Pilgrims Rock

People. Check this out. We’ve officially successfully had 4 (that’s f.o.u.r.) Thanksgivings at our place in Chi-town. It’s been freakin’ awesome. Here’s a peek at what goes down.

I make deviled eggs. They are the first thing to get eaten in their entirety, and this year I made extra. It still happened. Just like the sweet potatoes, I wonder why I don’t make this delicacy more often.

We also had a lot of other awesome food. I made the usual offenders – the sweet ‘taters, green beans, cranberry sauce, bread for snacking, eggs, blah blah blah. Oh. and homemade rolls. Awesome. Homemade. Rolls. Cheryl brought all of her shortening-laden pies (yum!) and Jennifer brought the usual mashed ‘taters and broccoli cass. Jon’s sausage-cornbread stuffing was the second thing to disappear, and Brook/Katherine brought snacks, pork (more meat!) and a damn good salad. Hubs made an awesome turkey and of course, his gramma’s stuffing. He yelled at me for a second year for not buying poultry seasoning. He got over it, but he will always loathe my aversion to buying seasonings I can make in five seconds.

We drink a lot. Wine, beer, and liquor. You want it, we had it. If you can believe it, we all got a little alcoholed-out by Saturday, and there was a 3/4 full bottle of wine on the counter the next morning. It was weird. Also, I forgot to make spiced sangria this year.

Jennifer’s birthday happened. That always seems to be the case over Thanksgiving, which is nice because it’s a good excuse to leave the house, which we do infrequently from Wednesday-Sunday. She was smart and made reservations at Girl & the Goat months ago. Good call, Simps. Also, I haven’t forgotten about your present.

We left the house twice, actually. Hubs had this great idea to go to a bar with good pizza to watch NC State on ESPN. Although, I really don’t need an excuse to go to Piece. Plus, ordering a beer called Camel Toe will always make me chuckle – even when I grow up.

Let’s see – what else…. something’s missing…. any guesses? Yes – Rock Band!! Check this out – four years, and we still play it. Luke is probably tired of it, but he’s a team player. Plus, we do take breaks, just like the real bands. And we always have drinks ‘on set’. (Also, please take note: we got a new couch two years in. And recruited a few more rockers this year!)

Luke took some kick-ass pictures of us rocking out:

You don’t have to say it: we know we’re cool. And we know you’d rather be with us than over at Aunt Nelly’s eating that jello mold. It’s the beauty of transplanting yourself in another state – you find the others who are like you, and you celebrate together. For us, it’s how Thanksgiving is meant to be.

It’s how Thanksgiving will always be – and we’re thankful for that.

Hope yours was a blast as well.

(thanks to Luke for most of the pictures!)

Deviled Eggs
makes 12 (but make more, if you’re smart)

time commitment: 30 minutes

as many times as i say it, this dish should really be made often. it’s a perfect snacking dish for any occasion i can think of right now. my mom (or was it gramma?) used to put relish in the egg mixture, but i like my deviled eggs smooth and, well, eggy. as for recipe credit, i honestly don’t know where this came from, so if i stole it from someone, i’m sorry. all i have to go on is an index card in my writing :{ .

printable version

6 eggs
3 T mayo
1 T sugar
1.5 t dijon mustard
1 t apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste
smoked paprika (or regular sweet paprika, if you prefer)

carefully place 6 eggs in medium saucepan and fill with water to cover. bring to boil, and reduce heat to med-low for 12 minutes. meanwhile, get out a big bowl and fill it with ice cold water. chill eggs in water bath immediately. (at this point, you can refrigerate them until use.)

when ready to use, peel shells and halve eggs lengthwise. remove yolks carefully (i use a small teaspoon or my fingers if i’m feelin’ lucky) and place in bowl. add remaining ingredients, including a tiny dash of paprika, and mash ingredients together. if you want to fancy it up, whir the mixture together in a mini-blender for a few seconds to smooth the mixture out, and spoon it into a plastic bag with an icing tip. pipe into eggs in a swirly pattern (or, just clunk the mixture, unblended, into the eggs – it tastes the same this way!). dust with paprika.

