I was invited by Sea of Book of Yum to be part of her Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Event and, after a lot of thought, I decided to focus on leftovers. As Americans gear up for Thanksgiving, all the food magazines and websites and blogs have delivered a huge array of Thanksgiving dinner and dessert ideas and suggestions. Leftovers, though, are practically a footnote taken into consideration.
These potato pancakes are made with leftover mashed potatoes. The texture is not that different, except now that they’re fried. Depending on how long you fry them, they’ll be crisp on the outside and soft inside. Of course, you can also use this for any other time of year that you have leftover mashed potatoes. (Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving last month. Technically I didn’t, as I was away in Fiji then and Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated there; instead it was Fiji’s Independence Day.)
We all love pumpkin pie. I pretty much like everything pumpkin – the only thing I’ve yet to try is pumpkin in soups or for that matter, anything savory. For years I wrinkled my nose at pumpkin soups and pumpkin in anything savory, even though I never tried it (and still haven’t tried it, yet I’ve warmed to the idea of pumpkin soup considerably since: enough for me to be willing to try it, particularly this one from Kim right now.)
Today isn’t about soup or, for that matter, anything that is savory or about the autumnal, orange glory that is pumpkin. We’re looking at another gourd, or squash, that I’ve learned to recognize by its slight hourglass shape – or is it pear-shaped? – the butternut squash. I’ll cut to the chase here – it makes fantastic pie, some even swear it’s better than pumpkin pie. Ever since I read that (in a blog’s comments thread, no less) I was keen to try it and see – taste – for myself. “Better than pumpkin pie?”
Oh, yes! That’s what I said out loud when I first tasted it. Though I did not have a mirror at the time, I am sure that my eyes sparkled at that moment as it washed over my taste buds. It was dreamy. It’s the pumpkin pie that I’ve wanted to recreate at home for ages and now have, but even better indeed than any pumpkin pie that I’ve tasted, homemade or from the store. (Pumpkin pie hasn’t gone completely out the window, though – I mean, I still like pumpkin.)
I also thought that it would be a great way to celebrate my first blog anniversary.
Yesterday Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving, giving thanks and celebrating those things that we are thankful for. Some people are confused about why Canada has Thanksgiving a month ahead of the US – why can’t we all just celebrate it at the same time, like Christmas? – or wonder if we indeed have a Thanksgiving, or a holiday similar, at all. Yes, Virginia, we do.
There are gripes about the chronological inconsistency of it: you see recipes for pumpkin pie from your Canadian neighbors’ blogs and you wonder where did the time go? Thanksgiving already? Yes, in Canada, but for the other half of North America, you still have a month to think about the Thanksgiving turkey (and that pumpkin pie).
But why? Why does Canada celebrate Thanksgiving earlier than America? Well, Canada has simply been celebrating Thanksgiving longer than America – going back to 1578 when Martin Frobisher returned safely from his search for the Northwest Passage and since 1879 celebrated every year but the dates being proclaimed annually and changed year to year, making it an unstable holiday, (at one point from 1922 to 1930 it was celebrated on November 11th, what is now Remembrance Day) until the Canadian Parliament proclaimed it as the second Monday in October in 1957.
With that said, one of the things I’m thankful for are your comments, like this reader’s comment (hello, Miss Kitty!) suggesting for the lemon millet biscuits to be used as a shortcake base. I rediscovered her comment and her suggestions when I was busy approving comments and going through Z’s Cup of Tea, doing any necessary link updates (I still find a lot of clicks to links from my old blog address whenever I check my blog stats and I’m still in the process of updating those links; if you come across any, let me know), editing typos that I missed the first time – who knew that a pot could be a poet? – all of which that fall under the general category of “blog maintenance”.
What things in your life are you thankful for?
Thinking of Miss Kitty’s idea, I decided to make an apple cobbler. I used the dough for the lemon millet biscuits (omitting the lemon) for the biscuit part. This cobbler is like having apple pie, but much more casual and much less work. No need for fussing over pie crusts, whether trying to make one from scratch or dealing with “soggy bottoms” (personally, depending on the kind of pie, I don’t mind them: I think it adds character), all you do is partially cook apples over the stove before baking them in a pan with spoonfuls of the biscuit dough-batter plopped on top. And what’s even better is that you can have it any time of day – for breakfast, dessert, or as a snack.