It's cliche to say that everyone has a different Thanksgiving tradition, but it's also true. So there. I love to hear about what other families do. My family, both sides in fact (how odd!), do the following: turkey (my parents' homegrown one which is out of this world juicy), mashed potatoes, green peas, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, creamed onions, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and mince meat pie.
My husband's family adds sauerkraut and pecan pie, but didn't do creamed onions until they met me. Now my family does sauerkraut and pecan pie. We've melded our Thanksgiving dinners the way Dave and I have melded other family traditions, to the benefit of both, I think. One of our first combined family gatherings was Thanksgiving in Vermont, when Dave's grandparents and parents made the long trip from Nebraska.
We're going out to Nebraska this year, and I'm in the middle of looking up my pumpkin pie recipe, which came from my stepmother, I think. I'll do apple, too, and even though only my husband's grandfather Ralph and I like mince meat, I will do that as well, because it's not Thanksgiving without it. I love Keja's idea of getting it from a butcher. One of my favorite Joy of Cooking discoveries was Irma's recipe for mincemeat that yields enough for 20 pies and includes 9 quarts of apples, 4 lbs. of ox heart, and 4 lbs. of raisins.
So, pumpkin pie. This recipe makes one pie.
Use the crust from pie blog entry.
Caramelize 2 1/2 cups of pumpkin in a frying pan, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar, 1 1/3 cups evaporated milk, 1 1/2 teas. powdered ginger, 2 teas. cinnamon, and 1/8 teas. mace (I never have this so never add it and it's always delicious).
Add pumpkin and 1 teas. fine salt, and stir well.
Pour into a prepared crust, crimping edges of crust, and bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until a one inch circle in the center remains liquid. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.