Since I spent Thanksgiving last year in Africa with my daughter, and this year with our son in Pittsburgh, I can’t help but compare a little these two Thanksgiving experiences.
My daughter Kristen and I did have a Thanksgiving dinner, sharing it with a friend, Alex, from the Netherlands. So there we were, two Americans, with one Dutch friend, eating kabobs for ourThanksgiving meal in an Argentinean restaurant run by a Lebanese manager, in Accra, the capital of Ghana in Africa! A most international experience.
For this year’s Thanksgiving, my husband and I drove to Pittsburgh, for a very traditional Thanksgiving with our son and his wife.
Last year, in Ghana which is just north of the equator, the outside temperature was usually in the 90s (F). Here’s the morning scene in Pittsburgh.
I went swimming in the hotel’s outdoor pool in Ghana; in Pittsburgh we drove through a display of Christmas lights on Thanksgiving night.
Both Thanksgivings are special because the main ingredient in each was the opportunity to be with family members.
Most Thanksgiving meals feature some recipe that is a traditional family dish. When she was living, my mother in law made a fabulous butterscotch pie, and I have her recipe. It has become one of our family traditions to have butterscotch pie for special occasions. So rather than post a Saturday soup, here’s the recipe:
Makes 2 pies
Make two pie crusts; bake and set aside. (I use the Joy of Cooking pie crust recipe and always get excellent results.)
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup flour
½ cup melted browned butter
Yolks of 4 large eggs (set aside the egg whites in a separate bowl)
4 cups milk (preferably whole)
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Brown butter in a saucepan, allowing it just to begin browning. Then mix flour into the browned butter, then the brown sugar. Make sure all the flour and sugar are mixed into the butter.
2. Stir the egg yolks into the milk, then add vanilla. Stir the liquid into the butter/sugar/flour mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the whole mixture thickens—it should just come to a boil. STIR CONSTANTLY (this is the real trick to making this rich butterscotch.)
3. Pour the butterscotch mixture into the baked pie crusts.
4. Beat the set aside egg whites with 2 T regular sugar until the whites are stiff and peak nicely. Spread on top of pies—brown under broiler briefly.
5. Allow pies to cool several hours. Refrigerate.
Hope you enjoy Mother Mary’s wonderful butterscotch pies. We have found that the stirring spoon is a popular item. Extra butterscotch, if there is any, can be poured into small pudding dishes and eaten as a pudding.