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Thanksgiving

Apple Ginger Cookies

I like Thanksgiving and all the traditions that go with it.  The one exception might be that pumpkin pie really isn’t my favourite dessert.  Once a year isn’t really enough frequency to complain about this seriously but it always just seems to be the same.  I challenged tradition this year by making these Apple-Ginger cookies.  (We also had some excellent pumpkin pie that our neighbours brought.)

The base recipe I used is from grouprecipes.com and can be viewed by clicking here.  As my first modification I axed the nuts.  Almost always with cookies (and especially with brownies) I feel that nuts are an unwelcome distraction both from a taste and textural standpoint.  I didn’t have any raisins on hand so they went too but weren’t really missed–might include them next time.

The recipe calls for finely dicing the apples and cooking them for ten minutes.  Grating always seems easier with something like that so that’s the route I took and cooked the apples much longer on very low heat.  This gave me an intensely-flavoured candied apple compote of sorts.  I can see apple sauce or even better apple butter working just as well.

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My Turkey Rules

Holiday turkey ready for the oven

Holiday turkey ready for the oven

I have found that food blogging with a seasonal focus repeatedly faces a particular question: If I wait until a particular food adventure is finished and I have taken pictures and can comment on final results will it be too late for others to benefit from my experience until next year?  In other words how do I balance the two interests of fully recording my experiences against guiding others with timely information?  This problem seems particularly acute with holiday recipes, after all who wants to read about Christmas pudding in January?  Fortunately, with Canadian Thanksgiving a week away I feel comfortable writing a post about turkey based on my past experiences before I cook this year’s bird.

I have developed (through adapting the advice of Alton Brown and Cook’s Illustrated and intense, yet not-very-scientific experimentation) three major rules for cooking a perfect turkey.  Here they are presented in order of the increasing level of difficulty I had convincing die-hard traditionalists (also known as fans of over-cooked turkey): (more…)