We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Quiet, restful togetherness. Steve's parents and three of his six siblings traveled here to Virginia from upstate New York, Connecticut, and North Carolina to join us and my parents. It was fun to have a big group (11), and so good to see everyone!
The guys deep fried the turkey, which I love because it frees up the oven and gives them something to do.
In the kitchen we fixed mashed potatoes, sweet potato souffle, roasted Brussels sprouts, homemade stuffing and Cherie's rolls, an extra turkey breast, and Jello salad. On Friday we headed to downtown Winchester to get some fresh air, then took naps and watched more football. By Saturday morning everyone had gone and Olivia was on company-withdrawal, so we went out and got our first Christmas tree in several years, a Douglas fir. I'm embracing the holidays!
Stuffing: Went with a hybrid of croutons and soft unseasoned cubes, added rehydrated dried apricots+golden raisins+Craisins, sauteed onion & celery, local sausage, fresh sage, and pan drippings from roasting a chicken. Baked to get the top crispy and golden. It was delicious and not hard, so for all you Stovetop people, try making your own stuffing.
When we got a break from cooking "dinner" we made Rice Crispies treats. Someone had brought these to the PSU-OSU tailgate and they were gooey and delicious -- not bricks -- so I had to try. We took the marshmallows off the burner when they were almost melted so their remained some bits of marshmallow, then added the cereal and dropped them in globs on waxed paper instead of pressing them into a pan. And then they were gone.
Yukon Golds make the best mashed potatoes. They are naturally buttery tasting (and looking, hence the name) and creamy in consistency, even before I added the sour cream.
I was on a mission to have people be pleasantly surprised by roasted Brussels sprouts (quartered, olive oil + salt, 375 for 20 min) and mince pie (which is really just spiced apple & raisin pie). I think I succeeded.
We used my friend Karen O'Hare's recipe for sweet potatoes, which is delicious and could pass for dessert. Note: if you are going to double it, use two casserole dishes or one with a tray underneath as the souffle puffs up and *could* drip onto the bottom of your oven, causing it to burst into flames or at least smoke up whenever you use your oven. Ahem.
Sweet Potato Souffle
One 40 oz can of yams (which are not sweet potatoes but are easier to use)
one cup sugar
one half stick butter, softened
one cup milk
one half tsp nutmeg
one half tsp cinnamon
Mix with electric mixer, pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
one half c of frosted flakes
one half c of nuts (any type)
one half c of brown sugar
one half c of butter
Melt butter, turn off heat, add other ingredients, spread over potatoes, bake an additional 10 minutes.