Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

American spirits

Here’s a very American cocktail for your Thanksgiving holiday weekend: the Marconi Wireless.

Marconi Wireless cocktail

It’s pretty much a Manhattan but with applejack¬†instead of bourbon. The applejack is what makes it American, and seasonal to boot. Find the recipe here, in a post by Paul Clarke all the way back in 2007. Fortunately, good drinks never go out of style.

This is a delicious cocktail. The applejack is a little sweeter than bourbon usually is, and the orange bitters complement it wonderfully. As I do when making a Manhattan, I use only a little sweet vermouth rather than the ounce the recipe suggests — I use maybe 1/8th of an ounce. And I double the orange bitters. A twist of orange or lemon peel would be a lovely garnish, but since I have neither, an apple seemed appropriate.

I think one or two of these will provide a pleasant diversion while I’m cooking our family turkey tomorrow. Probably not more than two though, or I might forget the turkey altogether.

The Deadliest Pecan Pie in the South

Pecan pie

For Thanksgiving, I was a baking fool. I made bread (using the no-knead recipe I blogged a while back) plus a nice pecan pie.

For pecan pie, I use a recipe from Comfort Food by Holly Garrison. Mom gave me this cookbook years ago; it’s my go-to cookbook for really rich desserts and classic American recipes. It includes a great recipe for scones, the right ratio for ingredients in lemonade, the most outrageously rich chocolate cheesecake, and more.

Including the recipe for “The Deadliest Pecan Pie in the South.” Which I will share with you now:

The Deadliest Pecan Pie in the South

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell (I use Julia Child’s tart crust recipe)
1 to 1.25 cups pecan halves (or more)
4 eggs
1 cup firmly packed, light-brown sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons good brandy or cognac
lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Scatter pecan halves in the bottom of the pie shell.

Beat egs, sugar, and syrup together in a medium bowl. Add butter and mix thoroughly. Stir in brandy. Slowly pour over pecans. Let stand until pecans rise to the surface. (The pecans will become beautifully glazed as the pie bakes.)

Bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the center is nearly firm.

Cool pie on a wire rack.

Serve while still slightly warm, topped with whipped cream or ice cream.

Or, invite me to dinner and ask me to bring dessert, and this is what I shall bring.

(Photo credit: Pecan pie, originally uploaded by cynthiacloskey.)

A typical case of American blind justice

There are many Christmas songs but few Thanksgiving songs. In fact the only one I know is "Alice’s Restaurant Massacre" by Arlo Guthrie. It’s 18 minutes long, so I think that makes it count for five songs. (A big Thanksgiving thank you to Uncle Crappy for reminding me about the song, which seems to slip my mind from time to time.)

The song was such a success that they made a movie version as well. The movie has a rambling 1960s style, loosely edited and strange and goofy in a good-natured hippie style. If you know the song, you know most of the plot; the additional plot points don’t contribute much. But if you’re curious to watch you can fast forward through the dragging bits.

Below: Arlo and his friend, who dumped garbage off a cliff, are brought to justice.