Baby Bobby’s parents have an interfaith marriage: his mom worships at the shrine of the Pilsbury Dough Boy and his dad is a follower of recipes that involve sieving, combining and rolling out–true PIEty. At Thanksgiving, they have very different ideas of what constitutes a good dessert. Alison made Alien Pie for the kids–shop-bought crust, chocolate jello and a liberal sprinkling of M&Ms. John had his choice of homemade pecan, coconut, pumpkin, sweet potato, and cranberry/walnut pies. In all we had thirteen pies for nineteen adults and four kids(two of whom are really too young for solid food) . Tom made his crust with vodka. Apparently booze is better than water if you want really flaky pastry. The alcohol evaporates in the oven and so, although I committed a calorie crime with every mouthful, the pecan pie did not make me break my no-drinking pledge. I inquired about the exact contents of Marian’s cranberry and walnut pie -nothing stronger than almond extract, so I had a piece of that too.
On the big day we had two turkeys–one cooked on the grill and the other pan-fried–mashed potatoes and roast potatoes, brussel sprouts and chestnuts, collard greens with ham, grean bean casserole, sausage stuffing, more sausage (served Balkan style wrapped in thin dough), fresh cranberry relish, sliced cranberry sauce and biscuits. Other delights served across the weekend included Bob’s carnitas(Great-Uncle of Baby Bob, who is still too young to cook–and may take after his mother), Brian’s pork soup featuring many leftovers, and oysters served both raw and steamed. Susan made cupcakes, chocolately tray bakes and lemon bars plus half a hundredweight of scones. These were easily demolished. All of the pies but two got eaten. Baby Bob and his cousin had better pull their weight next year.