Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Finally...Thanksgiving Roundup!

Please forgive my absence. I JUST washed the wine glasses the other day (YES, from last Thursday, they’re very delicate and I like to take my time) and the roasting pan is STILL soaking the laundry room sink.

Thanksgiving was wonderful, but I wasn’t capable of taking pictures AND producing the food. I really have to work on that. However, thanks to my dear friend S, one of our Thanksgiving regulars, I do have some pictures and I did take some of the leftovers.

You’ll have to believe me when I say that two of the three hors d’oeuvres were darn good. I decided to listen to the Contessa and just serve three.

The first was Spiced Cashews. I admit I had a problem with them. I over cayenne-d them initially, so I rinsed them off and started over. Don't ever do that. They tasted strangely soggy, even when re-toasted. Oh well, I just made sure to keep pouring the champagne and no one noticed.

I presented bean dip and guacamole (homemade) in a bowl with a line of cilantro separating them. I served that with taco chip scoopy things and 2 tiny spoons. You spooned in a bit of bean dip and then the guacamole. Nice.

The third was an old standard – salmon mousse. I piped it on melba toast rounds (maybe S or A did it, I can’t remember) and garnished it with a quartered cucumber slice. It reminded me that people really do like canapé-type stuff. If you have a dip that your guests seem lukewarm about, just whisk it away, pipe it onto something crunchy and, voila, they’ll love it.

Next was Curried Butternut Squash Soup served with mini corn muffins with dried cherries. Actually, there was a single huge dried cherry embedded in each one and those were served with maple butter. Guests were allowed to drop the muffins in their soup or not.

The turkey, from Whole Foods, which I wholeheartedly recommend, was good. I had my young man (no, not a servant…exactly…my son) pick it up with strict instructions as to the size. 19.5 pounds was my first choice, 19.6 my second and so on up to 19.9999999 pounds. After that, the next choice was 19.49999999 pounds and I gave him about 15 alternatives.

So then why did he call from deep inside Whole Foods? Because they didn’t have ANY of those sizes.
They had 22 pounders, which I swore off long ago and a lone 19.38 pound turkey. I took that one, but more than one person told me it looked small. While I had more than enough for lots of days of leftovers, I think, next year, I may break my rule of no turkey over 20 pounds, if necessary. Of course, if the kid hadn’t slept until noon, there might not have been a problem…

The Bourbon Sweet Potatoes were yummy. I do make those the day before and put them in the oven after the turkey comes out.

Here's what the leftovers looked like:

There were two issues with the gravy and stuffing. They deserve their own post, so more about that later. The rest of dinner went well. Mashed potatoes and cranberries…Yum!

The green beans were okay.

I made my usual 2 Pecan Pies and Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.

Every year, I search for the perfect apple pie that I’ll be faithful to every year. I still haven’t found it. Many years I make the Sour Cream Apple Pie from The Silver Palate Cookbook. This year I made this one. Pretty good and even better the next day…or two, but I’m not sure if it’s THE ONE.

The best part? All of it. My family (I have such great kids, an amazing nephew and adorable nieces) and friends (the best!) and, of course, the food. It’s the one meal of the year where you can just go for it and not worry about salt, cream or calories. And you’re rewarded with a few (at least) future meals that are as good as the original.

Turkey sandwich note:
Of course, cranberries belong on a next day sandwich, but stuffing? I think that’s strange. Do you? I think putting a bunch of bread in between 2 slices of bread is kinda weird, but I was definitely outnumbered.


DebCarol said...

Well your post was certainly worth waiting for! Your table looks like it is right out of a Merchant-Ivory film. And all the food sounds (and looks) delish. I especially drooled over the leftovers - the one downside to being a guest instead of hosting Thanksgiving is that you don't have a fridge full of leftovers.

Sue said...

Thank you DC! Love yah!!!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I envy that beautiful table setting! Mine was not nearly so neat and well-pressed.

Everything looked delicious and I have no doubt everyone had a wonderful time.

I need to make my sweet potatoes look like yours!

Sue said...

Hey Rach,
Thank you! There was no pressing involved...Oh, I did take the runner to the cleaner, but that was it.

A cake comb is all you need to finish off the sweet potatoes.

Duncan said...

I'm also in the hunt for The Apple Pie recipe for the holiday... any suggestions? My oldest son will be eternally grateful...

Also, a great next day leftover recipe is to smoosh some really, really sharp grated cheddar into cream cheese (50/50 ratio) then stir in curry seasonings. Spread onto tortilla, top with sliced turkey, cranberry relish (the kind with some pecans and orange in it versus the straight up version). Then top with cilantro and roll... don't know why, it's such an odd combo, but it's the thing that gets our many, many teenagers out of bed and up before sunset on the Friday after Thanksgiving!)

Sue said...

Hi Duncan,
That's an awesome recipe. I'm going to try it BEFORE next Thanksgiving. How about some canned green chilies in with the cream cheese?

The Silver Palate Cookbook has an excellent Sour Cream Apple Pie. I wanted something a little different, though, which is why I keep up the search.

You probably can't go wrong with Emily's latest Apple Pie invention: http://www.visionsofsugarplum

Emily said...

Man! This is the post I was waiting for. I knew you'd have a delicious meal.
I love the sweet potatoes. I always forget to comb them.

I've never put stuffing in a sandwich. That does seem like a bit much. Now I kind of want to try it.

Too bad the kid slept until noon. That sounds like me.