Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving will be my biggest Vegan test.  The veggies are drenched in butter, Velveeta, and Ritz crackers.  The fruit doesn't fair much better with the Cool Whip, cottage cheese, with the dry Jello mixed in.  I mean really, who thinks of stuff like that?  It's almost like, who thought that crushing up Advil Cold and Sinus would make Meth??  That is some serious thinking!!

For the almost 22 years we've lived in Utah, we always go down to see my husband's family for Thanksgiving.  And this is how it would go.  My two sister-in-laws would make one dish, one would make the veggies and one would make the Jello fruit dish.  Someone would brings rolls.  My mother -in-law would make the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and yams.  We would get there early and help get the tables and chairs set up and help make the yams and potatoes and whatever else needed to get done.  And I would bring, from 2 hours away, all the pies and usually some chips and dip.  I would make lemon, banana cream, cherry, chocolate, and apple, and then find a way for them not to get smooshed in the car.

One year, I was tired of making all the pies, and saw that the catering department at USU was taking orders for pie.  I thought--YAY!  No more hours in the kitchen making the 10 different varieties.  I got  a bunch of different ones, mostly the cream pies like chocolate and lemon.  So after dinner everyone breaks into the pie--AND they were horrible!!!  They must have made them way ahead of time and frozen them--they were grainy and disgusting!!  My daughter told me that I ruined Thanksgiving that year, and she still brings it up.  So I make them all from scratch, except that I buy Marie Calendar pie crusts.  Makes it a little easier!

I will let you in on a little secret.  People LOVE my cherry and blueberry pies.  When we would have our yearly pie auction to raise money for scout camp and girl's camp, those pies would get top dollar, sometimes over $30/pie.  I would buy Marie Calendar pie crusts, cherry and blueberry pie filling from the can and make crumb topping with a cup of flour, 1/2 cup of white sugar, and 1/2 cup of butter--and then the secret ingredient--almond flavoring!  People would beg me to make them.  So be the hero at your Thanksgiving dinner and make a cherry or blueberry pie, but don't buy them from USU catering!!  LOL!

Another one of our family favorites is Sour Cream Lemon pie.  My husband's favorite was Lemon Meringue until I found this beauty.  Thank heavens, because meringue is disgusting!!  I make 2 of these and leave one at my niece's house since she's started having Thanksgiving at her home now that my mom-in-law can't do it.  It's a ton of work!!  I keep inviting them to Logan for Thanksgiving, but no one will make the 2 hour trip!  Go figure!
So here is the luscious Lemon Pie recipe...

Sour Cream Lemon Pie
·         Pastry for single-crust pie (Marie Calendar's)
·         1 cup sugar
·         4 tablespoons cornstarch
·         1 cup milk
·         1/2 cup lemon juice
·         3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
·         1/4 cup butter, cubed
·         1 tablespoon grated lemon peel, I usually skip this part and add a little more lemon juice
·         1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
·         1 cup raspberry jam
·         1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped, with 1 T of vanilla and 1/3 cup powdered sugar
Bake pie shell until golden brown--350 degrees for about 10 mins or so.
In a large microwave safe bowl, mix sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in milk  and lemon juice and eggs until smooth. Cook in microwave for 2-3 mins        at a time until thickened and bubbly.
Stir in butter, sour cream, and lemon peel.

Take some raspberry jam and put a liberal amount in the cooled pie shell.  Smooth it around the sides and bottom.  Add the lemon filling, then put some plastic wrap on top to prevent that nasty film from forming on the filling and cool in refrigerator.
After pie is cool. Top with whipped cream.

Yes, folks, it's not Vegan, but some of the best things in life aren't!  So forget to pack your bags for that guilt trip and dig in!
Have a safe and fun Thanksgiving!!

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