One personal adjustment I had not anticipated having to make when I moved from the US to Canada was Thanksgiving. In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. Somewhat ironically, considering the part Native Americans play in the American myth of Thanksgiving and the role Columbus had in the ultimate destruction of that culture, in Canada we celebrate the gratitude holiday on the same weekend that Columbus Day is observed in the US.
So, okay, a month earlier, no big deal. And it is really more of a harvest time than the end of November, fergodsake. But the thing I’ve had the biggest problem with is that I don’t have family here. So for the past seven years, I’ve kind of ignored Thanksgiving. I’ve visited my family in California over Christmas, but traveling in November and again in December just wasn’t in the budget.
However, last year I became a Canadian citizen, and my friends who celebrated that event with me insisted that I have a real Canadian Thanksgiving, and kindly invited me to their family celebration. So I asked what I could bring. Appies, bring an appy, they replied.
No time like an invitation to try a new recipe, right? But I did it anyway. I made my now famous Thanksgiving Stars. Well, I admit, the original recipe was for Cheese Straws, but I wanted something more festive.
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400° F, or whatever that is in Celcius.
Cream the butter and cheese together using a stand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, do what I did and use your hands. I think it may even work better.
Once the butter and cheese are smoothly mixed together, add the flour and salt. Again, the stand mixer may work and be less messy, but I used my hands. The mixture will be very crumbly and it will take some work to get it to cohere (is that a word?) I think the warmth of my hands helped in this process. And it took me back to Playdough days.
When your dough is coherent (maybe more so than this recipe), divide it into three or four balls. One at a time, roll the balls of dough out to about 1/8 inch thick. The thinner the better, in my opinion. Cut them with your favorite shape cookie cutter. Obviously, I used a star, but maybe you have a turkey-shaped one? Mmm, buttery crunchy turkeys.
Lay them out on a cookie sheet. I didn’t grease mine, but my cookie sheet has been used so often that it is glazed. If you’re using a new cookie sheet, you’re on your own. You don’t need to leave much space between them; they don’t spread.
Back at 400° for about 12 minutes. They’ll be puffed and a little brown. Remove them to a cooling rack.
Repeat with the other balls of dough.
Serve either warm or cold. They’re better warm.
My Thanksgiving Stars were a big hit. Maybe I’ll be invited next year.