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Thanksgiving successes and failures

rob333 (zone 7b)
11 years ago

I can't say that I have loads of success, but I many of the latter. I had a "bad food day" on Thursday. I "peeled" part of my finger, the topping on the sweet potatoes never set right, the mashed potatoes got overworked, and the personal (my home only) turkey got a bit dry. I didn't bring the mashed potatoes and so I have leftovers for myself, most said good things about the sweet potatoes and I saved what I could of the turkey. However, I tried a new recipe-tart cherry (thank you Annie!) and cranberry compote. I'd make it again; it was good. Mom took a bowl full home. How'd your contributions to the day go? Anything worth doing again? Recipes are appreciated!

Cranberry and Tart-Cherry Compote

Bon Appetit : November 2008

by Nancy Oakes and Pamela Mazzola

Yield: Makes about 3 cups

1 lime

1 1/2 cups cranberry juice cocktail

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup dried tart cherries

1/2 cup dried cranberries (about 3 ounces)

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup currant jelly (about one 10-ounce jar)

Pinch of coarse kosher salt

Grate 1 1/2 teaspoons peel from lime; set aside. Cut off all peel and white pith from lime. Working over bowl, cut between membranes to release lime segments.

Bring cranberry juice to boil in large saucepan. Add lime segments, fresh cranberries, and next 4 ingredients; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Add currant jelly. Simmer until jelly is melted, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lime peel and coarse salt. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled.

Discard cinnamon stick before serving.

Here is a link that might be useful: Epicurious link to the recipe

Comments (26)

  • lindac
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Mostly all was a great success....the turkeys had mixed reviews....some preferred the fried others preferred the one grilled with hickory smoke...but judging from what was left seemed the fried was most popular.
    I loved the fennel salad with mandarin oranges and rice vinegar dressing, some not so much...I wasn't much for the spaghetti squash salad with cherry tomatoes, and I thought the roasted root vegetables lacked a lot. carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes roasted need "something"...might have likes some turnip in there too....or at least some more pepper....but they were OK.
    The pretzel rolls were more popular than the the Mrs. Avery's dinner rolls. The sundried tomato hummus went over well and the cranberry Jezebel was pretty well gone.
    My DIL puts applesauce in her stuffing, which makes it rather sweet....and I really don't like that....but they do!
    All in all a very good meal!

  • Lars
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    This year I smoked a butterflied chicken over a turkey breast, and I decided that I do not like the smoke flavor with the dressing, but Kevin said that he did. I'll go back to regular roasting next time.

    I made a butternut squash pie this year that I really liked, and it was the first time I have ever cooked butternut squash. I do not think that it tastes like sweet potato, and I like it a lot more than sweet potato, which I still do not care for. I ground whole spices for the pie and used fresh ginger, which gave it a very bright flavor. The recipe is from Joy of Cooking - I still use that book for old, classic recipes. The recipe was for pumpkin or butternut squash, and I do think that these two do have a similar taste/flavor, but I like the squash better.

    I bought kale but haven't cooked it yet. We didn't have dessert until after Thanksgiving, as I wanted to wait until Friday to make it. It rained a bit on Friday, and so we waited until Saturday to prime and paint our new kitchen door. We just got it reinstalled last night before the fog came in. Thanksgiving was very low key this year, and relaxed. We were supposed to skype with our sister, thinking that everyone was going to be at her house, but everyone splintered instead, and she was very disappointed. It seems that our family will not be getting together for Thanksgiving any more. One niece is in Korea at the moment.


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  • centralcacyclist
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I think the food was successful.

    New things: I made a pumpkin-spinach lasagna. It was supposed to be chard but there was no chard to be found at Ralph's in Hollywood. The produce person told me it doesn't sell so they don't stock it. It was fine with spinach and well-received by the vegetarian guests. I also made a pureed sweet potato dish with a pecan streusel topping. It was tasty and a bit dessert-like. The apple pecan stuffing was good and so was the mushroom gravy. I also made dairy-free mashed potatoes with some turkey broth, margarine, s&p, and parsley.

    The rest of the dishes were trusted standbys. Silver Palate Thanksgiving potatoes and Grand Marnier stuffing, turkey gravy. I made a cooked cranberry sauce on the fly with an orange, cranberries, a can of crushed pineapple, brandy, and sugar. A guest brought a lovely homemade cranberry chutney and a nice green salad. I made a pecan pie with no corn syrup, just brown sugar, butter and eggs. I made two pumpkin pies from fresh cooked pumpkin using the old Libby's recipe from the side of the can.