For the un-holidays

I’ve never aspired to be one of those bloggers who preps you for the upcoming holiday by testing recipes in advance and posting them all during the month. I started this blog as a way to share things that I make because I want to make them, and as much as I love turkey and stuffing, I only want to make it once in the month of November.

However, I do appreciate the bloggers who operate in the way that I don’t; while our Thanksgiving menu is usually pretty set, I do occasionally draw inspiration from a few of you holiday bloggers. So, thank you, Pioneer Woman, and thank you The Bitten Word.

As such, it shouldn’t surprise you that we’re talking about a quiche today. Sure, you could plop a quiche down on that Thanksgiving table. Scoot that gourd over, or move that big honkin’ centerpiece, or the candles you put on the table because you really don’t need them anyway. And toss this quiche into the mix. You’d get a few stares, I bet.

My guess is that this quiche might be more appropriate for say, breakfast, or any day other than Thanksgiving; the un-holiday days. You could even use leftover turkey and make a turkey quiche, if it suits you.

Apparently, I bought an inordinate amount of Mexican chorizo last weekend, but I suppose I couldn’t resist when the tienda sells it for $1.99 a pound. Some of it found a crevice in the freezer (which, by the way, is l.o.a.d.e.d. with meat, even a ginormous turkey from our CSA that we didn’t realize we were getting until after we’d already placed our order for the fancy heritage turkey. I sense a lot of turkey pot pie in our future.), but a portion of it got an egg bath.

And so, even though it’s almost Thanksgiving, and even though some of you might be searching for the perfect cranberry sauce or green bean casserole, or the absolute best way to cook a turkey (which would be a simple brine, and a roast), I bring you custard in a shell instead.

But I bring it to you hoping you’ll find inspiration, hoping you’ll take a crust – be it spelt flour, regular flour, or even store-bought – some milk and eggs, and of course, some cheese, and make whatever kinda quiche you damn well please.

You can be thankful for all the extra food you’ve got in your fridge that allows you to make a quiche to call your very own. How’s that for appropriate?!

Mexican Chorizo Quiche
chiknpastry recipe; serves 4-6

quiches are a good way to get rid of anything in your fridge. for us, that meant leftover chorizo (although some got frozen, too). you can use any crust you want, but i liked the heartiness of the spelt dough, plus i already had it in the freezer :).

printable version

crust (the other half of this; recipe below makes enough for 2)
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 1/4 c whole-grain spelt flour
1 T sugar
3/4 t salt
1 stick (8 T or 1/2 c) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 T (1/4 c) chilled vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
up to 1/2 c ice water

8oz Mexican chorizo
¼ c onion, chopped
1 anaheim pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 ½ c sharp cheddar cheese
2 T canned green chiles, minced
2 T cilantro, chopped
4 eggs
1 c milk
½ t cumin
½ t chipotle chili powder
1 t salt
2 t pepper

pulse flours, sugar, and salt in a food processor to blend. Add butter and shortening and pulse repeatedly until small pea-size clumps form. Add 1/2 of ice water and pulse until dough holds together when small pieces are pressed between fingertips, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. (alternatively, this can be done by hand or using a pastry blender, but it’s gonna take longer!) Gather dough together; divide into 2 pieces. Form each piece into ball, then flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until needed. (You can keep it in the fridge for 2 days, or even freeze it and let thaw overnight. But, let it sit out for a few minutes to soften before you are ready to roll it out.)

putting it together
Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll out pie crust and place in greased pie plate. With tines of a fork, poke a few holes in the crust and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat skillet over med-hi heat; saute chorizo for ~2 minutes. Add onion, anaheim pepper, and jalapeno; cook until vegetables are soft and chorizo is cooked through. Drain well using paper towels. Place cheese in crust then add onion, pepper, chorizo, green chilies and cilantro.

Beat eggs and milk together until slightly foamy then add cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Pour into pie shell until not quite full (you may have some extra – discard).  Bake at 350 until brown and domed, ~50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.