Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Our House to Yours!

This year, Lars and Anders were charged with the task of creating a Thanksgiving centerpiece.  I was expecting a turkey of some sort -- I printed a photo of a wild turkey off the internet and suggested construction paper, pine cones, and other craft supplies as mediums for consideration.  The boys were up in the toy room for hours, and they did build a turkey out of K-Nex (kind of like Tinkertoys), but they also surprised us with this Lego creation.  How cool is that?  If Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, Darth Vader, Yoda and Dr. Octopus can all set aside their differences and come together to break bread and give thanks, there's hope for the Universe yet.  Oh, and they are grilling their turkey, by the way -- Lars says that Darth Vader is manning the barbecue. 

Although I felt like I was playing catch-up for the last week, we did manage to pull off our traditional Ridiculously Complicated Feast this year, thanks to Bernie taking on more of the advance preparation than usual.  There were: Spiced Pecans, Roasted Turkey with Apple Cider Thyme Gravy; Wild Rice, Spiced Pecan & Apple Stuffing; Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes with Horseradish; and Cranberry Citrus Compote (all from the October 1998 issue of Fine Cooking magazine, and reappearing on our Thanksgiving table every year since), and the Cinnamon Molasses Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust from the December 1999 issue of Bon Appetit, also a family ritual.  We skipped the Buttercup Squash Soup this year and tried out two new vegetable recipes instead, a Pomegranate-Balsamic Glazed Carrots (a keeper) and a Green Beans with Crispy Pancetta, Mushrooms & Shallots (not so much), both from the September 2009 issue of Fine Cooking.  Place cards are courtesy of Lars-of-Ours.

We learned some important lessons this year, such as that Harris Teeter closes at 2 PM on Thanksgiving Day, Food Lion closes at 3 PM, but Bi-Lo is open until 7 PM.  We also learned that it is best to provide more spousal supervision when it comes to Thanksgiving grocery shopping, so that no one would have to go racing out to the store for horseradish on Thanksgiving Day in the first place.

Notes to Myself for Next Year:
  1. Stop being such a baby about the pie crust.  It's not as big a deal as you think it is, and the homemade pecan pie crust is definitely worth the effort.
  2. It would be better if guests didn't arrive until after the bird is in the oven, when I've transformed back to my human self.
  3. Don't forget to plan a light lunch for Thanksgiving Day.
  4. Did you order Christmas cards yet?!


Janice the Manice said...

As you are well aware, I am a big fan of the food processor method for home made pie crusts. Rose Levy Beranbaum's "The Pie and Pastry Bible" gives many amazing recipies, the cream cheese crust being my favorite for an apple pie. They"ve also got a recipie for pumpkin pie which adds gingersnap cookies and pecans to the crust (via food processor) for yummy yummies in your tummy. Just a suggestion. The whole pie thing can be time consuming, but well worth the effort and not just because EVERYONE comments about how pretty the pies are. The pies from this cookbook taste as good as they look!

Rebecca Grace said...

Janice: I've never tried making a pie crust with the food processor. The part I hate is rolling out the dough and getting it into the pie plate without it tearing apart and looking ugly.

The gingersnap pecan pumpkin pie crust does sound good. Mom and Dad are cooking turkey next Thanksgiving. You could come make the pies if you want to. I'll help eat them! :-)

Karena said...

We had Thanksgiving this year at my sisiter's and The turkey took a bittttttt longer than anticipated. We had plenty of libations and holiday snacks though!

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Ivory Spring said...

Love your table centerpiece - your boys are creative.

Joann Mannix said...

Your table is beautiful.

Most of my recipes are beloved keepers from magazines of days gone by. I think my kids would have a sit in protest if I changed anything.

And pomegranate carrots? I am sooo trying those. Thanks for sharing the recipes.

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