    The turkey was done 3 hours before it was supposed to be so I assume the electric roaster runs much hotter than the dial on the outside. It wasn't a Nesco and I didn't test it with an oven thermometer. It was fall-apart done but moist from the steaming nature of the roaster. Oh well. Gravy or cranberry sauce cure a lot of sins.


  • jadeite
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago


    I'm glad I'm not the only one with a cooked turkey hours before the dinner! I thought a 20lb turkey would take at least 4 hours, so it went into the oven at 9. It was done by noon so it sat cooling slowly for 2 hours. To my surprise it was still a little warm when we sat down around 2:30. People ate plenty but 6 diners hardly put a dent into a 20lb bird. This was DH's plan. He loves turkey so we have plenty for the next few weeks.

    My big success was cranberry pecan rolls, recipe from King Arthur's Whole Grain Baking book, made in the bread machine. This doodad is still a wonder to me. I used it to knead and prove the dough, before turning it out to shape rolls. They were a big hit, each diner eating at least 2! I'll post the recipe later if anyone is interested.

    The Shartlesville pumpkin pie from my mother's cookbook published in the 1940's, was also a success. The original recipe calls for a cup (!) of whiskey for a 9" pie. Also 1/3 cup of cream. I reversed these for my pie, going by internet recommendations. The recipe makes a light pumpkin pie, thanks to the cream and beaten egg whites folded in.


  • teresa_nc7
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    We were just seven for our Thanksgiving Dinner this year. The "turkey" - the less said about it the better. Everything else was very good, although I think I need to ask Mom to make more giblet gravy next year, there is never any left for the leftovers.

    I asked my sister to bring a spinach salad even though we don't usually have salad. It was a hit - with a choice of berries, clementines, nuts, and thin sliced red onions to add if desired. The Soul Food Chutney I made from a recipe on NPR from Art Smith was excellent. Those that tried it raved about it.

    Next year I will do the turkey, having remembered this year!


    Here is a link that might be useful: scroll down for Chutney recipe

  • momj47
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The pumpkin pie my DD made, with Egg Beaters and fat free evaporated milk was a success, certainly enjoyed by me. The pecan pie was equally good, I had to enjoy it in small portions.

    I made cranberry sauce, which was, of course, great. But my DD likes the stuff from the can. I tried it this year, and it's pretty tasteless. We used to love that stuff.

    The stuffing/dressing was kind of bland, probably because I didn't add the usual sausage or giblets, since my SIL is a vegetarian.

    The gravy was perfect. As I told my DD, the darker the pan, the better the gravy.

  • emmisme
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I usually roast my turkey at 350 degrees and don't know why I wanted to try it at 325 this year. Won't do that again, skin wasn't brown enough for me and fond was lacking color but turkey still tasted good.

  • emmisme
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Forgot to add to my previous post that I used a potato ricer for the first time for my mashed potatoes. Texture was light and fluffy and a big hit.

  • Rudebekia
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I made this cranberry chutney for the first time and everyone loved it. I made a huge batch and am still enjoying it--especially warm, like a compote. I think I'll give some as Christmas gifts. The combination of flavors is complex and very good--not too tart, not too sweet.

    Cranberry Chutney
    A sweet and spicy cranberry chutney with a bit of jalapeno heat.

    Servings: makes 2 cups

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Add this recipe to ZipList!Printable Recipe

    1 (12 ounce) package fresh or frozen cranberries
    1 apple, peeled and diced
    1 onion, chopped
    1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
    1 tablespoon garlic, grated
    1 tablespoon ginger, grated
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 cup cider vinegar
    1.Place everything in a large pot and boil until it thickens, about 10-20 minutes.

  • dreamhouse1
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I made a butternut squash soup that was delicious; a modified version of Michael Chiarelli's recipe - I didn't do the spice rub part. The roasted squash was really good just as is, the puree is even better and the soup even better than that.

    My turkey cooked ahead of schedule as well and was maybe a bit dry, but it was beautiful....Martha's trick with the cheesecloth is the best advice I've had on turkey cooking!

