The holidays, to me, are about family. So this week during all the stress of trying to cook as much as you can ahead of time for Thanksgiving, I have decided to share with you three very important and delicious family recipes.
I’m starting with my grandma’s spinach pie recipe. My Grandma is a very interesting character. She is a four and a half foot tall, headstrong, German /Swedish spitfire. Half of a foot of her height is made up of her hairstyle, and has been that way ever since I can remember. My friends and I lovingly nicknamed her Midge, which is a lot more endearing than calling your Grandmother a midget, in my opinion.
My Grandmother always had this way of making you eat what she wanted you to eat, even if you seriously had no desire to do so. Every year for New Years Eve, when we were younger, we would go over to her house and be forced to take part in the Swedish tradition of eating pickled herring and red potatoes in order to have a good new year.
As a child, the last thing in the world you want to eat is smelly, unbreaded fish. My Grandmother somehow had this way, (call it “grandmother guilt”) of making my two brothers and me to eat a piece of that herring every year.
Another ingredient she happened to make enticing to us was spinach. My Grandmother was a single mother and worked a full-time job. She needed quick and healthy meals, so the spinach pie was born. This spinach pie has so much cheesy goodness going on in it that, as a child who was indifferent about vegetables, I never even thought twice about all the green stuff in this pie.
As an adult, I can look back and think about how gross the herring was or how my Grandma managed to introduce me to my first taste of spanakopita (minus the phyllo) before I even knew what Greek cuisine was. But both of those thoughts are overshadowed by the memories of everybody being together and I think that is why this simple dish holds so much importance to me.
1, 10oz Container of Frozen Chopped Spinach
1 Cup Cottage Cheese
2 Eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon of Salt
¼ teaspoon of Pepper
3 tablespoons of Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tablespoon of Unsalted Butter
Place the defrosted spinach into a dish towel or cheesecloth and drain all of the liquid out of it by squeezing the spinach into a ball. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, cottage cheese, eggs, and seasonings.
Spoon the mixture into a 9 inch glass pie pan. Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese on top and dot with the tablespoon of unsalted butter.
Cook the pie in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned and a bit crunchy.
Enjoy a slice of this pie with your Thanksgiving or as an accompaniment to any meal during the week.