The main challenge for cooking a successful holiday dinner is ensuring all of the components are hot and ready at the same time without being dried out, over done or cooled off and under done. This year, I made a beautifully flavored and silky gravy which was bubbling hot and my sister kindly ladled into a silver tureen.
"Wow," she said, "This gravy is really hot."
Though the tureen had a rim to keep fingertips away from the heat generated through the metal and onto body parts, I grabbed it from the top and cried, "Holy Smokes!"
Immediately my sons began to make fun of and imitate me.
"Oh, is this hot? Let me stick my thumb in it and check," they laughed.
"I didn't stick my thumb in it," I smiled but the fact of the matter remained, the gravy was smoking hot!
I prefer my vegetables and side dishes without heaviness or creaminess. Green beans are simply sauteed, sometimes with a dose of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
White corn with butter
Stuffing with bread, sausage, finely diced celery and onion (some don't care for it so I try to hide it by making it is tiny as possible), salt, pepper, and egg.
The mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes must have been camera shy.
One 21 pound roast turkey plus an additional turkey breast to ensure enough left over meat for all guest.
Homemade cranberry sauce - simply follow the directions for boiling sugar and water on the back of the package of fresh cranberries and you are a genius. The first year I made it, I think my family missed the sliced cylinder rings of jellied cranberry, but now they are accustomed to the homemade version.
Carrots and parsnips are roasted simply with olive oil and salt & pepper until soft.
The family is quiet for the first few minutes as food is passed and plated. Everyone finds their favorites and I make a plate with a spoonful of everything which creates a mini-platter of food but I manage to plow my way through it.
For dessert, this year we all went with store/bakery bought - apple, cherry and pecan pies. Always a birthday celebration at dessert since my younger son was born on Thanksgiving and though the date of the holiday changes, we always honor his entrance into life.
He gave me a bit of a hard time for putting the candles in the pecan pie when he has a reaction to some nuts but when I explained I could not place the candles in the flaky crusts of the other pies, I was forgiven.
Wonder what his wish was...hope it was for all of us to remain feeling Fed Well.