Henry’s first Thanksgiving was one we’ll always remember. I made 2 pumpkin pies and an apple pie with him crawling under foot. I gave him wooden spoons and plastic bowls to play with as I rolled out the dough. He quietly sneaked small scraps of dough that fell to the floor. Thankfully, I didn’t see any serious allergic reaction to the butter – just some more eczema. It’s virtually impossible to bake precisely with a toddler underfoot. Thanks to www.cooksillustrated.com, I was able to put together a “fool proof” pie crust that was also baby proof. Although I burned one of the crusts and myself in the process, it turned out tender and flaky. Cooks Illustrated recommends using vodka, which evaporates off in the oven. I plan to use this recipe every time I make pie. At dinner, Henry tried butter free Stove Top stuffing (due to his allergy), and had his first Turkey leg. He immediately fell in love with both, and screamed bloody murder when the feast ended.
After Thanksgiving the Andersons went on their annual tree cutting expedition. Last year, we took home the prickliest bush in the world, a Scotch Pine. I wouldn’t even call it a tree. It was so spiny we couldn’t decorate it. In the end, we dragged it down our hallway and chucked it out our back balcony, instead of causing us major injury by dragging it down 4 flights of stairs. This year, with the memory of our last tree still fresh and our new curious toddler, we decided to get a smaller softer tree. Chris’ brother found the softest tree in the world – White Fir aka. Concolor. The needles are so soft you can hug it. Perfect for Henry! We trimmed it yesterday. There are no low hanging ornaments, and we put chairs around it to prevent Henry from getting to it. We know he’ll try to eat the fallen needles and will probably knock it over, but having Henry’s first Christmas tree is worth it.