A planned turkey dinner made for an easy decision of our sweet this weekend. There’s nothing like a Thanksgiving dinner in the springtime. We have a large family and unfortunately do not get to spend the holiday with everyone, so we decided to have a dinner and invite some of those we will not get to see this year.

It will be a very frugal dinner as the star attraction was a gift from my dad. I’m making stuffing out of rolls that I had frozen and left over from a birthday party. I do not stuff the turkey, but make the stuffing separately in a pan or form it into balls which I bake on a sheet pan as my mother, her mother, and her grandmother did before her. I do not stuff the turkey because I feel you have to overcook it to make sure the stuffing is done. I believe the “filling balls” came about way back when it was traditional to stuff poultry, but were used to stretch the meal along with any meat, stuffable or unstuffable. I realize bread was not the most healthful ingredient one could choose to fill up on, but when money was tight and you had a large family to feed that stuffing turned into tummy-warming balls of yumminess that were quite satisfying and cheap. It would be wise to be knowledgable about the frugal ways of our depression-era ancestors during these uncertain economic times.

Pumpkin Pie

I used a graham cracker crust that I had on hand to make this quick. It will also make things a little bit sweeter and mix things up a bit. You can often find these crusts on sale during holiday times of the year, or you could make your own with crushed graham cracker crumbs and butter pressed into a pie plate. Any traditional or “healified” pie crust recipe would work also.

1 cup milk

1 15 oz can 100% pumpkin (or use the equivalent of fresh, but make sure it is well-drained because the cans are solid pack)

2 large eggs

3/4 c white sugar

2 Tbsp corn starch

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl, then add dry. Stir until well combined. Pour into 9-inch pie crust. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on rack. Refrigerate left overs. Makes 8 servings.

Pumpkin is a superfood. Rich in antioxidants, one serving of this pie will meet or even exceed your vitamin A requirement for the day. Cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar, which comes in handy when paired with a higher carbohydrate treat like this. Don’t be afraid to sprinkle a little more on your individual serving. It would look so pretty sprinkled on top of a small dollop of whipped cream. 🙂

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