Thanksgiving Recap

25 Nov

Now that my Thanksgiving dinner is over, everything is devoured, and I am free to watch my Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special, I am feeling content, full, and a few pounds heavier. I had forgotten this amazing yet slightly alarming post-Thanksgiving feeling of “wow I really hope I don’t explode in my sleep tonight” that you get while toddling from the dinner table to the couch.

This is what truly makes Thanksgiving for me–that and the pie. Would you like to see my Thanksgiving table? What’s that–you don’t care? Well, TOO BAD, you’re gonna see it anyway!

Not the most artistic picture I’ve ever taken, but I was hungry and it smelled SO good. Anyway, you’ll notice that on our table was the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and also some less common but still traditional dishes like yam and marshmallow casserole, green bean casserole with fried onions, candied cranberries, and cranberry salsa (a Thanksgiving staple for our family). Dessert was a maple and nutmeg tart (oooooohhhhh mygod don’t start me on that delicious thing).

We actually made the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy completely from scratch. Yesterday, we baked a loaf of cornbread, let it dry overnight, and then chopped it up this morning and put it in the crock pot with butter, oil, sage, salt, celery, butter, chopped dry apricots, dried parsley, butter, and more butter. It was really good. We made the mashed potatoes by steaming some peeled and chopped Yukon Gold potatoes, and then mashing them with some salt, pepper, milk, butter, olive oil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

And of course, thanksgiving wouldn’t be thanksgiving without a Thanksgiving Disaster or two in the preparation of the food. We actually talked about this over the dinner table–Thanksgiving Disasters can include (but are not limited to) dropping food, burning the turkey, exploding food, setting food aflame, setting the house aflame, being forced to cook the entire meal using only a toaster oven because the normal oven stopped working, the time my mother helpfully sprayed cleaning fluid on the turkey while it was on the barbecue and then, in the commotion that followed, dumped the whole thing–barbecue and hot coals included–on the ground, etc, etc.

Our personal Thanksgiving Disaster was actually quite comical. I love me a yam and marshmallow casserole, and I insisted on having one this year. The recipe (which was very good, by the way–you can check it out here) said to cook the casserole in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through, until the marshmallows on top are melted and golden brown. Well, since we steamed the yams and mashed them immediately, they were still warm, so all we really had to do was melt and caramelize the marshmallows on top. The turkey was out and almost ready, the guests were here…we were hesitant to wait just for the yam casserole. So we had the bright idea of simply broiling the pan for a minute or two, just to get the marshmallows on top perfect.

What’s that term for hitting your head against the table repeatedly? Oh, that’s right– *headdesk*

So I put it under the broiler, telling myself to check it in 30 seconds or so, and naturally forgot all about it. Five minutes later, my mom opens the oven to get something else out, and–oh! look! The yams are on fire. We’re talking bonfire-sized flames here. So we slam the oven door shut and turn it off in hopes of smothering our dinner–all to no avail. The bonfire is large enough that it just keeps going in there…finally, we decide to see if a cookie sheet upended over the top of the casserole dish will put out the bonfire. Our backup plan was the fire extinguisher, but thankfully, the cookie sheet method proved very effective! We put out the flames to reveal a series of small, blackened, ominously smoking marshmallow stumps that reminded me of something you might find in a cartoon. Or possibly the black lagoon.

the smoke marks on the inside of the casserole dish are a nice touch, aren’t they? (sorry…I know that the photo is slightly fuzzy. This is probably due to the fact that I was laughing while taking the picture.)

As it turns out, that whole layer of stumps just lifted right off the top of the casserole, and we were able to replace the marshmallows and recook the whole thing. It actually ended up tasting quite delicious–arguably one of the best dishes on the table. We all agreed that the casserole had a certain…smoky flavor that really enhanced its taste. I’m thinking a future popular cooking method…can’t you see it? A recipe that says “top with marshmallows. Place under the broiler until the marshmallows have caught thoroughly on fire. Smother with a cookie sheet. Remove top blackened layer. Set aside.”

Ah, the trials and tribulations of Thanksgiving. Gotta love it.


Anyway, it’s late, and I am in a post-turkey coma. I need to attempt to climb the stairs to my bedroom now.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!


“I’ll see you later–IN YOUR NIGHTMARES!”


One Response to “Thanksgiving Recap”

  1. Aunt Karen November 26, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    “the time my mother helpfully sprayed cleaning fluid on the turkey while it was on the barbecue and then, in the commotion that followed, dumped the whole thing–barbecue and hot coals included–on the ground”

    Oh my! I didn’t know about that one… seems to be something in the genes on the maternal side of the gene pool in the family… Luckily, I take after Grampa 🙂 Thank you for arming me with that information, I owe you! …Aunt Jeri will love the marshmallow bonfire idea – probably a little too much!

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