Sunday, December 01, 2013

Thanksgiving Recap.......

I have so MUCH to be Thankful for this year.

A workmate who came from America-Ohio to be precise- suggested we get together and do Thanksgiving Dinner together this year. Paul and I haven't had a proper Thanksgiving dinner in 3 years and it's been 10 years for her!!
So we both took Thanksgiving and Black Friday off to celebrate. Unfortunately, Paul and Stephen, our other dinner guest, couldn't get any days off so we postponed the Thanksgiving Dinner to Friday instead.
This is the bare bones menu.........(I say Bare Bones because back home there was ususally between 35-45 dishes to choose from).......
Thanksgiving Dinner 2013
Cheese and Veg Platter
Herb & Bacon Roasted Turkey
Double Creamed Mashed Potatoes
Turkey Gravy
Onion & Sage Stuffin Muffins
Cranberry Sauce
Crescent Yeast Rolls
Macaroni and Cheese Pie
Broccoli Casserole
Corn Pudding
Pumpkin Pie
Southern Buttermilk Pound Cake
with Maple Glaze
Chex Mix for Nibbles....

Thursday Lisa came over bright and early and we got started on the dishes we could do ahead. Unfortunately, it wasn't a lot but we managed to get a few done.We made Chicken Frajitas for lunch and that night, my sweet husband ordered Pizza in for us and then the rest of the cooking really got started. By bedtime, we had 4 dishes ready to be reheated the next day. The Corn Pudding, the Broccoli Casserole, the Sage and Onion Cornbread Stuffing or Dressing as we call it.......(to clarify- the only difference in "Stuffing" and "Dressing" is that the Stuffing is cooked while in the turkey...Dressing is put in a pan and baked seperately), and the Southern Poundcake with Maple glaze.

I was up at 5AM Friday morning doing the turkey up. By the time Lisa got here at 10(she had an appointment to go to before she could come), The bacon topped turkey was going in the oven.

We set out to getting everything else cooked and by the time Paul got home at 3 that afternoon everything was ready except for browning the rolls and making the gravy. As soon as Stephen text to say he was on his way, I popped the rolls in the oven and Lisa made the gravy.

Now, we went pretty traditional(altho not full out formal) for this dinner. Lisa and I dressed properly, heels, dresses, make-up and hair. (Unfortunately, I had to change into something I could wear no heels with. My broken foot hasnt healed 100% so after an hour in the heels I was limping and in agony.) We had the Yule log on the TV crackling away, and classical music(Bach, Vivaldi etc...) playing softly in the background. The table was dressed with a (somewhat) proper tablecloth-not linen since that one is with our Christmas stuff and I couldn't get to it-  but an Autumnal Floral Centerpiece, silverware, stemware, holiday placemats........the works....well except for candles because that would set of the fire alarm in our building.
 Yeah- totally serious- it's that sensitive. I wish they would get a system that could tell the difference between a blazing inferno and toast for breakfast....but I'm thankful to know I don't have to worry about  dying in a blazing inferno because the alarm system didn't detect a fire......Right?

We served up buffet style since our table is tiny, but we had a lovely, lovely time. Very adult.....most of the time. :-) We were supposed to do toasts and everything, but somehow after I made mine(short, sweet and to the point) early on in the dinner, everyone elsesomehow either forgot or just didn't get around to it. The cheaters.
 Loads of laughter...loads of confusion.....but you kinda get that when you have a Proper Brit Bloke, a Northern Irish bloke, and two American girls - all with very strong accents- talking together. Thus the confusion and ensuing laughter. All in good fun and loving every second of it, of course!

Now, I made the Poundcake- and I was going to make the Pumpkin Pie too, but Lisa claims she has had very little experience cooking, so we decided she would be in charge of the booze and the cheese and cracker platter. But then I was getting swamped with the kitchen being so small and time constraints and all, so I took her up on her offer to help with the cooking, too. She made the Giblet gravy-which turned out AWESOME!!!
I also asked her to do the Pumpkin Pie. Now there is a traditional dish that you cant NOT have at Thanksgiving Dinner. I had planned to try out something new this time. Lisa took charge of the filling while I made up the crust for her. She took the recipe off the back of the LIBBYS pumpkin can and made it her own. She followed the recipe but since I didn't have the GROUND cloves, she substituted the same amount of Allspice instead. Epic move!!!

I had decided that instead of a traditional pastry crust, I was going to make a gingersnap crust. I broke up the gingersnap cookies and crushed them into crumbs. I melted a stick of butter(real butter-not margerine or spread)  and added it to the crumbs and combined it with a fork until it was a damp crumb mixture. I then added a half cup of granulated sugar to it-but that's pretty much optional. I wanted a bit more sweetness in the crust but not so much it was sweet-sweet, if you know what I mean.I wanted the crust to still have that ginger heat more than sweetness. I mixed it all up then dumped it into a 9 inch round cake pan and pressed it onto the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the pan.(I say halfway because if you go to the top the cookie crust will be way too brown before the filling gets done and you don't want burnt crust on Thanksgiving....or ANY day for that matter.) I'd recommend using a drinking glass to do that  job tho- the edges where the sides and bottom meet were a tiny bit too thick, if you ask me. Then Lisa poured that luscious pumpkin filling into the pan and baked it an hour just like the directions say you should for a pastry crust.

How did the pie turn out?....Let's just say I will NEVER use a pastry crust for my pumpkin pie again. EVER. It was absolute perfection. I only wish we had done it the day before so it was properly cold instead of just lukewarm cool. Best Pie EVER!!!

Anyway, we ate at 6ish........the party ended at 3AM and I'd have to say...... It was Epic!


Michael Dodd said...

Glad y'all had a grand time! And thanks for the pie crust idea ...

Sunny said...

You're welcome, Michael.... in addition to tasting so much better than a pastry crust the cookie crust took a lot less time, was way less difficult to make and was was ten times less mess to clean up. And at Thanksgiving and Christmas- you cant beat that!!!