Today I'll show you how my husband and I compromise on Thanksgiving each year. I started making this in 2007 when we first moved to Germany. Want to hear a little about our first Thanksgiving? It was definitely one we'll never forget!
We'd only been in country 3 weeks and were living in temporary housing with a dog and a cat. We had no car and only the clothes we brought in our suitcases - everything else we owned was en route on a boat. (Our car would arrive the next week, but nothing else would arrive until the second week of January!) We were preparing for a small Thanksgiving in our temporary living space and I was cooking with and serving on items loaned from the military. Already it had the makings for an interesting story, but when we talk about our first Thanksgiving we skip over most of this and get to the good part!
We knew that with our situation we didn't need to bake a whole turkey. There was a small shop in town that had rotisserie chickens and we decided that would be plenty. We'd buy the chicken and make all of the sides and desserts. We went into town Thanksgiving morning to buy the chicken and some apples and cheese for appetizers. Remember, Thanksgiving is just another Thursday around here! We got home and prepared our meal for the rest of the afternoon. We ate our wonderful dinner and simply reveled in the fact that we were in Germany, together for the next three years. (We'd been dating from opposite sides of the US for over a year!)
The next morning we walked back into town to check out the first day of their Christmas Market. For any of you who haven't yet experienced a German Christmas Market, it should absolutely go on your Bucket List. Christmas is celebrated from about our Thanksgiving Day until Christmas Eve here and almost every major town has a Christmas Market, called Christkindlmarkt or Weihnachtsmarkt. They are absolutely amazing and really get you in the holiday spirit!
We walked back later that afternoon and found a very excited dog. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of meeting Inmate, he is a slow-moving, cuddling, furry dog who is all heart. When he met us at the door that afternoon, he was running laps between the front door and the bedroom. He never moves that fast. Something was definitely up.
Laughing, I followed him into the bedroom where he was jumping on and off the bed. Again, not normal. He is not allowed on the bed and has never really cared. He prefers his own bed on the floor.
The fifth time he jumped on the bed, he nuzzled Romas' pillow. He stood next to me on the bed and got more and more excited as I slowly picked up the pillow and saw…
a chicken carcass!
Apparently, while we were at the Christmas Market, he did a little dumpster diving in our trash can and rescued the remainder of our Thanksgiving chicken. After picking it clean, he stashed it under Romas' pillow for safe-keeping. Romas thinks he did it to "share" with us; that his wild dog instincts were suddenly in high-gear and he was thinking of us as part of his pack.
Whatever the reason, it's not everyday you find a chicken carcass under your pillow! It made for quite a memorable holiday and every year on Thanksgiving we think of Innie and his thoughtful gift to us. Crazy dog.
Anyway, I'm sure you're anxious to hear about the recipe, so I'll get on with it! The original recipe is from a 2004 Food & Family magazine. It's been traveling the world in my recipe binder for 7 years now! (The printable recipe is at the bottom of this post.)
I'm a diehard pumpkin pie fan but Romas really doesn't like it. For our first Thanksgiving together I decided to give this recipe a try because it's still kind of like pumpkin pie, but not quite. It was a huge hit and now I make it every year. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!
Here's what you'll need to get started:
You start by mixing the cream cheese with 1 Tablespoon of milk and 1 Tablespoon of sugar in a bowl with a whisk. Then you add half of the Cool Whip and put it into the pie crust.
Next you mix the rest of the milk, pumpkin, pudding mixes, and spices until they're well blended. You spread it over the cream cheese layer.
You have to refrigerate it at least 4 hours. For the holidays, I like to make it the day before and leave it in the refrigerator until we're ready to eat it. It's so much easier to have it made and ready to serve a day before guests arrive!
I love the layered look. You can garnish each slice with a dollop of Cool Whip as you serve it, if you'd like. Enjoy!
For the printable recipe, click HERE.Pin It