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Old 11-29-2013, 05:45 PM   #1
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Hits and Misses review of TDay dinner...

I thought it would be good for a place to review the day after here.

Turducken was the main event on my son's table yesterday. While it was very interesting, it wasn't worth the cost ($100.00). He works far too hard for his money, and I think his Webber turkeys of the past are better. It sure was fun though for a once in a lifetime foodie adventure.

The gravy I made was a hit thanks to help from Andy making the day ahead roux. I had killer turkey stock that I previously made for it, but the chestnut brown roux made from Trader Joes clarified butter gave it an unmistakable richness I've never experienced before. It was an absolute home run and I'll never settle for anything less again. Thanks again Andy.
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
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Ours was pretty much a home run. Although, in fairness, I only had to please Glenn and me.

I did Cornish hens on the rotisserie. They had butter, garlic and fresh rosemary stuffed under their skin, which really flavored them beautifully and made the house smell killer good.

New recipes included bourbon cranberry sauce. Awesome. Wild rice-walnut-cranberry stuffing. Another awesome! Bakechef's praline yams. We just wanted to crawl into the dish they were so good and, finally, a pumpkin pie that had the best spice flavor profile I've ever tasted.

The rest of the meal included old standby dishes and, of course (mandatory) a basket of homemade potato rolls.

All in all, I think it was the best Thanksgiving ever, even without a turkey. We give the day an A++
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:11 PM   #3
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Can't think of any misses, everything was great.

One guest prepared Yorkshire Pudding just before dinner and it was a delicious addition to the meal!

We had so much food, and had such a great time with friends!

Again I heard from guests that this was the best turkey that they have ever had, thanks Alton Brown!
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:43 PM   #4
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Dinner turned out good. Everything turned out as expected and everyone ate themselves into a stupor. Once again I used the Good Eats recipe for the turkey except I left out some of the flavorings. Every time I make it, it turns out tasty and moist. SO made a bunch of different cookies and cakes to go with the apple pie I made and a pecan pie we bought as a fund raiser for our grandson's school.

All that good food served its purpose. SO and I were surrounded by our families and we all enjoyed each other's company.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:10 PM   #5
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It was top 40 # 1 Hits all the way at Dx's. It helps she has a larger home for entertaining even if her kitchen is small.

I think a lot of the day's success is we started on Wed and were able to pace ourselves so the work was spread out. Now, there are reasons we are ex's, though we have become forgetful in our soon to be golden years.

She's a neat-nik, so there were no messes allowed. That is Real Hard for me to keep in mind for two days in a row. I will use every pan and bowl in a cupboard. She makes me get out All my equipment for anything and no going back for more later. For instance, making gravy I had a whisk, wooden spoon, wooden flat spatula scrapy thingie, which I was admittedly done using, slotted spoon ( didn't use, but wanted it handy) , and a teaspoon for tasting. Now, there is only one spoon rest on the stove. And it should remain Clean If You Keep The Spoon in your hand. She took away my toys mid -stir and I had to pull out a 2nd set. Luckily, every thing is within arm's reach.

One sis brought "mom's" sweet potatoes, a niece brought roasted Brussels sprouts and there was no other hot vegetable. The potatoes were cooked, mashed and put in a crock pot to keep warm, and they were. Plenty of salads, and they were each different, how is that possible with greens and veggie arrangements??

The yeast rolls were baked brown on top and still a little doughy on the bottom halves. I s'pose the oven had gotten tired by the time they were put in to bake. That's pretty minor. The day, the food, were great. The family got along well, that's always a consideration with a lot of sibs. The best part is 2 nieces/nephews brought their kids and there were little runners and crawlers to watch and play with. That may have been the best fun for me.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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All the oven side dishes we got from Gelson's were great. Less prep, less mess, and cleanup.
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:52 PM   #7
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The Breville Toaster Oven did a slam up job cooking the Cornish game hens. Took an hour and they were perfect!

The spinach was stellar, I put water in a fry pan, a couple of grinds of garlic herb seasoning into the water as it came to a boil. Put 8 ounces of baby spinach in the pan and slapped a lid on it. No salt, no oil...it was perfect!

The stuffing and gravy were wonderful, I managed to not-over salt anything. Shrek's cauliflower was tender and stinky...he declared it fantastic. I will defer to his opinion. I may not like it, but I can cook it.

The Marionberry pie was supurb, the pumpkin pie was a disappointment...not fully baked and too much nutmeg.

But, we had a great meal all the same.
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:39 AM   #8
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I was happy with the way our meal turned out. I had not prepped anything before Thursday, so that meant I spent most of the day in the kitchen, but we were still able to eat by 5:00, was shooting for 4:00 :( that was just a minor glitch and didn't really matter since it was just the two of us. I was a little disappointed in yellow potatoes I used for mashing, they were kind of translucent and watery when cooked :( but good gravy "covers a multitude of sins". The Brussels sprouts dish I made with mushrooms, garlic and bacon was "a hit" DH was still singing it's praises after the leftovers tonight. I had to substitute chopped walnuts for the pecans in the topping on my brandy mashed yams (still think I have pecans somewhere) but that worked fine and they were "a hit" with me (DH won't eat them, more for me ;) ). The dressing cooked inside the turkey was yummy and there's plenty more in casserole dishes to freeze for another day. I made Andy's apple pie and it was a hit as well, so thanks to Andy! All in all there were more hits than misses and I am grateful for that and for DH putting all the food away after we ate ;)
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:47 AM   #9
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I have to say my grandson and his girlfriend did a bang up job of putting together their very first holiday dinner. Their goal was that my daughter would not have to lift a finger. And she didn't. In fact, she spent most of the morning hours in bed sleeping.

Starting with looking up and creating their menu and recipes, they went shopping with a list and bought every thing they would need including their seasonings right down to the S&P. Both of them studied the recipes and mentally walked through them together. They cooked the whole dinner in my daughter's kitchen. (A smart move of their part. She has a large kitchen.) They cleaned as they worked, as a team. By dinner's end, all that was left was to scrape the dishes and put them in the dishwasher. My SIL set the table while the two kids put the food into bowls. My daughter continued to sit in the LR and watch TV until called to the table.

Aside from the small glitch with the turkey, (which was easily corrected) the dinner was excellent. In fact it was so good, there was no room for the pumpkin cheesecake. But they all dug into it later that night. And there is very little of that left also.

I am so proud of both those kids. All that is left is for me to send them a thank you handwritten note letting them know how happy they made my daughter. At the end before she went to take a nap, she mentioned that she will never have to cook another holiday meal. I can't wait until Christmas to see what they cook up then.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:49 AM   #10
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I forgot to pick up a fresh box of Bell's Seasoning!

The existing box had just enough, phew!

No tragedies or near tragedies here.

I did hold my breath when I reached for the aluminum foil, some years I've ended up with the last 6 or 7 inches on the roll and have had to improvise!
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