We ended up with:
- chex mix, sausage balls, and spinach balls for munching on all day. Also, the stuffed mushrooms got raided for lunch. (Spinach balls: 2 packages spinach, 2 eggs, 1 bag stuffing mix, 1 bag Parmesan cheese, enough vegetable broth until it all held together. Roll into balls, and bake until they're browned and done through, half an hour or so. I'm not sure what temp they went in at, but Faith reports that she thinks Hope put them in at 400).
- turkey. 9.68 pounds, basted with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, in at 1:15 at 350 degrees then down to 300 degrees at 1:45, and it was 20 degrees over temperature at 4. This is the second year that the turkey has been ready way early, so next year I'm starting it later, any protests [Dad] aside. The electric roaster just cooks it much, much faster than the oven does; it's worth owning one just for this one day a year. We turned the roaster off and let the turkey rest, and it was still tasty and not dry an hour later, so yay. Props to Hope for carving it.
The bird was a fresh bird, never frozen, purchased through the co-op, raised in, um, Pennsylvania?, and treated ethically and holy water blessed and all that happy fun stuff, and it was really, really good. Mom in particular commented several times that it was a very good
bird. It was not cheap, but in the realm of people-raised (as opposed to big farmed raised) turkeys, it wasn't bad at all, and it was worth every penny.
- mashed potatoes and gravy, of which I made too many and mixed in too much liquid, so they tasted a little thin to me. There was also way too much of them, which was a theme for the year. Next year, we'll keep the mashed potatoes (for Jeff, it's not Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes) but cut down on the quantity. I mashed up 8 or 9 large potatoes, and 3 or 4 would have done just fine.
- sweet potato casserole
. I am not normally a fan of SPC, but this stuff is SO GOOD. Hope makes this stuff, and we both love it, but we barely put a dent in the pan. Like, one little corner. Hope said she was going to make a smaller pan of it next year. (She also apparently increased the brown sugar quite a bit, if yuo're inclined to make a pan of it...)
- the pioneer woman's rolls
, which did not win the "best rolls evah" that I give them from everyone else, so... we'll try something else for Thanksgiving bread next year. We made a half batch, and there's a lot of them left. Bread pudding, maybe?
- things from a can that were easy: sauerkraut, cranberry sauce. These are for the two mother ships; no one else much likes them (I like cranberry sauce, but not cold and straight from the can like mom does), but they're easy to do and so they stay on the island.
- green bean casserole. I really, really wanted this, because we didn't have it last year, but it was badly timed (it just would not heat up - too much other stuff in the oven, I think) and by the time it came out of the oven, everyone was too full to eat it. :) I think next year we'll just open a jar of my mom's green beans that she puts up and heat them up, since I can make GBC on my own when I want a fix.
- fried squash. Not much left. We asked mom to make it, and she uses more oil than I would, so I imagine it was good. :) I was too full to eat any. Val really likes squash, so I expect we'll keep this.
- steamed broccoli and cheese sauce. Tasty, got eaten, but three heads was too much. It stays on the island, in smaller quantity. 2 heads would make for enough plus leftovers the next day.
We did not do corn, and Jeff has requested that we do next year, so I need to add it back. I think we want to add a can of fruit salad, too.
Last year it seemed like we were cooking all day, but Hope and Faith got the stuffed mushrooms done as I was getting to the house, and then we did the spinach balls. We took a little while to get the turkey in the roaster in the afternoon, and had to muck with the rolls periodically, but other than that, there was an hour of last minute cooking starting at 4. We had a lot more free time than last year, which was nice. We sat around and played games with our cousin.
Mom's pumpkin roll this year was no better than mine last year, so next year I think I'll try to find somewhere around here that makes them and just buy one, if we want one. Her pecan pie was great, though. :)