick keeps people from wandering around the kitchen looking for food. This is important when hosting anyone for dinner but especially Thanksgiving because of the hour you eat at, we eat around 3 or 4pm every year, so most people skip lunch.
Have a helping hand that you can count on- I typically enlist Julia as my helping hand especially as we get closer to serving. She’s the one that helps set up the serving station and she’s always a reliable taste tester. Make sure this person knows you are counting on them so they don’t wander off for a few hours.
Have a trusty kitchen timer- I love our Amazon Echo and 75% of what I use it for is kitchen timers.
Laura- This past Friday night I attended the Heroes of Hope Gala for a non-profit organization here in Charleston called Camp Happy Days. It was my first event to get dressed up for since moving here this past summer and I loved that it was for such a good cause. Camp Happy Days benefits children battling cancer and provides support for their families in South Carolina. This is the 28th annual gala and having the event this close to Thanksgiving was a pleasant reminder that life is all about giving and sharing in any way possible. By giving thanks, spreading love, and sharing kindness and support, I am reminded to be grateful for my ability to donate my time or money to those less fortunate. Thanksgiving is the time of year when counting life’s blessings is at the forefront of everyone’s minds and it certainly is also the time to remember to share what we have been blessed with. Whether it’s sharing words of affirmation, a thoughtful gift, or a helping hand, it is the intention behind a good deed that will have us and others feeling a little more fulfilled in this life. If I could clone myself, volunteering with non-profits is something I would do more often, but since I can’t be in two places at once I do what I can by donating to these organizations online. Here’s a list of some of my favorite charities: Camp Happy Days, ASPCA, Caring Unlimited, St. Jude Children’s, Pencils of Promise, Feeding America.
Margaret- This week I watched Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry for the first time on Netflix. Directed by Laura Dunn and Jeff Sewell and screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the film invites the viewer to see the world through Wendell Berry’s unique and compelling perspective. A poet, environmental activist and farmers’ advocate among many other titles, Berry is a champion of the organic and locally grown food movement. Berry uses his life on the farm as the lens through which he sees the world. I couldn’t help but to write down phrases I heard throughout the documentary. It’s a great film to watch with family and discuss around the Thanksgiving table, as his perspective on modern farming is subject to constructive debate.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, though the two are not too distant in age, is Iris Apfel’s documentary, aptly named Iris. You’ve most likely heard her name or seen her iconic glasses painted in a storefront window. This film takes the viewer into the day-to-day life of a fashion legend, and her frank opinions about fashion and style are worth quoting. Her current popularity proves her over-the-top style and quick wit resonates with women of all ages.