Thanksgiving Dishes I Can’t Cook

American Thanksgiving is only a few days away, so I thought I’d go a little off-topic and share something that wouldn’t normally fit into the scope of this blog.

I’m a perfectly serviceable baker and cook. The food I whip up isn’t fancy and it won’t appear on the cover of any magazine, but it tastes good and gets the job done 99% of the time.

As far as that other 1% goes, keep reading.

 The Pie Mystery

close-up photo of a fruit pie with a lattice crustI grew up in a family filled with people who made amazing pies.

Sometimes I’d help them work the dough or put the filling into the pie before baking.

Shortly after I got married, I decided to start making pies on my own. They’re such a delicious end to Thanksgiving dinner.

Unfortunately, the crust on my first pie burned. This trend has continued with every pie I’ve attempted to make since then no matter which tips and tricks I use to protect the crust while the filling firms up.

It’s gotten to the point where I will buy a nice pie for Thanksgiving without an ounce of remorse for not serving something homemade for dessert.

The Revenge of the Cornish Game Hens

close-up shot of roasted birdI live in a small household, so roasting a full turkey would create far more leftovers than our stomachs or our freezer could hope to handle.

One year I thought I might roast some Cornish game hens for Thanksgiving instead of a too-large turkey.

I followed the instructions of the recipe I found online perfectly. I even set timers to baste the birds so they’d be nice and juicy.

When the buzzer sounded on our oven, I opened it and checked the internal temperature of one of them. It was a little lower than the recipe said it should be, so I left it in a while longer.

When I took them out, they seemed to be hot enough to safely consume according to our meat thermometer.

It only took a few bites for my spouse and I to realize they weren’t fully cooked. We weren’t sure what the rules were about reheating half-cooked birds and so didn’t eat any more of them.

We were lucky not to get sick from that experience! Ever since then, I’ve shied away from roasting full birds of any size. It feels safer to only roast pieces of them instead.

Now that you know my two deepest Thanksgiving secrets, which Thanksgiving foods do you have trouble making?

6 Responses to Thanksgiving Dishes I Can’t Cook

  1. I can make pies, but don’t. There’s just me, so there’s no point making something that I can’t eat in one sitting. I’m fairly sure that I roasted at least one turkey before I became a vegetarian and I definitely roasted chickens. I don’t remember them being particularly difficult.

  2. I am also pie-impaired. My husband and daughter are both excellent pie-makers though. But truth be told, I prefer cake anyway.

    I have an excellent recipe for roast turkey. The two main ingredients are a turkey and my husband. The technique involved consists entirely of staying out of the way. (I take care of yams, cranberry sauce, and the vegetable.)

    If anyone is interested, the National Museum of the American Indian has posted a number of recipes from severn Native American chefs: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/national-museum-american-indian/2020/11/23/native-chefs-thanksgiving-recipes/.

    • Ooh, thank you for that link! I’m saving it for when I can get my hands on things like buffalo and blue corn meal. Yum.

      Your turkey recipe made me giggle. I’m glad your husband excels at roasting turkeys.

      (And I will respond to the rest of your lovely comments soon!)

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