November 26, 2006

The First Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving

We had a fun Thanksgiving on Thursday. I had fun anyway. It was the first time I got to host Thanksgiving at my house. Dad, Mom, Wendy, Scott, Granddad, Uncle Randy, Grammy, and I were there. Grocery shopping beforehand:

Could I turn this into good eats? (Minus the toilet paper, of course.)
Setting the table:

It was all downhill from there...

It pretty much was too crazy for me to take any pictures after that. Hits and misses with the meal. Here's what was on the menu:

Roasted turkey and gravy
Cornbread and sausage dressing
Cranberry salad
Mashed potatoes
White rolls
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin cheesecake
(also a green bean dish that didn't quite make it)

So, here's my analysis. Wendy, feel free to chime in. Constructive criticism is appreciated. Mask your insults with "anonymous" if you must:

First, the turkey. I guess sticking it in the fridge Monday night wasn't early enough. I'm not sure that it thawed long enough before going in the oven Thursday morning. Oops. Still in the oven when the guests arrived. Oops oops. Also, the smoke-filled house didn't do too much for the ambience. I am glad to know that my smoke detectors do work. I didn't put enough broth/water in the roasting pan with the veggies, hence the billowing smoke. It was a pretty turkey, though. So, the turkey drippings didn't go in the gravy either. The gravy was pretty good, but we had to be a little stingy with it. That dry (dry!) dressing needed a lot of gravy. I think my cornbread was too dry. That recipe wasn't really the dressing I'm used to, so I think I'll look for a different recipe for next time. The cranberry salad was great. Thanks to Mom for bringing it. Mashed potatoes were good. The frozen dough rolls didn't rise for me. I'm still not sure why. I really think, and I may be way off, that it's because of the pans I used. I'm using a dark metal pan next time to see if that makes a difference. Also, my landlord is an evil miser and won't turn on the heat, and sometimes it's very cold in this house. I don't think that was the problem Thursday, though, because it was unseasonably hot. It's hard to get in the holiday spirit in 80º weather. I thought the best part of the meal was the pumpkin cheesecake. I really liked it! Oh yeah, those green beans. I waited too long to start cooking those. I fried the shallots and sautéed the mushrooms, but I apparently didn't let the green beans cook long enough (the recipe said 4 minutes - my eye!). I was in a total rush by this point and combined the cream, herbs, and mushrooms with the not tender green beans. Yuck. Soooo, the green beans, still in the skillet, were hidden away in the microwave. Good to learn and good to debut in front of a friendly audience.

So, the leftovers that remain as of Sunday night are a few slices of turkey, some green beans (cooked again post-dinner and now fairly edible), and much too much dressing. I'm not sure how to get rid of that stuff! This overeating is not doing anything for my diet. How am I going to fit into my Las Vegas clubbing clothes this New Year's? I didn't do any Black Friday shopping that I remember. It's all a gluttonous blur though. I did put up the Christmas tree and my Christmas decorations. It's great to have a little house. I can decorate in half an hour. Fluffing the artificial tree takes very little time, too. Martha Stewart it ain't, but I like the kitschy colored lights and silly ornaments. Now I just need to get some presents under that tree!


Auntie said...

You can wrap an empty box and label it From: Auntie if it would make your tree look more Martha.

wvardem said...

I wish I could show you pictures of what we did in our apartment. We have a really cute, but slightly bare, Christmas tree that we decorated with bows. We put candycanes with bows on this strip that goes across one wall. The best though was this plain wreath that Annie bought and then Ashley and I put little holly clusters and a bow on it and we put it on our front door. We dipped candycanes in chocolate for hot cocoa and now we just really need a tablecloth. Oh...and we might get some cheap stockings to hang in the hallway.