Thanksgiving Is Upon Us!

pumpkin-pie-640-dm2At Fleming Orthodontics we love to celebrate the holidays in full force! Sometimes we get so caught up in the excitement that we forget what we are even celebrating. This month instead of blogging about braces we wanted to share some facts about Thanksgiving with you and your families.

According to National Geographic, Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez Coronado and his men celebrated Thanksgiving in Texas in 1541, giving Texas the distinction of being the first place where Thanksgiving was celebrated!

In the 1863 proclamation, Abraham Lincoln designated Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. There are different types of celebrations such as, Native Americans having rituals which they celebrated in hopes of a bountiful harvest, the Pilgrims (not the Puritans) held a three day long non-religious Thanksgiving feast, but the focus of their celebration was on playing games and feasting.

The Plymouth Settlers had a day of thanks but it was nothing like what we do today. Their feast consisted of various types of fowl (including wild turkey), venison and Indian corn. “Traditional” foods such as, green bean casserole, cranberries, pecan pie have evolved over the years but were not part of the original celebration.

Below is a recipe we would like to share and want to encourage you all to feel free and post some of your favorite recipes for your families Thanksgiving!

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

  • 2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin* or from canned pumpkin purée (can also use puréed cooked butternut squash)
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1 good crust*

To make pumpkin purée from scratch, cut a medium-small sugar pumpkin in half. Scrape out the insides (reserving the pumpkins seeds to toast) and discard. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or foil. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F until a fork can easily pierce them, about an hour to an hour and a half. Remove from oven, let cool, scoop out the pulp. Alternatively you can cut the pumpkin into sections and steam in a saucepan with a couple inches of water at the bottom, until soft (strain before using). If you want the purée to be extra smooth, press the pulp through a food mill or chinois.

1 Preheat your oven to 425°F.

2 Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the sugars, salt, spices, and lemon zest. Mix in the pumpkin purée. Stir in the cream. Beat together until everything is well mixed.

3 Pour the filling into an uncooked pie shell. Bake at a high temperature of 425°F for 15 minutes. Then after 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (About half-way through the baking, you may want to put foil around the edges or use a pie protector to keep the crust from getting too browned.)

4 Cool the pumpkin pie on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.

Serve with whipped cream.

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Dr. Patty Fleming