I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year. I must say, I am completely disappointed. I love Thanksgiving. I love planning the food. I love cooking. I love having a house full of family. But, our house is not exactly Thanksgiving worthy if the weather turns cold, if it rains, or if it gets hot. Houses like this take time. We don't have a dining room, yet.
Last year we took a risk. We invited the entire family for Thanksgiving and placed tables down the center of the dog trot. We had about 20 people and served buffet style from the kitchen. The day was a perfect 70 F. I thought everything worked well, but didn't want to risk it again.
So, this year we are having Thanksgiving at mother's house. I will still make a few dishes - the cranberry sauce, the sweet potatoes, and a couple of desserts. We have pecan trees with pecans, so I mentioned that I would probably bring a pecan pie made with ingredients from our farm - pecans, eggs, and honey. I told mother that I would use our honey, instead of corn syrup since Karo Corn Syrup, which is the staple of most Southern pecan pies, has succumbed to the high fructose corn syrup craze. Last year as I was getting ready for Thanksgiving, I happened to notice the ingredient list on the bottle clearly labeled corn syrup and there it was - another "pure" product adulterated with high fructose corn syrup.
Mother said that Thanksgiving is not the time to experiment with traditional recipes. I agree (sort of). I know that many foods are only served on Thanksgiving (pecan pie is not one of them here) and people salivate thinking of that meal and those dishes. I, also, know that I don't want to serve chemicals to my family. I would guess that the original pecan pie in this area was made with honey or cane syrup since corn syrup is a relatively modern sweetener (1902). Because so few people keep bees and grow cane here, Karo has become the mainstay of Southern pecan baking. So, even though I am bucking tradition with a non Karo pecan pie, I feel as if I am returning to the original rather than abandoning it. True, I may offend the guests by serving something other than what they are expecting, but I think most of my family will appreciate that they can eat something almost entirely produced on my farm.
BTW little sister, I am not changing the cranberries and I promise to make enough for you to have extra.