Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner

First off -- Many Thanks to Brother-in-Law and chief Turkey fryer, Byron for the pictures. I had a few but most came from him as I was busy cooking. Shown above are some of the pre-meal munchies we had.

Left is Diane's phyllo-tomato-cheese pie. It was half gone when I arrived, but I did manage to score a piece and it was very good. Next up are Diane's craveworthy deviled eggs. Very well done and so pretty~!
Jim's pimiento cheese is on the right (I know it's hard to see) which Melissa said "changed her life" It was very popular so I'll post the recipe below. For any of you folks "not from around here" (i.e. not southerners) Pimiento Cheese and Deviled eggs are required at any Important Gathering. Not pictured were Diane's turnip green dip and Liz's mushrooms and mozzarella.

Pimiento Cheese (I had to google it to find the correct spelling)
an 8 oz block of 2 of your favorite cheeses... except for Bleu - it doesn't play well with others. (For example, 8 oz of Sharp Cheddar and 8 oz of Monterey Jack.)
freeze the cheeses for a short time to make it easier to coarsely grate them.
meantime let 4 oz of cream cheese come to room temperature
after the cheese is coarsely grated add 1 small jar of pimientos and some of the pickling liquid, stir in and bond everything with the softened cream cheese, add a little salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
How to cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner:
First you must remove the cat from the table. She decided the bread basket fit her body perfectly.Then you pour some wine and get to work. Fortunately we had done most of the prep in the 2 preceeding days so it was the last minute items we worked on.. Seemed like there was a lot to do! I browned some Panko crumbs for use on top of a couple of casseroles (Thanks Neru for the tip!)
I had made the cheese sauce for the mac and cheese the day before so all I needed to do there was cook the pasta stir in and reheat the cheese (fontina, asiago, parmesan, cheddar and monterey jack) and assemble the dish. Melissa had her green bean casserole squeezed in with the Turkey in the oven and we used some bread crumbs there too.. although I think she should have used the onion rings instead.. Trust your instincts Mel. :) The Brussel Sprouts have just a few ingredients: shredded sprouts, toasted pecans, butter and maple syrup and some cider vinegar. Sautee it all up in a pan and you're done in 10 minutes! There were two cornbread dressings basically the same ingredients except for the stock used to moisten them. The vegetarian
and the chicken-turkey version:
The vegetarian option was far better this time. The pan I baked the other version in was like a pizza stone, and I've never used a baking dish like this before. I overcooked it and it was a bit dry :( but ..lessons learned! So far, I know it all looks like boring brown food. Unfortunately, I have no pics of Liz's sweet potatoes, brilliantly orange and smooth and she used a touch of garlic which was different, a nice touch, I'd say. Neither do I have a shot of her fantastic roasted corn salad that had several colors of peppers, black beans and some scallion greens. Also there was the beautiful deep red cranberry sauce so a lot of colors are underrepresented here and I apologize for that. The birds ( yes, two) were beautiful each in their own way. Roasted and deep fried: Bruce said Grace and we all gave Thanks for our many blessings. And here we are all together enjoying each other's company, interrupting each other, joking, laughing and eating.. Isn't that what it's all about? I know Norman Rockwell never painted a cat in the bread basket but this gathering felt pretty Rockwellian in spite of all our family nuttiness! 16 people 4 dogs, 2 cats a pig and a tree frog! Quite the gathering I'd say.
And we can't forget dessert! Pumpkin pie with the little Martha Stewart like pie crust leaves. What happened to the mincemeat Napoleons you ask? Darn, I was hoping you wouldn't.. OK I was out of steam, and wasn't up to the challenge of phyllo dough ( having never worked with it before) BUT I brought home the fantastic mincemeat concoction that Liz worked so hard on and I'll put together something to share with my neighbors and post.
And Ziggy the piggy awaits some leftovers: I hope everyone who reads this had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. I know I did! Thanks again to Liz and Byron for their hospitality, we had a wonderful time. I'll be back at the book next week.
See you soon.


  1. OK all you Lauriaults and others... please comment

  2. that word is to big for me lol.i think appetizers would have been enough even for cal.deep fried turkey looked real good never had it that way.