In Charge of a Thanksgiving Side

American Thanksgiving seemed to come suddenly this year, and I didn’t make plans until very recently, when a handful of my “orphaned” friends asked me if I was interested in having Thanksgiving with them, and I said, yes, of course, just tell me what to bring.

In less busy times, I would have planned to cook a bunch of things that I love having on Thanksgiving — mac & cheese, cornbread stuffing, brussels sprouts pan roasted with bacon — basically, all the sides that are apparently popular in other regions than the one I live in, according to this FiveThiryEight poll:

Instead, this year, my pals put me in charge of pie, and despite watching every episode of The Great British Baking Show available on Netflix (please tell me you are watching this show too), I don’t trust myself enough with pastry to make something from scratch, and am spending, perhaps out of some kind of guilt, $40 on a beautiful salted caramel apple pie from the Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie shop in Brooklyn, which I’m headed to at this very moment to pick up.

My friends would have been just as glad, I’m sure, to have a $12.99 pie from Whole Foods brought to dinner, but, as one New York Times reader wrote in 1925: “Pie is an American Institution,” and isn’t it worth it to spend a little more at the local bakery for my comrades who will be actually be slaving in the kitchen all morning and afternoon?

Photo: Daniel Zemans

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