    I shared cooking with our hostess who told me should would do the cranberry...then she forgot. First time I've ever had Thanksgiving without cranberry and it was sorely missed! It really is a must to cut some of the over-savory dishes.

    My 12 year-old made the pumpkin pie with a homemade was very good and I was an extremely proud momma!

  • chefgirl96
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I made mostly T&T recipes to ensure success!

    I love Alton Brown's stovetop Mac & cheese, which is appreciated by the kiddies and adults alike. I always use half velveeta for creaminess and half sharp cheddar for flavor.

    I made a new recipe which was orange cranberry sauce. I love cranberry sauce ( I am a professed gravy - hater) and its kinda hard to mess up. Very simple recipe with hints of orange zest, cloves and nutmeg.

    I did make Paula Deens green bean casserole for the first time. I used fresh green beans, homemade cream of mushroom soup, and baby Bella mushrooms. I doubled the French fried onions & everyone loved the addition of grated sharp cheddar on top. I have never seen so many people loving green bean casserole!

    My dad & I had a pumpkin pie throw down and mine won - hands down . I have been using Nick Malgieri's Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin pie recipe for years and don't think I will ever change it up. It uses 1/2 & 1/2 instead of evaporated milk which seems to give it a much silkier texture. I am going to make another pie this week as I just didn't get enough on turkey day!

  • dedtired
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The Tomato Basil Hummus I bought from TJ's accompanied by TJ's tortilla chips was a great success. So were the TJ's mixed nuts.

  • mustangs81
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Raspberry Schnapps Cranberry Sauce turned out good but you know how that is with folks--it's a take it or leave it dish.

    Success: The only dessert that was completely gone by the end of dinner was the Turtle Trifle. It's semi-homemade, go figure. DGS had 3 helpings which subjected him to being scolded by his mom.


    8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
    1 1/2 cups whipping cream
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons caster sugar
    1 (2-lb.) frozen Edwards Georgia Pecan Pie, semi-thawed and cut into 1-inch cubes
    1/2 cup chocolate fudge topping
    1/2 cup caramel topping
    1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
    1. Beat whipping cream until slightly thick; beat in mascarpone cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth and firm.
    2. Place half of pie cubes in bottom of a 4-qt. trifle dish or tall, clear 4-qt. glass bowl. Spread half of whipped cream mixture over pie cubes. Drizzle with half each of chocolate fudge topping and caramel topping. Sprinkle with half of chopped pecans. Repeat layers.
    3. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

    Failure: Fried Corn. It turned out wonderful but I put it on the stove to warm it (SIL doesn't have indicators on the knobs to tell you what heat was selected) so I ended up burning it.


    1 stick butter
    1 (2 pound) bag frozen Silver Queen corn, defrosted
    5 tablespoons honey (add 5 tbls then taste before adding more)
    2/3 cup heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. When butter is foamy add the corn stirring to coat with the butter. Cook stirring frequently for 1 minute.
    Add sugar or honey and cook for 2 minutes more. Increase heat to high and add heavy cream-continue to stir so corn won't stick to pan. Add salt and pepper.
    Cook corn until most all of the cream has absorbed and is slightly caramelized and golden, about 5 minutes more. Remove and serve hot.

  • carol_in_california
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    We went to DH's friends house, our of town, for Thanksgiving.
    He has known them for over 70 years.
    I offered to bring an apple dessert.....they said they preferred an apple crisp since they had cholesterol problems and didn't want pie crust.
    I made the crisp, which turned out really tasty but because I used real butter instead of fat free oleo crap, they refused it. They had sugar free, fat free yogurt for their dessert.
    Needless the say, because they used artificial butter, sweetener, etc, dinner was less than perfect.
    Next year, Mr. Wonderful can go visit his friends and I will stay home.

  • JaniceP
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I've cooked many turkeys over the years in many different ways....the last few years I've used Alton Brown's method which is really good, but this year I decided to use Pioneer Woman's recipe for Roast Turkey. It was AWESOME. I had a 16 pound turkey for 7 people (and a LOT of side dishes which were really good!) and they kept going back for the turkey - I had no turkey leftovers! It was absolutely delicious. I varied the recipe a bit: mixed a few extra spices in the brine, didn't rinse the turkey after taking it out of the brine (and the drippings were NOT too salty), and I stuffed the turkey cavity with apples, fresh rosemary, garlic, and cut oranges and lemons. Really good!

