Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Kiwi Style

As Thanksgiving isn't a holiday here, we always celebrate it on the Sunday after. This year we had 16 people including ourselves, all of them either originating from America (11) or espoused to an American (2), or us, (2) or Conrad, who we have all decided is an honorary American.
Shell took this photo and there is something a little Julia Child about it, I feel - the colours and all the food in big flat dishes, it just reminds me of those 1960s cook books. With the happy chef. I am not sure what Paul is doing in the background, possibly making the MOST DELICIOUS Caesar Salad EVER.
This year, noone volunteered to make pumpkin pie, so I gave it a go. I've never been a fan, as I dislike nutmeg and clove in food (I love the smells though) and it's all I ever taste. So, I made it my way.
I used Chelsea Winter's Pumpkin pie recipe as I wanted a recipe that spoke Kiwi. Adaptations I made were:
  • I subbed out the 1/2 cup each of white and brown sugar for 3/4 cup of coconut sugar
  • I had already cooked the pumpkin before hunting down a recipe so I just put it into the cream and reheated it.
  • The spices I used were one teaspoon each of mixed spice, cinnamon and ginger
  •  I sprinkled a fine but even coating of coconut sugar over the top instead of the topping she uses, which sounds amazing but MrC doesn't like coconut (coconut sugar has no coconut taste, it's just tasty and not as sweet as cane sugar)
 I really liked it! It's like a more interesting, less rich baked cheesecake to my tastebuds.
Anyway, we had a lovely, relaxing afternoon, enjoying each others' dishes (I do the turkey, gravy and the pies, everything else is contributed).
How did your Thanksgiving go, if you celebrate it?


  1. That pie sounds delicious. What a fun day you had, celebrating Thanksgiving and sharing food with friends!
    As typical Kiwis, we don't really give Thanksgiving a thought - might well be different if we hand American friends to hang out with.

    1. I agree, Jenny - I never took any notice until 2010 when we realised how many lovely American friends we had, and as I love cooking turkey and I love them, I thought, why not? It's become an almost annual tradition :) Yesterday one friend who was a first time attendee, said it was the best Thanksgiving he had ever spent, isn't that nice!

  2. Looks like a delicious spread. Yummo.

    1. I love contributed dinner, you just never know what you're going to get. The Caesar Salad was sublime, and also a vegetable and paneer curry. Quite unexpected but yummy!

  3. Dear Mrs. C.,
    It's great that you're celebrating Thanksgiving! It's a favorite holiday of our family, because it's so much about being together -- and eating and just relaxing.

    Love the pumpkin pie changes: that would make for a nice taste.

    Something to counteract the cheesecake consistency, a method which has been around since at least the 1960s but is little taken heed of now.

    Instead of putting the eggs in whole, separate them. Put the yolks in with the cream. Then beat the whites to stiff but not hard peaks and fold them in at the last, before pouring the batter in the crust and baking it. Your pie will be much lighter and foamier, and with a bit of coconut, perhaps even addictive.



    1. Now that sounds like fun! I didn't put the whites in at all though, I used them to bind the chickpea, pumpkin, spinach and haloumi fritters I made for the vegetarians. Which is quite impressive as, being a good kiwi housewife, they ought to have become a pavlova, by law ;-)
      Actually my mother used to make a pumpkin pie, using the whites to make a soft meringue that she piled on top of the pumpkin filling. I thought of doing that too, but it just seemed too far away from the traditional :)

  4. what a fun Thanksgiving.. Love your take on the pumpkin pie.. sounds wonderful..