Will there be Turkey and Pumpkin Pie at Thanksgiving?
November begins an exciting time at the bakery. Food incites passion for bringing people together and sharing. Our baked good are always the center of attention after a satisfying holiday dinner. We hope our efforts; be it Christmas Stollen, cookies, or pie, bring a smile to the guests gathered at your table.
Thanksgiving always created a dilemma for me. On one hand it is steeped in tradition. Many families have the same routine, have the same menu and many even the same, almost assigned seats at the table. In the 60's, without fail, the media showed the Kennedys playing touch football in Hyannis on Thanksgiving.
On the other hand, I hate sameness. I like to give new things a chance and widen my horizons a bit. This also carries over to the holiday menu. We have had some pleasant surprises but also some disappointing (depending on your point of view) results. One year my boys complained for two days that their aunt substituted wild rice with black beans for mashed potatoes! Truth be told the wild rice held the gravy just fine but I don't think that it will reappear on the menu anytime soon. On the plus side, my mother-in-law made a dish with sweet potatoes and apples that is to die for.
One thing that makes change happen is a disruptive event. Hurricane Sandy was a disruptive event. This year we have had two disruptive events that may affect our Thanksgiving. The first one was the bird flu outbreaks. As much as 2/3 of the turkeys had to be culled in Minnesota to safeguard our food supply. As a result, the supply of fresh turkey has been dramatically reduced and only available at a much higher cost. This also affected laying chickens. We have been struggling with egg costs that are three times what they were last year.
The other event that has disrupted the traditional menu hits the bakery the hardest: pumpkin pie. We were informed that the pumpkin crop from Libby's was decimated. Distributors that would normally receive three truckloads got three pallets. More than the accompanying large price increase; the bigger issue for me was availability. A few suppliers showed me product coming out of China. I took one look and decided I'd rather have no pumpkin pie to sell than to use that. Then, just two weeks ago, my main supplier came to me and said "Rich, I have secured some Libby pumpkin that I saved for you." The day is almost saved. We will have pumpkin pie. It will be up to quality standards and most importantly, we have decided to bite the bullet and keep it at the pre-shortage price. However, we may run out. If we do, please forgive us. An alternative option may be pumpkin cheesecake. There is proportionally less pumpkin in a cheesecake than a pie so that is why we are continuing to make it.
This year, why not break the mold: try something other than turkey, try a pumpkin cheesecake over a pie. The original pilgrims used what the land gave them. If there was no turkey, I am sure wild boar was an attractive option. We don't have to fit that Norman Rockwell ideal.
Last year was the first year of us having a special coffee mug that was hand thrown right here in the U.S. Boy is it a good feeling mug! Looking on the bottom it said 2014 edition. We quickly sold out. We just received our 2015 edition style cups. Carole and I decided that we were going to give some out. So, place your Thanksgiving order for over $30.00 by November 15th and you will get a free mug with order pick-up. That is a $12.50 value, but most important, a great mug.
The last day the bakery is accepting any Thanksgiving orders is November 21nd. By ordering only one week earlier, you can get a 2015 edition coffee mug. I hope you take advantage of this great offer.
Rich, Carole and the Reinwald crew
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