As I sit here listening to Christmas music, I’m reflecting on Thanksgiving, as this holiday is often quickly whisked away under one’s Christmas tree skirt. Although I’m anticipating adorning my first tree in a few years, I would like to take a few breaths and share all that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving!
My alarm clock went off at exactly 6:00am. It was dark outside…chilly…and rainy. As I dragged myself out of bed, I looked into the living room to see my best friend, Kristi, slowly waking up, while her dog, Guppy, was happily wagging his tail. It was going to be a good morning.
After putting on our layers and giving her pup some love, we were off to our first 5k Turkey Trot together!
We have been running together since high school, but this was our first east coast race together. To make it even better, it was on Thanksgiving and I am so thankful for such a great friend!
We arrived, picked up our packets, warmed up, and stretched.
|I had to represent my alma mater!|
We discussed the idea of running together, but knowing our two competitive spirits, that idea was diminished as soon as we heard the start signal! Kristi kicked butt with a time of 23:07:27 (that’s a 7:27/mi pace!) and I was thrilled with my time of 26:04:78 (an 8:24/mi average pace!).
During the race I saw ladies wearing turkey hats, a man in a full-body turkey costume, and everyone looking so happy! Everyone was wishing each other a happy Thanksgiving and the atmosphere was brimming with joy! It was a fabulous way to begin this day of thanks.
After eating the post-race donuts, dried fruit, and oranges, we went home to relax for a bit before the real feast!
Since my family is in California, another of my best friends invited me to her home for the eating extravaganza. It was my pleasure to bake the staple pumpkin pie. I didn’t just want to make the Libby’s recipe on the pumpkin pie can, so I decided to mix it up a bit. I wanted to create a pumpkin pie that surpassed all pumpkin pies! So of course it needed butter and cream cheese! I have to say, I came pretty close to my goal…
The following is a combination/adaptation of Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Pie recipe (foodnetwork.com) and Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe.
1 8oz package softened cream cheese
2 cups canned pumpkin (cups, not cans!)
1 cup sugar
½ tspn salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
¼ cup melted butter
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 tspn ground cinnamon
½ tspn ground ginger
¼ tspn ground cloves
¼ tspn ground nutmeg
Pre-made pie dough (store bought or homemade)
Place the pie dough into a 10.5 in pan and crimp the sides, so it looks pretty. Put the pie in the freezer for one hour to firm up. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
When you remove it, cover the bottom with aluminum foil and put beans or pie weights into the pie. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove pie weights and foil. Bake another 10 minutes.
Beat the cream cheese in your electric mixer. Add the pumpkin and mix. Add sugar and salt. Beat. Add eggs and egg yolks, half-and-half, butter, and beat. Add vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg. Beat.
Pour filling into crust and bake 50-60 minutes. The center should be set and it should not jiggle too much. Cool on a wire rack.
Then top with whipped cream when served! Homemade whipped cream is super easy, so I recommend going with that!