Wow. It is really hard to get up for work the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend. I stayed up past midnight last night, trying to get as much out of the long weekend as possible. Now, I feel groggy and my tummy is upset! But it was definitely worth it.
I caught up on Lost, watching crazy Ana Lucia struggle with her demons from the past. I also watched Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy, also so much fun! But enough of my TV ramblings, back to Thanksgiving.
I was lucky enough to be invited to my sister's house, who baked the turkey and had prepped a lot of the meal in advance. I helped prepare a bunch of the dishes. We had: squash casserole, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes, dressing, corn casserole, persimmon bread, and other various snacking items.
We discovered two things about turkeys. They hide that little pack of organ meats in its neck...you should find and remove prior to baking (well, next time, I guess). And second, with the help of a dictionary, we confirmed that giblets are pronounced with a "j" sound and not a hard "g" sound at the beginning.
The only thing I made (prior to arrival) was that fabulous pumpkin cheesecake. BTW, I figured out what makes my cheesecake crack on the top...it happens when I use the instant read thermometer to check the temp in the center. Next time, I know how "jiggly" it should look and I won't make that mistake!
My favorite foods this Thanksgiving were the squash casserole and the gravy. The gravy made everything better! The squash casserole is just so yummy that even my son who does not like squash ate it. It is basically this recipe from Allrecipes, with one added ingredient: bacon. And not just a little, but about 1 slice per squash. It has squash, cheddar cheese, bread crumbs and bacon. How could this not be good? Cook the bacon and onion together a little, then add the squash a cook until softened (don't overcook, it will finish cooking in the oven). Follow the rest of the recipe as directed.
Also very good were the pomegrantinis that my sister-in-law made. It is basically a pomegranate martini using POM. They were delicious. I'm not sure if this is the exact recipe, but it sounds right:
2 parts vodka (use a good one, we used Belvedere)
1 part pomegranate juice
splash triple sec
orange rind for garnish
Combine first 3 ingredients with ice in shaker. Shake, strain and serve in a well-chilled martini glass. Garnish with orange rind.
My sister used this menu mailer from Saving Dinner. It helps you get organized for the dinner. It provides you with a shopping list, a timeline on when to buy your groceries and when to prep different components for the meal, and then of course the rest of the instructions and recipes to finish off the meal.
I will add some photos soon from this lovely feast. Hope that everyone out there had as tasty a holiday as I did.
It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it.