I have never made a thankful list. There. I said it.
Every year at least three friends on Facebook take the month of November to post daily one thing they are thankful for, amounting to roughly 30 things in their life they are thankful for. Ugh.
I have never participated in this for two reasons…one, coming up with thirty things that are not shallow and that people will think are nice things to be thankful for, would be really hard for me. For example, I would want to post that I am thankful for the greasy yet delicious Garrett’s popcorn I am shoveling in my face right now, or that I am thankful that I can eat a whole pie and still button my pants most days. And let’s be honest, no one wants to hear that shit. No one cares, many can’t even button there pants one day, let alone most days.
The second reason is that there is just too much I am thankful for, things that I couldn’t even begin to put out there, things I can’t always think of in November, but that I think on all year long. And again, no one wants to hear that shit either.
But I am in the spirit, and this is my favorite week of the year and I have to go home today and make four pies and two side dishes for my mother’s house tomorrow, so what the hell, here goes…in no order, and the pie is last because you get the awesome recipe at the end. And sorry in advance if some of these are shallow, this is not a super serious, super deep blog I am writing. I am really not shallow in real life…probably not…
1. That I don’t have to wear Spanx every day. They make my liver hurt.
2. I am thankful for the peace and calmness I have in my life and my man Shanahan (see how I rhyme) who has given it to me. Irreplaceable.
3. My parents. How people with kids live far from their parents I will never understand. My parents raise my kids as much as I do and I could never live without them.
4. That my kids did not throw a fit on our vacation last week. We went to Disney World, aka, the place where parents’ dreams of their kids being so happy and grateful go to die. When anyone asks me how my vacation was, this is the first thing I say. People with kids get it, people without kids, think I’m an asshole. This trip was the best we ever had…oh, and my parent’s treated us…another reason they are awesome.
5. Bacon and the fat it renders. Cooking anything in bacon fat is delicious. Anything.
6. My girlfriends. You four know who you are. Twenty plus years of friendship, we have seen and know everything about each other and we love each other no matter what. I will never laugh harder in my life than I do when we are all together. I hope every woman reading this has a group of girls like I have…you are another thing that’s irreplaceable. We got like 50 years still to go too. Awesome.
7. My neighbors. I have awesome neighbors, who also raise my kids and help me constantly. I am starting to realize my kids might have a really long list of thankfuls too.
8. I am thankful for my friendship with my ex. We have a strong relationship and it works wonders for our kids. And our kids are awesome and we both know it.
9. That sometimes I can eat my body weight and I am still not 500 pounds.
10. Pecan pie. It took me about five years of making different versions to find the one I could not live without. The secret is bourbon, Makers Mark to be exact. Drunken pecan pie. I sold more of these last year in the bake shop and out of my house than I ever imagined. And I have handed out this recipe to about 20 people this year since I am too busy to sell them. This pie is loaded with pecans and bourbon and I make it in a deep dish spring form pan so you get the full effect of eating your body weight. Everyone should experience this at least once.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Enjoy your families and your blessings. Xo
Drunken Pecan Pie – adapted from many recipes of which I took my favorite parts and put them together
Pie Crust (embarrassingly, I use store bought here, but I use Trader Joe’s which is made with actual butter, not gross palm oil like the other ones), pressed firmly into the bottom and up the sides of an 8 inch spring form pan. Or you can use an eight inch regular pie dish.
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¼ light brown sugar
½ cup plus three tablespoons of light corn syrup
½ stick of unsalted butter, melted
roughly a teaspoon of salt, I do a heavy sprinkle
1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest (this makes a difference so don’t leave it out)
inside of a vanilla bean
bourbon (here’s the thing…I don’t measure, if I had to guess I would say I use ½ cup of Makers Mark, I pour it in while I am whisking and look for a not too soupy mixture to come together and I also smell it, it should smell like bourbon, a lot of bourbon)
Five cups of toasted pecans (toast in oven at 350 for about 10/15 minutes and let cool); I mix it up, about half whole pecan halves and half chopped pieces, up to you.
Heat the oven to 350 and place a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl, add both sugars, corn syrup, melted butter, salt, zest and vanilla bean. Slowly, add the bourbon to your liking and whisk everything together well.
Place the pecans in the bottom of the pie and slowly and gently pour the filling over the pecans. Be careful you don’t want to waste and spill any of the deliciousness. Shake very gently to distribute the pecans.
Bake for about one hour, the filling will puff up all the way in the center when it is done. As soon as it is puffed take it out. The filling may start to crack and that’s ok.