The night before we celebrated with one of Albany John’s mates, Sistah, Manhattan Maka, and CVS.
There was much pizza from Red Front in Troy. So delicious. So totally good. I ate 7 slices. The crust is nice and light – very easy to eat. It’s still a little chewy though, but it goes down easily. We got a large 24 cut of pepperoni and a 10 cut of cheese. I am normally not a pepperoni fan, but Red Front does it up right – just enough pepperoni slices, and they are all nicely crisped around the edges. No fatty, limp slices here!
The smaller cheese had more cheese on it though. The pepperoni pizza had less cheese on it – I’m not sure if it’s because it was a 24 slice and they use a little less, or what, but the 10-slice cheese is the way to go for me next time. And we won’t be ordering pizza for 6 hungry peeps, so really, we’ll be all set.
I bitched out early around 2-3 am and went to bed. Silly, I know. That whole sleep thing. Pshh. But I did have to wake up earliest around 7 am. I tried getting up earlier, but was unsuccessful in doing so. The rest of the gang went to bed around 5:30 am after sitting in the kitchen drinking some rum. Aw! I love it when it’s sit-quietly-in-the-kitchen time. Ah well. Next time. Also explains why everyone was still dead asleep as I puttered around the kitchen and stayed that way until about 11 or so.
I made the pecan pie and pineapple upside down cake. I took about an hour long than planned, but mercifully the turkey was a few pounds lighter than I’d planned for, which only put us half an hour behind schedule.
Albany John had made his delicious chili the night before, and the entire house smelled of warm, tasty chili. My sister, who is vegan, seemed to really enjoy it. I am glad, since she would have had some pretty limited options with the rest of the meal.
The turkey was popped in the oven right after the pies came out. It barely fit in the roasting pan, such a big bird it was!
And then hijinx struck! The digital thermometer was reading crazy temps, and long story short – there was some bend in it that was making it read inaccurate temperatures. So we had to make do with the pop-up thingy that was already in the bird (Woo, thanks Cardona’s!). It roasted to a beautiful golden brown color, and Albany John let it rest for about an hour. It was overcooked, but the brine helped it not taste super dry, and the dark meat pieces, well, you couldn’t really tell they were overcooked.
OH MY GOSH. Papa Amherst is so awesome. I pretty much pulled him in the kitchen, and he completely made the creamed boiling onions. Sorry/thank you! And then he and CVS made THE MOST DELICIOUS GRAVY I HAVE EVER EATEN. I even bought cans of turkey broth in case there wasn’t enough, but my goodness – they made so many delicious cups of gravy from the drippins.
Here’s what I’ve learned – Thanksgiving dinner done my way was not as simple as it could have been. Dishes had to be scratched at the last minute. Arms were used to help out. I still have no idea where to really change a baby in my place. I bought WAY too much food and wine, but now I don’t think I’ll need to grocery shop for a while. Total approx spent: $335 (WAY TOO MUCH. I have lots of food left over)
Most of all, I’m thankful for having family that isn’t driven completely nuts by my planning. I tend to think things won’t take as much time as they will. Now I know! I have to say; around 9 am I was getting terribly neurotic about being behind schedule and a wee bit overwhelmed, but thankfully Albany John was up around 8 and helped calm me down.
Mama and Papa Amherst came around noon with Albany John’s Aunt, Cousin, and Cousin’s baby. Mama and Papa brought tables, folding chairs, and 3 delicious desserts. Yum!
Manhattan Maka and Sistah helped me out tons by periodically shouting at me if I needed help. Phew, they know me enough that they really need to get my attention when I start getting wrapped up.
After my in-laws arrived, they were quickly followed by my Mom and sister. My mom brought a gigantic pot of mashed potatoes. They were so creamy and fluffy! I have no clue how she does it, but I certainly cannot. She also brought along a bunch of champagne. OH MY GOSH. She is my mom – all sweet champagne, and it was great to drink them all while everyone was waiting for dinner. It was a while, since I took so long.
After them were my Bro and Margarita (thanks for bringing the cold beers!), and finally Benny who was being a girl and took forever to get dressed. Panda was supposed to come too, but I haven’t heard from him and hope he’s okay.
So yes! Quite the cast of characters, and everyone got along really well.
Here was the final meal:
Carrot + currant salad
Lemon meringue pie
Boston Cream pie
Pineapple upside down cake (I overcooked it a little – a bit too dry)
Vanilla bean cheesecake
Pumpkin flan (like bread pudding in texture, but still pumpkiny)
We totally forgot about the green beans in the oven and found them the next morning, shriveled beyond recognition. Dangit. Pretty sure that was it, but now we’ve got lots of food in the fridge. Personally, I thought the turkey tasted great, and I am loving eating all of these leftovers. Maybe next time I have a family event I won’t over-purchase food and I’ll actually stick to a decent time line and not overwhelm myself.
Until then, cheers – here’s to understanding and calming family members!
P.S. I’ve also eaten 90% of the lemon meringue pie and 70% of the pecan pie all by myself over the course of three days. If I become diabetic and wonder why, this is probably a good jumping point.