My in-laws are coming here tomorrow for Thanksgiving and I spent today in the kitchen. There are three pies cooling, two loaves of cranberry nut bread, five loaves of homemade wheat bread plus a gaggle of rolls, a large bowl of apple coleslaw and a large pot of cranberry chutney. The turkey is thawed and ready for the morning.
This year I made an apple-butter pumpkin pie from a recipe that Ricky made in his culinary arts class. It didn't set as solid as a traditional pumpkin but it sounds good. The cranberry nut bread is a recipe from my childhood and a Thanksgiving tradition. For over 30 years, I have used the Tassajara Bread Book as my guide in baking. It contains my favorite recipe line; when describing the sponge method, it says, "Let it rise for an hour or 45 or 70 minutes." I totally did not follow instructions because I let the sponge rise for 75 minutes. The cranberry chutney was a new idea this year, sparked by something I read online somewhere. It turned out pretty good, even though I added a tablespoon of cinnamon instead of half a teaspoon. I thought I could shake out an approximate amount, but it flowed way too freely. There's enough to take to my family's gathering this Saturday, and I think it will be delicious on leftover turkey sandwiches.
The boys were off school and cleaned the house, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, picking up their rooms and doing laundry. Oh, and they ran the dishwasher three times! All that's left is a last clean of the bathrooms. It's a blessing for them to clean without constant supervision. Tomorrow I will put them in charge of setting the tables. Let's see if they remember how the silverware is placed.