Few things bring me greater culinary recreational pleasure (yes, that’s a thing) than vintage cookbooks. I love hunting for them in antique stores, thrift shops, and yard sales, and then curling up to time travel through generations of menus. Regional and community cookbooks are my favorite (bonus points if they’re from New England), because I love the complex melting pot of American home cooking, but any vintage cookbook with colorful recipes, interesting anecdotal intros, and charming artwork is enough to turn my head — room on the bookshelf be damned.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving – and that you fell into the same food coma I did come Thursday evening. I had a great time visiting with my family and counting all of my many blessings.
There are a lot of us so we do Thanksgiving “family-style” with all the food set up in one spot…or, as you can see, on every available inch of my mom’s counter. Covered in copious amounts of tin foil. Underneath was a turkey, a spiral ham, a pork roast, a tray of stuffed shells, and a tray of veggie lasagna. Plus sides.
We are Italian. The phrase “too much food” doesn’t exist.
My mom and Arthur had me as their guest for 2 nights and took great care of me. They are terrific.
Arthur used to wake us up on Thanksgiving morning by “making the turkey dance” before it went in the oven. This consisted of coming into our bedrooms with the turkey like a hand puppet and waving it over our heads while we hid under the covers, shrieking.
Thankfully, he now just sticks to basting and carving.
Our Community Servings pecan and pumpkin pies were both delicious…especially the pecan. I could have eaten it with just a spoon. Dangerous.
Sadly, one thing I was not thankful for was the batch of Italian Meatball cookies I ruined when I forgot to add the baking powder. Not a proud moment, but it happens…and I will admit it!
In need of dessert one way or another, I grabbed a lemon cake mix and a brownie mix and doctored them up with the help of some trusty Bundts.
Lemon Pound Cake Bundt:
The side of the cake mix box told me I could turn it into a pound cake by adding a box of instant pudding mix and tweaking the egg, water, and oil extras. My mom didn’t have lemon pudding so I used vanilla. I also added vanilla oomph by poking 2 dozen holes in the baked cake with a toothpick and then pouring a vanilla glaze of powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract over the top to drain down into the cake. A dusting of powdered sugar added class. I love how powdered sugar accentuates the lines of a good Bundt.
This pan is my mom’s, one of the few styles I don’t have, so it was fun to try it out.
Also on the menu was a Thanksgiving edition of Brownie Bundts – this time with sprinkles:
I used a Ghiradelli brownie mix (the best of the mixes) and made a quick glaze using a little melted butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and milk. Some autumn sprinkles made them holiday-ready!
And of course, I couldn’t forget to include these 3 boys from my visit. They are very clean.
My favorite Thanksgiving Day treat was a new appetizer my sister Courtney made. I will be sharing that recipe next, so stay tuned!
I know I always say that I don’t really go for chocolate, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its time and place…it absolutely does. I was going to make something else last night, but it turned out that I only had a little over one stick of butter (butter never leaves the shopping list, my friends) so I switched to a brownie recipe I had just seen in the special edition issue of Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies. I knew I had some excellent double-dutch dark cocoa powder from King Arthur Flour in my pantry, and it was time to put it to good use.
I also was excited when I remembered that I had a special Mini Brownie Bundt Pan that my Nana picked up for me over the summer. I hadn’t tried it yet, but I knew I would love using it. It’s green! It makes brownies shaped like BUNDTS!
Also, the little dipped brownie Bundt center just begs to be filled with something. I went with a pinch of chopped walnuts, then covered the whole thing with garlands of melted white chocolate for garnish.
Garlands of garnish. I love alliteration.
Martha classified this recipe as “for hedonists” – meaning it was sure to be extra decadent, fudgy, and chocolatey.
And Martha is usually right about these things.