You know sometimes after a crazy, busy, stressful thing has come and gone, and there were all kinds of things that didn't go as planned, but as you look back all you can remember was the good times and the fun you had?
Well maybe this year's Thanksgiving needs a little more time because I still remember the stuff I screwed up on nice and clear. I have done the large part of the Thanksgiving cooking quite a few times now and I really just feel like every year should be one step forward to Thanksgiving Linner perfection (it feels weird calling it dinner, does anyone eat it after 3 p.m.? Cause I never have).
But that just wasn't the case this year, I went down a few notches instead of up. Here were my three biggest blunders:
#1 The Pie Blunder - We made 9 pies this year and had some really great ones. The chocolate pecan turned out deliciously and the apple pie was perfection with just a spoonful of vanilla ice cream on top. But my favorite pies are always the cream pies and I have been making my grandma's recipe for a few years now. I do not know what I did wrong this year but, after many salvaging attempts, I gave up. My coconut cream pie was liquid soup. Super bummer. Instead of chancing another failure, I used my backup pudding packet to make the banana cream. It was well received but... well it just wasn't the same.
#2 The Store Blunder - I thought I was so on top of things and had everything I needed days in advance. Well that didn't work out as planned and I got to take a quick trip to the Walmart across the street 4 times during Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving. Every time I walked in, I could feel the invisible glares from the cashiers who were thinking, "YOU, and every other slacker who didn't get their shopping done in time are the reason I have to be at work today!" I refused to go to the grocery story for like a week after Thanksgiving. Thank goodness we had leftovers...
#3 The Roll Blunder - The one that bothers me the most. I make my mother in law's roll recipe and it is delicious and very forgiving. I cannot explain to you what was going through my mind when I whipped up the recipe just as called for. I always ALWAYS double or triple the batch. Except for this time. So we had 20 people coming to my house and I had a total of 18 rolls. So, so unacceptable. This invoked one of the above Thanksgiving day store trips to buy what were deemed the "kid rolls." I then made a double batch the next day so we would have sufficient roll sandwiches.
Phew... getting all of that off my chest I already feel better. Now onto the stuff I totally nailed.
#1 The Company - The Warrens, the Rosenlofs, and the Bahlmanns were superb company. They brought delicious dishes and great conversation. Plus, they kept all of their roll disappointment to themselves, which I was grateful for. I am choosing to take all credit for the success of my guests
#2 The Turkey - I think it was just a touch bit overcooked in the breast but otherwise delicious. I have had a lot of luck with my brining method and it was super tasty. Really good gravy too... mmmmmm.... gravy.
#3 The Taters - I tried the crock pot mashed potato recipe I pinned recently and it was super awesome. I would highly suggest using chicken broth instead of water and adding a little cream cheese in with the butter but it was handy, out of the way, and turned out really delicious.
#4 The Pom Salad - I hope to always have pomegranate salad at my Thanksgiving dinner. It will just always be Grandpa Earl memories in a bowl for me. But I don't think a little revamp on the recipe diminishes the memories. So instead of fruit cocktail (which I am not a fan of) I do fresh fruit, which this year included pineapple, grapes and bananas. And at the last minute I threw in a few maraschino cherries and it was awesome.
Since there are more on the awesome list than sucky list I am going to say Thanksgiving was overall a winner. Of course none of you are going to mention that the lack of any pictures taken could also make it on the bummer list so I can keep my win. Thank you for that. And Happy Thanksgiving!