    Pioneer Woman's Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey


    2 gallons water
    2 cups apple juice
    1 1/2 cups kosher salt
    2 cups brown sugar
    5 cloves garlic, crushed
    5 bay leaves
    4 tablespoons black peppercorns
    2 tablespoons dried rosemary
    3 oranges, peeled, white pith removed, skin roughly chopped
    1 (20-pound) fresh turkey
    1 1/2 sticks softened butter
    3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
    3 tablespoons chopped orange zest


    Combine the water, apple juice, salt, sugar, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, dried rosemary, and orange peel in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat immediately, cover, and allow mixture to come to room temperature. Cool mixture in the fridge until you're ready.

    To brine the turkey, remove the turkey from wrapper, remove interior bags (set aside; refrigerate), and rinse turkey thoroughly under cool water.

    Place the turkey into a plastic brining bag or a very large pot.

    Pour the cooled brine mixture over the top, adding extra cold water if you need more to completely cover the turkey. Seal the bag or cover the pot and allow the turkey to brine in the refrigerator for 16 to 24 hours before roasting.

    Before roasting, remove the turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Then soak in a sink full of fresh water for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat dry. Discard brine. (This soaking process will decrease the likelihood of too-salty gravy). (NOTE: I did not rinse the turkey. The gravy was NOT too salty.)

    Preheat the oven 275 degrees F.

    Truss the bird and place it breast side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover the turkey tightly with heavy-duty foil. Make sure it's entirely covered (cover over the bottom edges of the pan). Place in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes per pound (a 20 pound turkey will roast for about 3 1/2 hours).

    Remove the turkey from the oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees F. Remove the aluminum foil and set aside. Mix the softened butter with the rosemary and orange peel and rub all over the skin of the turkey, covering every single inch of the skin. Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, near the hip joint. Place the turkey, uncovered, back into the oven. Continue roasting the turkey, basting with butter every 30 minutes, until the thermometer registers 170 degrees F and until the juices are no longer pink.

    Remove from the oven and cover with foil until you are ready to carve and serve. Reserve pan juices to make gravy.

    Cook's Note: This is enough for a 20 pound fresh turkey. You can decrease the quantity for a smaller bird.

  • compumom
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Wow Carol, they could have simply tasted your dessert and been polite. Personally, I prefer apple crisp, because I'm not a "pie crust" kind of person. It's all about the fruit & cinnamon! :D

    Pam-- I'm all about easy too!

    Our dinner was successful! I had turkey anxiety all day, but our timing and our storebrand fresh turkey (14lbs) plus two Empire Kosher half turkey breasts were the best that I've ever made. Last year I spent a fortune on a Diestel organic bird. It was a tough bloody mess and this time I chose our local excellent grocery chain's brand of bird.
    We were a total of 10 including the two grands. My younger grand had 4 helpings of the turkey breast and wanted more before bed!
    I have found that our guests eat a lot of white meat and it's necessary to supplement. The Empire breasts are reliable and juicy. I marinated for a few hours in a bit of orange olive oil, tangerine juice and apricot preserves. I cooked them covered at 325 for about 1.5 hrs in a separate oven.

    One decision for future meals, is that the stuffing will be in casserole only.I'm too anxious about food poisioning, especially on a holiday when there are so many other factors at play. A friend's son was at a potluck holiday dinner and all the guests got food poisoining-- I always worry about doing in a guest, let alone all of them!
    That said, most of our guests opted for the moist bird stuffing rather than that baked in an adjacent casserole dish. Next year it will need more liquid if baked that way.

    Our friends contributed a salad, fabulous homemade mashed potates, Trader Joe's Orange Cranberry relish (very tasty) and two desserts. Her apple crisps were too sweet for my taste, but her cream cheese brownies were a success!

    I supplemented with gingered yam souffle (DH loves it from Gelson's) and 3 types of veggies. The carrots sauteed with orange marmalade and basil, corn and sugar snap peas sauteed in ponzu. DD made pumpkin and corn bread. This group aren't gourmets or even adventurous, so we played to the crowd. Everyone seemed to have been sated and we've enjoyed plenty of leftovers!

