We had a fun and busy Thanksgiving weekend!!! Thanksgiving Day, Mikey, Terah, Audrey, Dina, Jennifer, Vikrant and Dante joined the boys and Doug and I for a noontime feast at Kalachandji's Palace and Restaurant. It's actually a Hare Krishna temple and they have the BEST food!! I love that place!! Aldous was really fussy, so I didn't get many pictures.
Terah, and Audrey (trying some sweet potato...she hates food...LOL)
Outside at Kalachandji's. The weather was spectacular!!! Dina is there in front of the turkey pen. She had just finished running a big Thanksgiving race, the Turkey Trot. Doug and William are checking out the turkey.
The feast at Kalachandji's is vegetarian.
The next day, Terah, Amanda and Emily all came over to decorate the tree, eat spaghetti and hang out. For some reason, this is the only pic I took of this event. All three babies were fascinated by the box of decorations!! Sadly, we couldn't find the box with all the birds that I had bought last year, so we had to do poinsettias AGAIN!!!
William and Doug enjoy their first story by the light of the Christmas tree.
Our Thanksgiving Menu
Turkey and Stuffing*
Spiral Cut Ham
Sweet Potato Casserole*
Apple Cranberry Pie
*recipes at the end of post
I didn't include a recipe for the turkey b/c I don't do anything special to it. I just roast it the regular way.
William spent a lot of time helping me this year. In preparation for making the stuffing, we dried out a billion cubes of bread. William requested I take a picture of THIS particular cube.
After they were all dry, we put them in gigantic ziplocks. We had dried enough for Thanksgiving AND Christmas, so we won't have to do this again.
The day of the bread cubes was also the day of the pies!!!
And of the rolls.....
William wasn't quite sure what this was for, but he discovered it's not a very good kazoo.
Thanksgiving Day is here!!! well, for us. This was actually the Saturday after.
Amanda had a test on Monday, so she set herself up at the table to do a bit of studying while the food cooked.
The turkey!! Moist and succulent as always!!
We had a sweet potato casserole, and a summer squash casserole.
A ham and the rolls.
The pies in the mess of a kitchen.....You would think someone had been cooking in there or something. oh, yes, and desserts...pies and a yummy chocolate cake Evelyn had made for Cary, in honor of his birthday.
Chow time!!! Terah LOVES turkey and was first in line (as usual)
Emily, Mikey, and Brittany!!!
Brittany and Emily requested a pic of them posing, for some reason.
Doug's not-as-sexy-as-usual pose.
Two excited babies!!!
Emily feeding Aldous
naked baby!!! Amanda and her boyfriend, Nick!
Alexander and Aldous: both big fans of babywearing.
Mikey brought the Wii and everyone had a good time with it!!!
William playing with Zachary's coat.
Terah and Audrey
Amanda playing the Wii, but I have NO idea what game.
More after dinner fun: Doug and Zachary playing chess. They tried two times, but William kept bumping the game. He got put into time out for it, then when on the phone with Grandmom said "I in time out. I knock it down the puzzle. I in trouble"
Cary and Evelyn. Evelyn's after dinner fun was maniacally tracing my sewing patterns.
Taking a break!
Playing chess again. Apparently, Doug was taking a long time at his turn, so Zachary is playing cards with William.
William riding his bike in Terah's shoes.
While everyone was playing Wii, the Zachary, Alexander and I went for a trolley ride on the McKinney Avenue Trolley. We rode it all the way around!!
It was a great day!!!
2c diced celery
1m onion, diced (I usually almost puree onion and celery together in the processor to avoid "chunks" of stuff in the stuffing)
1 stick of butter
6 c chicken or turkey broth
chopped cooked giblets
10c dried bread cubes
3 eggs beaten
1-2T poultry seasoning
extra thyme to taste (I put thyme in everything...lol)
Melt butter in a HUGE pot and saute the onion and celery. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer 10m, stir in remaining ingredients but the eggs. Transfer to a bowl and let cool 5 minutes, stir in eggs.
I put mine right into the turkey at this point, but sometimes I make the stuffing the day before and just leave it in the bowl, cover and refrigerate. This was plenty for our 23lb turkey, plus a small pan.
Sweet Potato Casserole
(I had a delicious-sounding recipe from Holly Stout, but I forgot to buy two of the ingredients so I had to make this one, which I wasn't sure about. WAS wonderful, tho, thank goodness, and everyone liked it!!)
5 sweet potatoes (mine were about 5in long)
1/2 c sugar
preheat oven to 350. grease a 9x13 baking dish. Cook the sweet potatoes, and mash while still warm. (I actually peeled, diced and boiled mine the day before and refrigerated them w/ no issue) . In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and beat and until very smooth and fluffy. Transfer to baking dish.
1/4c butter, softened
3/4c packed brown sugar
Mix with pastry blender, then sprinkle over top of unbaked casserole
Bake casserole uncovered for 30m, until topping is crisp and browned.
Squash Casserole (this was a big hit!!)
6c diced yellow squash or zucchini (I used both)
1T veg oil
1 lg onion, diced
1T minced garlic
1/2c sour cream
1c grated cheddar cheese
1 c seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350. Saute diced squash in oil until soft, about 15m. Drain and press out excess moisture from cooked squash; set aside.
Saute onions in butter for 5 minutes. Combine squash, onion and all remaining ingredients except bread crumbs in a large bowl. Transfer into a greased casserole and top with bread crumbs. Bake 25-30, or until lightly browned.
I use pumpkin I cooked myself, from pumpkins I buy on sale in October. Just cook and freeze, puree at your convenience. :) This makes a HUGE difference in taste from the canned pumpkin....HUGE!!!!! Aside from that, this recipe has only simple ingredients: nothing expensive or fancy, and makes the best pumpkin pie I've ever had.
2c cooked, mashed pumpkin
1c brown sugar
1/4t each cloves, nutmeg, and ginger
Preheat oven to 450. Combine all ingredients and beat very well. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350, then bake 45 more minutes.
Pastry Dough, all butter.
I have to confess. This is my FAVORITE pie crust recipe, but since I had to make four crusts this year, I cheated and used another recipe for three of them. Sadly, those crusts were inferior and the shrunk. I used the shabby recipe for BOTH pumpkin pies and the bottom of the apple pie. The top of the apple pie was this far superior recipe, and I will never use another again.
1 1/4c flour
1 stick of cold butter, in 1/2in cubes
3-4 T ice water (I ALWAYS have to use 4T)
whisk flour and salt together, then blend in the butter until it resembles coars meal. Drizzle 3 T of water and stir in w/ a fork until it's evenly incorporated. Squeeze a bit of dough, and if it doesn't hold together add the remaining water 1t at a time, testing as you go.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into four portions. Use the heel of your hand to distribute butter throughout each section, reform into a ball. Refrigerate or roll out for your recipe.