Thanksgiving Thoughts

my green bean casserole

Thank You!

In this season of gratitude, I want to thank you for reading my blog. From California to Canada, France, Germany, India, the Philippines, United Kingdom, Venezuela and everywhere in between, I’m sending you warm wishes for strength, peace, and good health.

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States. While some people are off from school or work for the entire week, many of us have only Thursday and (maybe) Friday off. But I’m not complaining, I’m thankful… and hopeful, too.

After eight months of back and forth lockdown and re-openings, I like to think that recent news of promising vaccines for COVID-19 is slowly restoring hope.

I generally have a positive outlook, but some days are harder than others to be chipper. Who hasn’t felt this way from time to time? I strongly believe that one of the best ways to cope is to maintain holiday traditions while accepting things as they are.

While my family’s in-person Thanksgiving gathering will be smaller this year, I’m looking forward to having the traditional spread: turkey, green bean casserole, salad, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Comfort food indeed.

As a Francophile, you know I’ll want to add a French-inspired touch, so I’m also going to make a couple loaves of pain d’epi! Of course, I use the word “make” loosely here. It’s more of a “preparation” of ready-made ingredients. 😊

If you’d like to make the French baguette that resembles a stalk of wheat, take a look at the step-by-step instructions in my post, Easy-Peasy Pain d’Epi.

Here are other dishes I’m considering for the Thanksgiving menu:

Quiche Vosgienne

My interpretation of Quiche Vosgienne: a Pancetta & Swiss/Gruyère cheese French tart in a gluten-free crust!

Apple-Cranberry Flaugnarde with Crème Fraîche

It’s like a Clafoutis, but instead of traditional cherries, I used apples and cranberries (to give it a touch of autumn, my favorite season)!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Easy-peasy Pain d’épi

Pain d’épi is a baguette made to look like a stalk of wheat. Since this French bread looks super fancy, naturally I thought it must be difficult to make.

But I learned that you can make this beautiful loaf quickly and easily using canned dough – who knew?

You will need

  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • glass pie plate
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • scissors
  • a sprinkle of flour
  • 1 can of dough, like the one pictured below:

Pillsbury French Bread can of dough

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350°F
  • Put a glass pie plate filled with warm water on the bottom rack of the oven (the steam will help create a nice crust)
  • Place the dough from the can on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Sprinkle a little flour on the dough and lightly flatten

Cutting technique

At about a 30° angle, cut the dough to make a “leaf” then move it to one side:

Make another cut, then move it to the opposite side:

Repeat, alternating sides until the whole loaf looks like this:

Bake at 350°F for 24 minutes.

Voilà! Easy-peasy Pain d’épi!

Serve with butter or jam or enjoy as-is: nice and warm! Bon appétit! 🥖