Angela Jamison is a native Montanan and she grew up in beautiful Bozeman. I'm the mother of two girls and write a blog about our life here and taking in the simple pleasures of family and food.
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough.” -Melody Beattie
I love this quote and think about it more as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday. With Christmas taking over stores before Halloween gets its turn, Thanksgiving could be in danger of becoming Black Friday Eve. I work hard to make sure this does not happen. That we stop and remember to be grateful on this day. For all we have. To give thanks. For me Thanksgiving means these simple things…family, friends, food and gratitude. It has forever been my father’s favorite holiday. As as child, I didn’t get this…it just couldn’t compete with all the bells and whistles of Christmas, not to mention Santa Claus. Now I understand why Thanksgiving is his beloved holiday. It is time together. Time to slow down in our busy lives. Time to sit around a big table with those you love and remember how lucky we all are.
I am often frustrated by the brush over Thanksgiving gets now days with Black Friday creeping into Thursday. It makes me sad to see consumerism take over what is the one holiday that isn’t about stuff. The lines of people out in the cold so they can get a deal on the latest thing. To be fair, I know many families and friends do this as a tradition together and enjoy the hype of Black Friday. I know I don’t have to participate. Instead choosing new traditions with my kids on Black Friday. Things like going through all our toys and clothes to gather items we no longer need to donate. Making it the opposite of consumerism. However, I feel sad for the workers who have no choice but to leave their own families on Thanksgiving to go to work. Because our need for stuff is so strong, someone may not get to have their Thanksgiving. This is not the spirit of the season.
We will continue our own Thanksgiving traditions and fight to keep it about giving thanks. One of the biggest things I feel grateful for is the food we get to share with loved ones. As we approached Thanksgiving this week I found myself last minute grocery shopping with all the other last minute grocery shoppers. Everyone grabbing their turkeys, potatoes and stuffing fixings. Instead of feeling frustrated that I had to go to a second grocery store in the snow storm because the first was out of sage, I reminded myself how lucky we are to live in this country, in this town, where food is plentiful and easily accessible. Lucky that I can pay for this food for my family as well as some extra for our neighbors at the food bank. Yes, we are very lucky indeed. And, we can’t forget the pumpkin pie. No Thanksgiving is complete without this traditional dessert. I have only recently become a fan of pumpkin pie. The secret is, it must be made with real pumpkins. The canned ones cannot compete. I discovered this one year when we accidentally grew pumpkins in the garden…thanks to composting our jack-o-lanterns the previous Halloween. We ended up with many and not wanting to be wasteful I decided to try to cook with them. Pumpkin pie being the obvious choice. I will never eat canned pumpkin pie again.
Happy Thanksgiving friends. Take the time to be grateful for what you have and know it is enough.
Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie
Start with a butter pie crust. The crust used to intimidate me and tended to fall apart. I have found that if I approach it calmly, take my time and make sure I keep my ingredients cold I get a crust that looks pretty darn good.
-1 1/4 cup flour
-1/2 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 stick unsalted, COLD butter cut in cubes
-4 to 6 tbls ICE water
*Put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor or large bowl and mix. Add half the butter. If using a food processor, pulse a few times. If doing by hand use a pastry cutter to break up the butter in the flour mix. Add the remaining butter and pulse or mix until crumbly. Begin to add the water a tbls at a time, mixing/pulsing in between each one for a few seconds. Continue adding water until the mixture starts to cling together. Place the crumbly mixture on a clean surface and shape into a disc. Sprinkle with flour, wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator for one hour before you roll it. To roll, remove from fridge and let it sit a few minutes. Place on a floured surface, roll it out gently and place in the pie pan.
-2 cups fresh pumpkin pie puree (cut a small pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp. Bake for one hour at 350-degrees. Remove from oven and scrape out the soft inside…discard the skin. Puree what you remove until a smooth creamy mixture)
-1 1/2 cup heavy cream
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/3 cup sugar
-2 eggs plus yolk of one more
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp ginger
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground gloves
-1/4 tsp cardamon
-1/2 tsp lemon zest
*Mix sugars, salt, spices and lemon zest in large bowl. Beat eggs and then add to the bowl. Stir in puree and then cream and whisk until well mixed. Pour into your pie shell and bake at 425-degrees fro 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 350-degrees and continue to bake fro 45-50 minutes. (Cover edges with foil if they start to brown too quickly!) Cool on wire rack for 2-hours. Serve with homemade whipped cream. Enjoy!