Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mark it with a "T"

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for sharing; though between it and Christmas, perhaps too many of our charitable activities are scrunched up here in a 4+ week period, when organizations and the people whom they serve need help all year round.

Still, it's a good teachable moment and I'm grateful for the opportunities the kiddos have to serve, from making fringed fleece blankets for hospice patients to collecting bags of cookie-making supplies for the food pantry.    I give some thought to the projects they do, not wanting projects which in my mind reinforce notions of privilege, like upper middle-class children alighting on a soup kitchen for an hour or so to serve the "deserving poor."  This puts poverty on parade and makes service a spectacle, while also reinforcing "us" and "them," at least without some context and discussion of socio-economic privilege.  And since that can easily go over the head of a third grader, I find other projects perhaps work better.  But, I also don't want the project just to be money Mommy used to buy something, with the kiddo only carrying the cans of food to school.  Food drives are great, and we bought lots of cans of green beans and corn this year, but I want more than that.  

Like today, when our church's youth service team (now isn't that a great idea?) made more than a dozen pies for a local shelter.  Apple, pumpkin, and enticing apple butter pumpkin, all with from-scratch pie crusts!  The adult team advisors had it all down to a science--a table for making dough, a table for measuring out spices in little paper cups, a table for opening all the cans, a table for cracking eggs into waiting bowls, a Cuisinart table for mixing the custard fillings together. a table for filling the pies.  They even used the extra dough trimmings, slathered with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, for their snack, baking them in pinwheel shapes in muffin tins.  Yum!

Sis and Bud had a good time and were apparently pretty helpful--Bud can crack eggs like a pro and Sis can handle any baking task besides actually using the oven.  So I know who will be helping with our pumpkin and pecan pies this Thanksgiving!

Church Pie Crust
Makes 2 crusts

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/3 + 1 tablespoon ice water

from Joy of Cooking

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie
1 cup apple butter
1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine apple butter, pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a bowl. Stir in eggs. Gradually add milk and mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake for about 40 minutes or until set.

Paula Deen

No comments:

Post a Comment