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11 October 2013

Thanksgiving in Australia, Take 5

Hard to believe, but this will be my 5th (Rob's 4th) Canadian Thanksgiving in Australia.  Turkey has become somewhat more common in QLD since my first attempt to put on a dinner. The first turkey had to be ordered 6 weeks in advance, and cost $75.00 for a 15 lb bird.  This year's turkey will be about $35.00 for the same, ordered a week in advance. Some of the other things that can't be had in Oz: Cranberry sauce or fresh/frozen cranberries are scarce, except around Christmas. And canned pumpkin cannot be gotten at all, except for, at $12.50 per can. But the Thanksgiving show must go on! So I've learned a few tricks over the years:

  I have found a recipe for making it from dried cranberries which is awesome, courtesy of chowhound:

dried cranberry sauce for thanksgiving:
1 1/2 cups dried craisins
3/4 cup water or preferably cranberry juice or pomegranate cran mix
1/3 cup sugar
dried orange peel, real, orange
1/4 tsp salt
peel, orange marmalade, or orange juice instead of water
add all ingredients and boil lightly until the cranberries plump up. then add 2 tbl of cornstarch to 4 tbl of water and add it slowly while at a slow simmer till it is thick and of the right consistency.

My family's pumpkin pie recipe is amazing, and I have tweaked it to work with a pumpkin that has to be cut, peeled, boiled and mashed:

 Pumpkin Pie

Cut up and peel and cube a pumpkin or part thereof. Boil or steam until soft. Mash or run through a food processor.
Now, for every 2 cups of mashed pumpkin, add:

3/4 cup sugar
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried ginger, nutmeg and allspice
1/2 tsp salt
a whiff of cloves and chili powder (optional)

Mix this into the pumpkin.
At this point, you can freeze the filling.

Or you can keep going and add:
2 eggs
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup of skim milk powder (the original recipe calls for 1 cup milk, but boiled pumpkin has too much water, so the result is soggy if you don't use powder)

Mix together and pour into a prepared 9" pie tin. Bake at 400oF (200oC) for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325oF (160oC) until a knife comes out clean.

This year we are expecting about 18-20 people for dinner tomorrow. It should be heaps of fun!

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