Savory Pies.

Thanksgiving is definitely one of my favorite holidays. I love that it’s steeped in tradition, yet open to evolution. Say you feel strongly that you must have sweet potatoes or turkey or cornbread stuffing. That’s only natural. After all, those are highlights of the season. But hopefully your family (or friends) are flexible enough to indulge new recipes and twists on the classics. If that’s not the case, well, my sympathies.

I personally would not be happy making the same damn recipes year after year. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. But I realize that for some, the constancy is absolutely sacred and reassuring. I get it. I do. I just don’t feel tradition-bound. Especially this year. In the midst of this pandemic, which has blown all normalcy to shreds, it seemed cheerier to forsake tradition altogether. No nostalgia permitted.

This year, the pandemic also meant skipping my decades-long T. Day celebration with friends. While that was a hard thing to forgo, I loved my get-together with my dad and stepmom. We not only put some twists on the classics, we also changed up how we went about eating: I suggested a day’s worth of small plates, punctuated by festive cocktails. It was great!

The idea of consuming a big Thanksgiving feast in one fell swoop has always seemed rather depressing to me. I mean, you cook for hours (or days) in advance, and all of that work disappears in a flash. It’s just not right. On the flip side, a parade of small plates stretches out the conversation and ups the anticipation. At the end, you still feel very full and slightly guilty about all of the calories, but it’s a lot more civilized.

I also found that the odds of having more leftovers increase when you switch to a small-plates style of dining. And this, of course, if very good news when it comes to options for a civilized lunch.

Today I had not one, but two slices of my leftover caramelized onion and squash tart. You guys! It is soooooo good! It’s a fairly labor-intensive recipe. But, if you can get into a meditative rhythm and embrace the sauteeing of onions and the endless chopping of squash and sweet potatoes, you’ll be OK.

Plus, it’s so worth it. This is a beautiful looking tart . I don’t own a springform tart pan, so I just used a glass pie pan. But, I want to make it again with the tart pan. There’s no doubt that the right equipment would make the presentation even more beautiful.

One thought on “Savory Pies.

  1. I recommend reading Kate Murphy’s article in this Sundays NYT on the topic of habit as in “When things are normal again.” We homo sapiens love predictability. Hence the trauma expressed by many when we do as you suggest and change a beloved tradition. However, I agree 100% with you. I certainly changed my TG dining this year. Alone, for starters!


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