Really I am done with Thanksgiving. I talked to my husband and kids about it, and they were surprisingly enthusiastic about dropping it. We decided to have an autumn celebration of our own on a different day, and it wouldn’t be tied to faux history of our country, just a fun night with food and some friends, if they can make it.

They could make it! We had a really nice evening together. I’m so glad we did it this way.

I took a part of my life back by losing the obligation to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, and it’s working for me. This is the happiest and calmest I’ve been heading into the holidays in quite some time.

I decided to go with a menu of soups and breads for maximum coziness, and, of course, desserts.

The cat was desperate to step in my galettes.

Soups were chili, chicken stew, and corn chowder. The corn chowder recipe is one I’ve posted here before, and the other two are ones I make my own way, no recipe particularly, and most everyone has a way they do those, I think. I bet you like your own way best.

Breads were white yeast rolls, biscuits, and cornbread.

Desserts were:

Chocolate pie, a plain pie crust with creamy chocolate filling. I always use a Jello cook and serve for that.

Apple galettes, sweet butter pastry with a simple filling of apples and sugar and a little spice. I don’t use a recipe for this.

Lemon-Ricotta Cookies, which were really a good cookie for squishy-cake cookie people. This recipe (click link), and I didn’t bother with the frosting because, well, I don’t like frosting and the cookie is very sweet as it is.

A tart with a spiced shortbread crust, and, even though I am against cream cheese in general, I was short on time and used a cream cheese filling. To top the tart, I made a mixture of fall fruits based on the recipe below. However, I doubled the sugar and used about a quarter of a cup of marmalade instead of kumquats, because I didn’t have time to track down kumquats. It was lovely. An alternate topping was spiced honey, which was honey I heated with crushed red pepper, pie spice, some extra mace and cinnamon, and some salt. I made toffee walnuts to go with that.


Crust and filling from this recipe in last year’s Victoria magazine fall baking issue

Fruit topping adapted from this recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens (November 2008):

It ends in tender. You want the pears just tender.

Toffee walnuts, also from 2018 Victoria fall baking:

Brioche buns with cinnamon-cranberry goat cheese, and in true Shin Ae fashion, I forgot to put out the goat cheese. However, it was fine because people just kept grabbing the buns and eating them plain, seemingly with no hard feelings. I should add the brioche was not true brioche, more of a brioche-themed enriched bread. I’ve never made real brioche.

So that’s what we had! It was fun and great, and the hilarious part, to me, at least, is that I cranked out all those baked goods using this oven:

I keep laughing when I think of it.