Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Retrospective

Last Thursday, I had Thanksgiving at my house. It was fun, but it is a HUGE sigh of relief that it is over with. After literally a month of planning, recipe hunting, several trips to the Green Market and the grocery store, Thanksgiving finally happened. Thankfully, I had two friends who were huge helps in the kitchen as well as overall preparation.

Starting the weekend before, I made cinnamon ice cream (which I will post about later) and pate brisee. On Tuesday I made the scarlet-carrot soup and my friend made the cranberry relishes. On Wednesday morning, we brined the turkey, and I picked up some beautiful flowers in the Flower District.
Brining the 21 pound turkey. Photo taken by AWD.
Later I skipped out of work a little early and headed to Big Nick's for some greasy pizza and one tall Heineken.
One crowded walk home due to the loads of people watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons getting blown up (why do people care about this? I am still trying to figure it out), I made my way to my apartment to begin making the pies - apple, pecan, and pumpkin. Unfortunately, my oven was on the fritz - accurate at one temperature - one hundred degrees off on another. This led to some slightly burnt crusts, that really just ruined the appearance, but thankfully not the taste. On top of that, I had accidentally put corn flour instead of corn starch in the pumpkin pie filling. One of my friends was so sweet to go out at 1:00 in the morning to get more ingredients so I could start over.
Photo taken by Clark, J. Petty Officer 2nd Class, USN.
While I was making the pies, my friends set up the tables. They covered the tables with craft paper and used crayons to make place settings. We left the crayons loose on the table so people could doodle and stake their claim. One of my friends also made lentils with mushrooms, as well as the turkey stock for the gravy the next day.
Broken plastic chair thanks to Clark, J.Photo taken by Clark, J. Petty Officer 2nd Class, USN.Photo taken by Clark, J. Petty Officer 2nd Class, USN.
Early next morning, we got up and got the turkey in the oven. In the meantime we made stuffing, zwieback rolls, and put finishing touches on the soup. I also made the menu to pin up on the wall.
Photo taken by AWD.Photo taken by Clark, J. Petty Officer 2nd Class, USN.Photo taken by Clark, J. Petty Officer 2nd Class, USN.
Four and half hours later we got the turkey out of the oven and let it rest and then the insanity began. Sweet potato and cranberry casserole, spicy brussels sprouts, extra stuffing, and the zweiback rolls were all placed in the oven. On the stove we got the gravy going, mashed potatoes, and fried green beans. I am never doing the fried green beans again - or least putting an intoxicated person in charge of them.
Intoxicated Navy Officer/Fry Cook. Photo taken by Clark, J. Petty Officer 2nd Class, USN.

Guests arrived in the midst of everything, and they happily doodled, drank wine and beer, and ate olives, pickles, and cheese while they waited for us to finish things up.
Photo taken by Clark, J. Petty Officer 2nd Class, USN.
Finally the meal was complete, and people lined up to serve themselves. I was so tired I wasn't even hungry - I barely touched my plate. People's favorite dishes were the brussels sprouts (which had kimchee in the dish) and the sweet potato casserole.
Two Ivy Leaguers and an Officer.
A few hours later, after our stomachs settled, we brought out the desserts. A pumpkin pie throwdown ensued and I happily won. My crust had the edge!
Lovely sister judges.

Moment of victory video!
The rest of the night was filled with music, drinks, and chatter.
Redi-Whip Enthusiast.Photo taken by AWD.Sweet Mugpa and Dana.
The next day I awoke to a huge mess - tons of empty cans and bottles, a filthy floor, and too many dishes to clean. Thank goodness I had help :)


  1. sam, this all looks like such fun! wish I coulda been there to eat all of your treats!

  2. this was such a fun post! thanks for having us over to share the holiday with you! maybe next time we can cook some tasty deliciousness for you!