Thanksgiving 2008 (Nov 27, 2008)

The Event

Luckily this is only December, so I have a reasonable chance of remembering everything I did for Thanksgiving. First off, we had a lovely houseful for the yearly feast. Julie, Jim and JJ came in from Chicago for a number of days. Helen, Chris and Carla came up from So. California to join us a few days, and Nancy joined us for the dinner itself. Quite a number of people to cook for!

Unlike the 2007 dinner, I wasn’t as tired this time. I only made one pie, which was good. Less leftovers and less stress for me. The timing worked out pretty good. Everything arrived hot on the table.

I finally let people help with the clean-up, a new thing for me. I put all the leftovers away and filled the dishwasher. Then I washed all the pots and pans and other stuff that wasn’t in the dishwasher, and everyone else cleared up, dried dishes and I told everyone where everything was stored. Yes, sounds really retentive, but it’s my kitchen and I want to be able to find things later šŸ™‚ This actually worked out well and the kitchen and dining room were spotless in a short amount of time.

Menu

  • Heirloom turkey (17-1/2 pounds again and bought from Whole Foods again … really the best way to go)
  • Bread stuffing “outside the bird” (Cook’s Country, Oct/Nov 2008)
  • Giblet gravy (Best Recipe)
  • Mashed potatoes (Best Make-Ahead Recipe)
  • Sweet Potato Casserole (Cook’s Illustrated, Nov/Dec 2005)
  • Skillet-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips (Cook’s Country, Oct/Nov 2008)
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Cranberry relish, two versions: regular and orange-flavored (Best Recipe)
  • Pumpkin Pie (Cook’s Illustrated, web)

Guests
  • Julie Suva
  • Jim Suva
  • JJ Suva
  • Helen Biggs
  • Chris Wollonciej
  • Carla Biggs
  • Nancy Lane

Food Notes
  • I think it might be better to use less oil in the carrots & parsnips dish. I felt like the vegetables never really browned. Leonie read somewhere that you should cut the carrots and parsnips early and let them dry out a little. They should brown better when drier. I’ll try that next time.
  • The sweet potato casserole was OK, but not great. I felt like there was a smidge too much citrus taste in it, but then I like things sweeter. The crumbly topping was delicious.
  • The stuffing was delicious and worthy of making again.
  • The orange-flavored cranberry relish as a hit! Everyone loved it.
  • The pie crust needs to rest more. When it baked, it shrunk substantially. The vodka-based crust was very easy to work with. I think I also need to roll it with more flour; that might have also attributed to the shrinkage.

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