In less than three weeks, Thursday the 24th of November will plunk itself down smack in the middle of your kitchen, ready or not. In my house, Thanksgiving morning commences with a ribbon cutting facilitated by Al Roker wielding a giant pair of scissors against a backdrop of West 77th Street and Central Park West. Broadway show tunes, the high flying antics of Underdog and Snoopy, plus a flotilla of floats (serving as mobile stages for pop/rock singers I’ve never heard of) fill three jam packed hours of the MACY's Thanksgiving Parade. In that small window of time, the morning feels endless. Once the National Dog Show takes over the tv screen, the clock is really ticking and getting Thanksgiving dinner on the table feels more like a sprint than a leisurely jog. For this particular race, fuel is essential, meaning a little something to accompany those multiple cups of coffee is an integral part of the operation.
Whether you are the ringmaster of the Thanksgiving circus or simply a guest trying desperately to stay out of the way, a no-fuss breakfast option is key. My Thanksgiving prep features more than a freezer full of pie shells. The inventory includes too many bags of cranberries, (some of them with a tear in the corner, allowing renegades to bounce around like runaway skittles), several containers of once fresh rhubarb, plus the fixings for turkey gravy. Additionally, I squirrel away a no-fuss breakfast option, one that asks little of me other than taking the time to prepare it in advance. No yeast-driven dough, no rolling required and not much needed in the way of embellishment. Even if you are not up to your elbows in giblets and gravy but instead, over-the-river-ing to someone’s house, it’s a really nice gift-able item.
For many years, my Sunday mornings were tethered to restaurants which meant dizzying numbers of quick breads, mini muffins and scones. Being responsible for the first course of many bleary-eyed, mimosa-sipping Philadelphians wasn’t exactly relaxing. Assembling two humble loaves in your home kitchen with your favorite tunes playing on repeat, however, is pretty delightful. While the holiday lends itself to some classic flavors, I tend to align myself with three steadfast loaves. A classic option is plump with cranberries, toasted walnuts and plenty of orange. My other two favorites showcase pumpkin; one swirled with dark chocolate and candied ginger, (a slightly assertive wake up call), while another is studded with apples and spiked with cider. I am happy to nibble away at any/all of the above, stopping only to brew a second round of coffee in the empty Chemex. With no offense intended, the one loaf that isn't invited to my November breakfast is zucchini. Let’s just leave zucchini where it belongs, in August. And if the stars align correctly, three weeks from today, your breakfast will consist of multiple slivers of leftover pie.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm