Pizza (recovery from failure)
Success! other then that I overloaded the pizza, but it was still delicious. I was a bit disheartened, because I didn't get the chance to have the time to pull the mozzarella and make little mozzarella balls. I did do the research and it ended up being easier then I thought it would be.
This turned out well. For a 3rd meal off of one large squash, it was really good. A bit time consuming, but you have to expect that, to some extent, from risotto.
Turkey Sloppy Joes with Hoisin and Cilantro (cause turkey twice in the week isn't enough)
I vaguely followed the recipe, used it as a guideline, but I always need a bit of that mustard taste in there. Turned out well.
Again, a total modification of the dinner, but a vague following. Straight forward and simple.
So for the first thanksgiving for us of 2013 we spent some time with my family and I didn't have to do much at all. This was kind of nice. It kind of reminds me what it is like to do with all of that stuff. I did, however, pick up some cheese, meats and etc for the appetizers (something that I think my family is still unused to). I think it makes total sense though, people get the chance to eat on a few things and not bug the people in the kitchen sneaking a hunk of this or that. But there were plenty of things to eat there which made it kind of nice and we could stay out of the way of the people (I volunteered to help and wasn't called upon). I also made some pumpkin bread and some dark molasses gingerbread cake. Pumpkin bread, was popular as always, but I loved the hell out of the dark molasses gingerbread cake (in bread pans). It was also popular with my family. So much so, I want to make it again, and use blackstrap molasses, as it states you should (but I couldn't find).
So I love me some smoked turkey (was smoked here where Joseph's smoker is, and taken there), and Joseph's stuffing was good, and everything turned out pretty well. I think the big disappointment to me was the statement of key lime pie, and just getting lime pie. The Lime pie was still good, but not what I wanted, so it was disappointing. After a bit of a rest, we headed back home to have a lazy night (me grocery planning) and thinking of the general plan of the prep for Thanksgiving II. I think the highlight of the travel was this Honda Element that got pulled over after crazy passing (zoomed up behind me, switched lanes, zoomed to the next car, switched back, and then snuck through a just barely wide enough space to continue on). I don't so much care if people speed, I can neither confirm nor deny that I may participate in that activity, but it's unsafe behavior that bugs me more. Seeing him get pulled over was one of those just desserts type of situation.
So with planning and the like that's how you prepare for so much food being ready at the same time. But with people bringing appetizers and some side dishes and desserts, it makes it quite a bit easier to execute. So I made some stuff in advance, and then executed the things that have to be prepared the day off. It was easy enough where I had to work on one or two things at a time, and then get prepped to do a bunch of things all together for the last part. Everything turned out well. I was worried how somethings may go over with the palettes of my family (in-law side). The cranberry sauce could've been to tart, or this might be to much, etc etc. Anyways, it ended up working out and I was pretty happy. I wasn't to far off the estimated start time (about 30 minutes behind). We had good conversations and it's nice to see everyone, including Shannon's aunt, who usually works holidays (but if I remember right, is now retired). I did miss chatting with Nancy's children, who are certainly welcome. Maybe next year it'll work out for them to come. Though we are pushing the limits of the practical guest count of a home (that includes a formalish sit down dinner). The frustrating part here was that I visited 4 or 5 stores before I gave up on fresh Thyme, only to have Shannon find it at the store she visited.
Anyways, things went better then previous years, I'm still unsatisfied with my carving skills, Pies still scare me and I messed up the pumpkin cheese cake (didn't extract enough water), but on the other hand, I really liked the gravy this year, so that's a positive.