I’ve got some pretty exciting news here at Creative Kitchen, and I hope this awesome giveaway will make up for my absence of late. I was contacted by Macy’s to do this special holiday post. Share a favorite family holiday recipe, a unique story and offer you guys a chance to get involved too. Isn’t that cool? I thought so!
Over the years I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving many different ways….as a kid with extended family (the BEST kind!), as a kid at a local restaurant (NOT my idea of Thanksgiving!), with friends while overseas in the Navy, with extended family as a young adult and finally the long-awaited Thanksgiving with my very own family. When our babies were little it was really fun to establish some of our own holiday traditions as I mentioned in a recent post, but still my VERY favorite Thanksgivings involve many family members milling about, stories being told, kids running around, football on the tv, and the anticipation of a great meal (whether I’m in on the action or not).
Over the years those extended family memories (of family members all traveling in from their homes far away) are the BEST ones. Now that I’m older I realize and appreciate how much work goes into planning those gatherings and preparing the food and other small details.
I’m blessed that in each of my families (my husband’s and my own)….we realize the significance of family, spending time together making memories and being together. I’m blessed that despite the fact we’re spending this year in our own home….we had TWO other Thanksgiving invitations extended to us. Hopefully next year we’ll be back on the road, but this year my Thanksgiving got a whole lot sweeter when we found out my mother-in-law will be visiting us. Yay!! You know I was disappointed when I realized we weren’t going to be able to travel to family this year.
One year in particular stands out in my childhood memories. It was 1978, we’d recently moved to Salisbury, Maryland and I had been in a Thanksgiving play. I was a pilgrim and my mom made my costume herself. I wish I still had it for my girls to wear!! Here I am wearing the pilgrim dress in a photo taken in our dining room with my grandma and brother.
Anyway, it was the only year we had family travel to us to spend Thanksgiving at our house. Up until this point we had always traveled out to my grandparent’s house in the country singing over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go……
This year my grandma swooped into my mom’s newly renovated kitchen,
and all the women set about making all grandma’s pies from scratch….homemade crust and all. There was pumpkin, apple, pecan and that elusive mincemeat pie that I loved and adored. As a kid you know you think there really is “meat” in that pie, and it was beyond my belief that it still tasted so good and sweet. I loved everyone coming to our house. I loved all the commotion and people milling about. I still do! Nuts were always set out, and Thanksgivings of my youth are when I learned to use a nutcracker and a small metal pick to pick the nut meat out of the shell to eat. Walnuts were my favorite.
I grew up in a quiet calm house….and because of my dad, quiet was really held to a high standard. So as a kid you can imagine how much fun it was to have a house full of people and action filling those normally quiet halls. This house in Maryland was my favorite. The three years we lived here felt like Norman Rockwell Americana at it’s finest. I have some of my best childhood memories here!
We lived in a 2-story house with a huge front porch and a big back yard. Upstairs we had a really neat balcony off my parent’s bedroom that I loved to sit out on. We had an old-fashioned attic with real stairs and real windows overlooking our street. I biked and ran all over that neighborhood with my friends, and we lived right across the street from my elementary school. We played on our school playground after hours unlike today where the schols are fenced off much like prisons. We walked to school and the crossing guard was the retired mayor of the small town. See…very American!
About the cranberry apple pie. I ripped this recipe out of magazine years ago wanting to try it, but you know a lot of those recipes sit in a file for awhile. I finally made it in 2007? and it has made an appearance ever since! The tartness of the fresh cranberries pairs so nicely with the sweetness of the apples.
It’s my favorite pie during the holidays, and my girls as well. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law love it too. I’ve made it in pie form (crustless), but I’ve also doubled the recipe and made in a 9 x 13 dish so there would be leftovers for breakfast. It’s amazing by itself or with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I hope you’ll try this pie and it makes it onto your “must make” list.
Macy’s is inviting fans to submit their favorite holiday recipes at their Facebook Page for a chance to win a dinner with a renowned Macy’s Culinary Council chef, including Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Cat Cora or Todd English! WOW!! That’d be amazing to win!
And now onto my very first GIVEAWAY here at Creative Kitchen…..
Macy’s is generously offering my readers a chance to win their choice of one of three Martha Stewart Professional Cookware items:
To enter to win:
Leave a comment below with the answer to the following question,
“What makes your Thanksgiving special?”
You can get up to 2 extra entries:
By following Creative Kitchen on Facebook and Twitter and leaving a comment below stating that you’re now following. If you already follow Creative Kitchen on Facebook or Twitter make sure you leave a separate comment stating that fact. If you have 3 separate comments, you will have 3 chances in the drawing!!
The contest is only open to U.S. residents and the winner will be chosen randomly MONDAY November 21, 2011!!
- Pie crust, optional (I don’t use ~ I prefer crustless)
- 2 cups apples, peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
- ⅔ cups sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1½ Tbsp flour
- FOR TOPPING~
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp butter sliced and diced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine apple slices, cranberries, sugar, lemon juice and flour.
- In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter by hand till mixture is crumbly and butter is well dispersed. Set aside for later.
- In a pyrex pie pan, add cranberry apple mixture. (if using crust follow crust directions first)
- Bake pie for 30 minutes.
- Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Remove pie and add crumb topping.
- Bake pie for an additional 25-30 minutes or until top is golden and filling is thickened.