Sunday, December 4, 2011


I think it was the week before Thanksgiving that we were called upon to host the meal this year. There has been so much going on in the family that no one had even thought of Thanksgiving until we asked what the plan was, and Scott's aunt was quite grateful that we could take the pressure off of her by taking it over for the year.

After making pumpkin pie

This year, I found that Thanksgiving is at least as much about cleaning up as it is about cooking. Here's the aftermath of roasting two pumpkins and baking two pies. We got Scott's grandmother's recipe for pumpkin pie with homemade graham cracker crust, and I made two huge ones in the lovely new pans my parents sent me. Unfortunately, the pans were much bigger than the ones the recipe called for, so I was really thrown off on the baking time. I was worried about the charred edges, but everyone enjoyed the result.

After making pickled beets

Here's the result of making pickled beets, which Scott's Polish family traditionally has at the Thanksgiving table. Unfortunately, I accidentally left them in the refrigerator!

Next up was a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust which also really needed a smaller spring-form pan to make a nice high cheesecake, and which I stupidly cracked thanks to forgetting to do a water bath, and which I made look worse thanks to an attempt to be fancy on the decorating front.

Then there was a turkey that pretended to be done, with juices running clear, but was pink down near the drumsticks. Scott took over and cooked it more, cutting deeply into the turkey every time he took it out of the oven, so that by the time it came out of the oven, it was already carved. Fortunately, it was still juicy and tasty.

The end result was hectic, but everyone was pleased with how tasty everything was. And of course, the other result was piles of pots and dishes to wash. And that's not even mentioning the six hours I spent shampooing the carpet, or the rest of the house cleaning. Plus, I was trying to finish as much of the basement as possible beforehand, because I knew that the whole family would want to see our progress.

Despite the hectic preparation, I'm grateful that we could host the meal for the family. Everyone had a good time hanging out together, and I think it was ultimately a success.

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