5 tropical Thanksgiving hacks

Cooking American Thanksgiving in Panama this year? Here are a few simple holiday hacks to make your Thanksgiving dinner in the tropics one to remember.

HACK No. 1: Run pumpkin purée through a food processor to get an even smoother pumpkin pie filling.

While a fresh pumpkin might be hard to find canned pumpkin is usually available at the beach. Processing the purée, only takes an extra minute and it’s totally worth it. In a two pie test, one where the pumpkin purée was processed, the other one was straight out of the can. The pie with the processed purée was definitely smoother and silkier than the test pie.

HACK No. 2: Add vodka to a piecrust to make it flakier.

The more moisturized your dough is, the less likely it is to break when you’re prepping the pie, but a dough with too much water will also be tougher once cooked. Finding the right moisture balance can be hard in the tropics! 

According to Cooks Illustrated, you can solve this problem by replacing part of the water in the recipe by vodka. It will add moisture to the dough, making it easier to handle, but most of it will evaporate during baking so that your pie crust is deliciously flaky. (Here’s the recipe.)

Once baked, the vodka crust is definitely flakier and crumblier but still hols together well.

HACK No. 3 Easily clean your food processor by filling it with water and dish soap, then blending.

This is a hack worthy of putting on any list because it makes clean up a breeze! Works well every time, especially if you clean the food processor right after using it instead of hours later.

HACK No. 4: Add soy sauce to your gravy to make it more flavorful.

For those who cook a smaller turkey or substitute with a chicken getting the gravy flavorful can be a stretch. This year try adding a teaspoon of dark soy sauce to the sauce. Do not doubt the power of soy sauce because it really gives an amazing depth of flavor to the sauce. Delicious. Definitely worth it!

HACK No. 5: Give thanks! 

While we might miss sweater weather, watching the leaves change and decorating in fall colors, we can all give thanks that we will also miss winter... which for most is just around the corner.