  • doucanoe
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I wish I could have had dinner with any of you!
    We went to my mom's, her turkey was fine, just a tad dry. Mashed really can;t mess those up.
    Dressing was awful, gloppy, weird texture and color.
    Wild rice casserole made with way too much Cream of soup and severely overcooked so the rice was mush.
    My sister made a green bean cvasserole that contained no COS, but it looked curdled...not good.
    I made pumpkin frozen yogurt that was just OK, but the maple walnut sauce I made to top it was decadent!
    All in all....not a great meal.

    My mom has never been a really great cook, but she used to make a decent turkey dinner. As she ages her meals are becoming less palateable.
    But I continue to go and dine with her. I would never want to hurt her feelings by telling her the food was not good.

    On Saturday we went ti Tim's family dinner. Again a crew of non-cooks. At least his one sister used real, fresh potatoes this year rather than boxed au gratins.
    His niece made a decent turkey and a small ham.
    His other sister brought an allright pan of dressing (she's the one that put egg nog in the mashed potatoes one year because she ran out of milk. Another time she made kebobs on the grill which had pieces of chicken, mushrooms and....cucumbers! Yep, grilled cucumbers!)
    I brought Woodie's (I think) "Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding". It was a hit.

    I have a small turkey in the freezer. I'll make a good turkey dinner for Tim and me in a few weeks.


  • lpinkmountain
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    BF and I had our TG dinner the weekend before, so ate leftovers on the actual day. I sure LOVED that! We got a free turkey and it was just one of those injected ones and I just roasted it and it came out good. I rubbed it with Mrs. Dash garlic herb salt free seasoning and stuffed it with apples. The only thing that was a problem is neither my meat thermometer or the pop up one on the turkey seemed to work because it was overcooked but not registering the right temp., so I dunno. My thermometer never seems to be accurate so I really have to find a better one. The white meat on the breast was a tad dry, as per usual but frankly I think it was good enough, that is pretty much the nature of white meat anyway. We got a lot for sandwiches which I ate on my homeade ricotta caraway bread-yum.

    I made sweet potatoes with pineapple glaze, a dish I had forgotten about and I think I will make it again. Easy peasy, not too cloying sweet but not bland either. Just added a small can of pineapple tidbits to a dish of diced fresh sweet potatoes, a TBLSP or so of brown sugar, a bit of butter and some candied ginger, and then baked it with the turkey for about an hour. Delish.

    I finally found a stuffing I like. It was over the top rich and fattening but since I only make this type of thing once a year, worth the splurge. It was an Italian style dressing and I got the recipe from chef Fabio Viviani, which sounds like a made up name to me but I actually enjoy his show and some of the recipes. What I like about this dressing was it has almost no sage and I am not a sage fan! I used a mix of spicy fake sausage and some all natural pork and rice sausage that I get, instead of the italian sausage that the recipe calls for.


    8 cup(s) French baguette or Italian pane rustica, cut into 1-inch cubes
    2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
    1 cup(s) diced yellow onion
    2 cup(s) chopped cremini mushrooms
    1 teaspoon(s) dried basil, crushed
    4 tablespoon(s) Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
    3 sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
    1 cup(s) shredded provolone cheese (I used a mix of shredded Italian cheese and that was it, way less)
    1/3 cup(s) grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese - (See note above, I did not use all the cheese called for in the recipe, way over the top)
    1 cup(s) sour cream (I only used about 1/3 cup)
    1 cup(s) store-bought or homemade beef broth (I used vegetable broth)


    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Add bread to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
    Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper, and dried basil. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 8-10 minutes until the moisture is evaporated and the onions and mushrooms are lightly browned. Add the mushroom and onion mixture to the bowl with the bread and allow to cool slightly.
    In the meantime, in the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into small pieces and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. (I used already cooked sausage)
    Into the bowl with the bread, mushrooms and onions, add the provolone and Parmesan cheeses, sour cream, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and beef broth. Add the cooled sausage and stir to fully combine. Pour the stuffing into a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes until brown and crispy.
    To serve, spoon the stuffing into a serving bowl.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Chef Fabio Viviani's sausage mushroom stuffing

  • compumom
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Aw Linda, I completely understand your predicament with your mother. My mother's skills also declined with age and with her tastes. Everything was "too salty" according to her so consequently her food was underseasoned.
    Dh would put up a fuss about eating her frozen veggie mixes and salad with only fat free type dressings. We finally took some specialty items over to her house for DH to use. She resorted to making steak or lamb chops most of the time for family dinners. Thankfully that worked, although I still cannot look at lamb, I've just O.D'd on it.

