Thanksgiving 2011 – Success!

Not my finest hour in terms of planning, but all in all, Thanksgiving 2011 was a success, I’m happy to say!  It’s been a couple years since we hosted Thanksgiving dinner at house, and we enjoyed it.  I really don’t mind cooking; it’s fun.  Of course with Miss K, it would have been impossible had my handsome husband not been here to keep her entertained.  Even with both of us here, she managed to make her way over to the oven a couple times.  Good thing hubby installed a childproof lock on it!

Our t-day dinner was a small get together with our most honored guests, both sets of parents.  As part of our wedding gifts, we received a beautiful set of china and I had said that I would use it first when I had both sets of parents over.  Well it took EIGHT YEARS for that to happen but we were finally able to use it.  I’ll post a picture of the table once I have the pix available to me.  I was so happy to use it!  I had forgotten how pretty the set was and how much I liked it.

This year, I broke some pretty serious thanksgiving laws:

  1. We didn’t have turkey (blasphemy!!!!!). Three out of four parents are vegetarians, the fourth probably wouldn’t eat much turkey, if any, and neither my husband nor I really felt like we needed it.  So instead I made this super cool vegetable strudel.  (I found it exciting.  Yes, I’m a weirdo).
  2. We didn’t have pumpkin pie (sinner!!!!).  I love pie.  But this year I didn’t make any pie; usually we have at least one pumpkin pie and one pecan pie.  I asked my in-laws to pick up a pecan pie for dessert and I made pumpkin balls instead of pumpkin pie.  They were like little donut holes (that were supposed to be donuts but I failed at piping the dough) and I actually really liked them.  I blended the pumpkin spice and everything.  I was excited.
  3. I used recipes that I had never made before (Just plain stupid).  Seriously, I could have ruined Thanksgiving.  I used untested recipes for the main dish (vegetable strudel), pumpkin balls, mashed potatoes and butternut squash.  To make things worse, the main dish was from a site that didn’t have any reviews.  It just sounded awesome.  And fancy.  Real fancy.  Like too good for my cooking skillz fancy.  But I made it and it looked fabulous and tasted pretty good.  I was so happy.

So here’s the full menu:

  • Roasted Vegetable Strudel
  • Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage, Grapes and Onions
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Garlic Bread
  • Gravy
  • Roasted Garlic and Thyme Yams
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Salad
  • Stuffing
  • Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Balls

I also learned a lot making this dinner.  First and foremost, butternut squash is a serious pain in the @$$.  I had no idea; I’ve never cooked with it before.  I found myself actually having the thought – Butternut, you’re a jerkface.  Turned out good but I will probably just buy the peeled and cubed kind from Trader Joe’s from now on though.  We actually only had a little bit left and sent it home with my in-laws.  No left-overs = good planning or good food or both!  I printed my recipes and taped them to my cabinets so that I wouldn’t spill stuff on them or have to hunt for them when I needed them.  That was a winner.  It also helped keep me from getting stressed or overwhelmed because I was feeling good as I checked off item after item.  Yay!  The mandolin is my friend.  It helped me slice the yams and the zucchini for the strudel.  Awesome.  They were all actually consistent thickness, which never would happen if I had sliced by hand.  This matters because both vegetables needed to be roasted evenly.

I was in a rush so when I washed the china, I didn’t get around to removing the bar code stickers from the bottom of plates.  No one will look, right?  Wrong.  First thing MIL did when she saw the china was to flip it over.  Blush.  Embarrassed.  Oh well.

Baby was a joy to all throughout the night; she danced, crawled to each person for a snuggle – one by one, and her big finale, she sprouted her first tooth yesterday!  Poor thing, at least four of us felt around in her mouth to confirm it.  I don’t think I would like that if I were her.

All in all, things went really well.  Good food, good company, laughter, and lots to be thankful for.  My husband even said “I had a blast.”  With his parents.  And his in-laws.  And his wretched wife.  Wow.  Who’d-a-thunkit?

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