Finished cake in the ovenBefore I begin the meat (or the baking) of this post, a little background on my family and Thanksgiving.  For many years, over Thanksgiving, we used to go to Canada skiing with a family or two.  When more and more kids started getting to high school and college, though, this became less and less practical until we stopped going altogether.  So instead, we started having our own Thanksgiving.  We initially invited everyone we used to go to Canada with and over the years we also invited family and friends and cousins of friends and everyone else we could.  Today, we’re going to have 19 people for dinner and an additional 4 for dessert, making our grand total of Thanksgiving guests 23.  That’s approximately how many have come for the last few years.  So now we celebrate Thanksgiving like some people celebrate Christmas or Memorial Day and that’s how I like it.

For a visual of how many people that is, just check out this picture I took of the table (from the “kids’ table,” where everyone below the age of 40 goes):

A table with room for 23.

Because I am not allowed to touch any of the food my mom makes, I have made my own dishes in the last two years.  Last year’s squash dish was good, but very time- and labor-intensive.  So this year, I decided to go with a dessert: chocolate pear cake.  I got the recipe at Smitten Kitchen, a site a friend told me about I like to peruse for recipes (I highly recommend the sweet potato with pecans and goat cheese, which she lovingly calls “Roasted Marshmallow-y Sweet Potatoes with Thanksgiving on Top”).  Anyway, I documented the progress of my cake because it’s just really cool.

After you put the batter in the springform pan, you put the pears and chocolate on top.  So, it starts looking a little like this:

My first picture of the cake.

Then, after maybe 10 or 15 minutes of baking, the batter (full of eggs that are whipped until they’re crying), rises and envelops the pear and chocolate:

Partway through the baking process.

Finally, it comes out all beautiful and browned on top.  I took this one after I put it on the cooling rack:

The finished product.

At this point, you have to let it cool and if your Thanksgiving feast isn’t for at least a few hours, you have to wait an eternity to eat this delicious-smelling concoction.  Mmm, it smells so good…  And I can vouch for taste too, I did two test runs in the last month, one with the springform pan.

What do you make for Thanksgiving?  Do you make something new each year, like I do?  And to everyone out there on the interwebs, even those in other countries, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!