Conversations from this Christmas:
- Me: I was thinking we could all go to the botanical garden’s light show like we did a couple years ago.
- My sister: Oh yeah, we did that last year too, so it’s a new tradition.
- 4-year old, after opening a present: A truck! Vroom vroom! Can I open another present now?
- His mom: No, the tradition is that we all take turns, so you need to wait until Aunt Bridget and Grandma each open a present; then it will be your turn again.
- My brother: Are we really going to go look at the luminarias across town? It’s already after 10pm, and it’s 15 degrees out.
- The rest of us: Of course we are! It’s tradition!
We take tradition seriously in my family, and that extends to the holiday meal. It’s turkey and fixings, and variations are not appreciated. Complaints will be lodged if the cranberry sauce has too much orange zest, the stuffing has too much sausage, or, worst of all, pumpkin cheesecake replaces the pie.
So I waffled on what to do with Dorie’s pecan pie recipe – I liked the idea of adding bitter ingredients like chocolate and espresso to cut the sweetness of regular pecan pie, but I didn’t want to make something so different that my mom would have to make her standard pecan pie recipe as soon as I went home to satisfy her craving. I ended up reducing the chocolate from 3 to 2 ounces, skipping the cinnamon because I didn’t really want it, and skipping the espresso because I didn’t have any available.
And it was great! I’ve tried a number of pecan pie recipes, and this is the only one that I’ve really enjoyed. The small amount of chocolate was a nice treat, but mostly it was the brown sugar and the balance of corn syrup to pecans that made this pie so good. In fact, everyone liked it – even those of us who don’t traditionally even eat the pecan pie.
One year ago: Tall and Creamy Cheesecake