Prep for the “BIG” Day & Easy Pumpkin Pie Recipe

While I was making my third batch of homemade pasta, I was thinking that while I was getting better at the pasta skills, my skills to put on a Thanksgiving bash might be a bit rusty and this year might be even harder than most.    Every project starts with “boundary conditions.”  Those are the pre-requisites you need to even start the project.   This year, we are going to attempt to do thanksgiving dinner in a house that isn’t completed – where the new kitchen is done,  cabinets in, and all the appliances are working.   But it has never been used.   The reason, the small little house that I call home, is too little for the 12 people who are coming to dinner AND we like having this tight of a deadline to push us closer to finishing up the house.

For most people, Project Turkey, starts with a well seasoned kitchen.   For my “Project Turkey” this year it starts with having to move into the kitchen and get part of the house ready for a party.   This means finishing the entry way tile, putting the bathroom fixtures in on the hallway powder room (right now the only functioning bathroom is in the daylight basement and the stairs are not in the house yet so the only way to get to the bathroom is to go outside and around the house to the ground floor entrance),  installing a door to the powder room, AND getting the kitchen set up (with dishes, utensils, cooking tools, verifying all the appliances do in fact work).   The pilgrims put on their first feast with far fewer amenities than I have to work with – I am not expecting anything to arise that we can’t efficiently handle.  Yes I have a high risk tolerance for this project.

Since I love complexity and challenges, have been doing Thanksgiving dinner now for almost 25 years,  this has added a lot more excitement to this holiday for me.   I am practicing on the food elements as well – made a pumpkin pie the other day just to flex my Thanksgiving cooking muscles.    It was very easy:

The Practice Pie - Came out GREAT

The Practice Pie - Came out GREAT


  • 1 small sugar pumpkin (2 – 3 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Pie crust (I cheat and get mine at Trader Joe’s).


Cut the top off the pumpkin, and remove all the seeds.  (you can cook these as well for a nice snack).   Put the pumpkin in an oven proof dish you can cover.  Put in a 350 degree oven and cook for 1 – 2 hours until it gets soft.  Let the pumpkin cool.  Scoop out the insides and cream with sugar, eggs, cream, and pumpkin pie spice.  Pour into dough lined pie pan.  Cook in the 350 degree oven for an hour or until a butter knife comes out clean.  Let cool for several hours or overnight.


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