Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How was Your Thanksgiving?

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and a great holiday weekend! I was able to spend some time with my sister and her family, and we had a lot of fun: Thanksgiving Dinner, Black Friday shopping, and then a visit to a train museum that was entrancing to both our sons.

We were responsible for preparing the entire Thanksgiving Dinner for the first time in our lives, even though we're both at least 30 years old! We both love cooking, though, so it was a lot of fun. It's a great privilege to be able to cook Thanksgiving dinner with my sister; one I don't take lightly.

(Note: Sorry about the picture quality. My camera went all funky over the holiday, so the pictures are terrible. It appears to have resolved its issues now, but too late for the Thanksgiving food pics...)

My sister had the hard task of making the turkey, and wow, she exceeded expectations! And her first time cooking a turkey too! She did a maple-flavored brine, which was so delicious: flavorful and moist.

She also dressed up some green beans with bacon, and some seasonings and butter. Yum!

The gravy was up to me, as my DH requires that gravy be served any time there are mashed potatoes and turkey. He will never let me forget the one year he spent Thanksgiving with my family and ... oh, the horror!... there was no gravy! Ever since then, it's been my job to make sure there is gravy on the table. I couldn't make it in the roasting pan, which is the traditional method, and ideal because it includes the flavorful browned bits in the bottom of the pan. All I did was use the juices from the pan, add some chicken broth so there was enough, and simmered it with a cornstarch/water paste. Because of all the flavor in the turkey, it was quite delicious gravy, and I have to say it was a pretty smooth texture, too.

As you already saw in a previous post, I made some roasted carrots and parsnips for one of the sides. I had to reheat them in the microwave because the oven was busy, so they ended being not as crisp as they would have been otherwise. Also, I felt they could have used more cumin; I should have added a little extra before reheating them.

I also made my Mashed and Squashed Potatoes. I forgot my potato ricer, so the texture was not what I was hoping for, but the flavor was good.

My sister made a family tradition: Old-Fashioned Pan Rolls. We were a little crunched for time, so they didn't rise as long as they usually would, but they were still fantastic.

I also made my Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes, always a big hit with my Certain Little Someone!

 And here is my sister's Corn Pudding/Casserole, which was very good.

And her delicious fruit salad, which had a dressing made with orange juice, red wine vinegar and olive juice. Delicious!

Whew! That was a lot of food! We were quite stuffed after all of that, so we all took a nap, and let it settle in before we enjoyed dessert (with spiced cider, of course!).

First off, an allergen-free pumpkin pie! No one should be excluded from dessert!

My sister made a White Chocolate Cheesecake that we will all be raving about for years to come:

And the selection was rounded out with a 3-layer Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, made by yours truly. I actually found it was better after a day or two in the fridge.

What about you? What was on your Thanksgiving plate this year?

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