  • tami_ohio
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Dd did most of the dinner and did a wonderful job! My job was dessert. I got adventuresome and made home made pie crust using the no fail recipe from cooks illustrated. I only used a pinch of sugar and will leave it out completely next time, and used butter and lard,as I didn't have enough shortening. Very good, but the blind crust for the chocolate pie shrank big time! Oh, and there was no baking temperature listed on the recipe. I had the ovev set at 350 for a cookie crust. I am thinking that the oven wasn't hot enough. Any thoughts on this? I also made my grandmother 's pumpkin pie and a cookie crust cheesecake with fresh blueberries and raspberries. Chris's dad isn't much of a dessert eater but enjoyed that. Chris made a pumpkin butternut squash risotto that was delicious!


  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    We had a simple dinner as my mil was in a car wreck the Sunday before Thanksgiving so it was just her immediate extended family. The food wasn't the best ever, one of my pies tasted good but the crust didn't look as nice as I would have liked and everything else was fine if not spectacular. The rolls were burnt.
    But I never think of Thanksgiving as a day for great food, I like it, of course, but if it doesn't happen that's ok.
    it's all about the company and being with other people and loved ones.

  • John Liu
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I took a baked and glazed spiral cut ham, with a peach-ginger glaze, to my sister's house. Glaze was 4 cups peach nectar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp minced ginger, 1 tbsp mustard, 20 whole cloves, boiled down until thickened. Stud the ham with whole cloves. Glaze the ham several times during baking, get the glaze into the spiral cuts. Alternate basting with the ham juices. Last coat of glaze was carmelized with a torch. Fun. The remnants will become ham stock this week.

  • caminnc
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I cooked my 20lb. turkey the day before Thanksgiving and rewarmed in chafing dishes and it was the best Turkey I have ever had. Everything I fixed was really good except my sweet potato casserole was a little too sweet for my taste. I have fixed this recipe for years with great success. I think I used sweet potatoes with heavy syrup. Opps! Everyone's dinner sounds amazing.

  • lpinkmountain
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Caramelizing with a torch, of John that does sound fun!! And delicious.

    I forgot the pumpkin cheesecake BF and I made, but eating some this AM for breakfast reminded me! We more or less followed the Cook's Illustrated recipe and that is the best! I never liked pumpkin cheesecake until I tried that recipe. You blot the pumpkin between paper towels before adding it, make a huge difference in the taste and texture. Also it is a very spicy cheesecake and that was great. Especially when we kept dinner simple. I really saw the benefit of not overdoing it with dish after dish on Thanksgiving. Having just turkey, stuffing, and broccoli, with pumpkin cheesecake for dessert, allowed us to appreciate all the individual flavors more, and we didn't get that bloated feeling after dinner. But if we had had a house full of guests or family all bringing things, that would have been OK and good too.

  • annie1992
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Mine was also fine, they turkey was moist and good in the Nesco roaster and the stuffing was sufficiently moist to please everyone, my family LIKES it kind of gloppy. I refused to make green bean casserole and made broccoli and cheese instead. My mother was happy with that. I covered the sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows and everyone else was happy. Homemade rolls and that cranberry sauce with sour cherries, dried apricots, pineapple and crystallized ginger, that was a big hit.

    Dessert was cheesecake with a choice of ganache or raspberry topping, or both, dark chocolate pie, pumjpkin pie and homemade vanilla ice cream.

    Kind of boring but nothing really was a problem, it was all good and the guests happily took leftovers home. Ashley took a couple of plates for co-workers at the hospital who were working the holiday shift and had no family dinners.


  • Cathy_in_PA
    11 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    In the bread category, one Success Award and one Lesson Learned Award.

    Lesson Learned: DD made whole wheat pumpkin rolls. Beating myself for not forewarning her that the pumpkin puree and oil were cold and would impact the yeast. Such a shame -- nice taste, never got a great rise. Of course, we managed to eat them slathered with butter anyway.

    Success Award: DS made sourdough egg braid. He's regaining some calories/strength in the background as he found 10 minutes of hand-kneading to be pretty rigorous exercise. DD, who can french braid in a wink, braided the good-looking loaf.

    Sincerely enjoyed all the stories!

    Cathy in SWPA