Saturday, November 28, 2009

Comedy of Errors

Our Thanksgiving dinner turned out to be a haphazard affair, though ultimately delicious and satisfying. I managed to buy the wrong essential ingredient, destroy a blender AND make a pie! Whew -- no one can accuse ME of being lazy!

Want details? Happy to oblige:

1. We cracked our first bottle of wine at 2 p.m. It's nearly impossible to correctly time a dinner when you're buzzed, but it sure made the rest of the day fun.

2. When we first turned on the oven, we were nearly smoked out by some residue left over from making pot pies the night before. We had the bright idea to set the oven to its self-cleaning cycle, which then prevented us from opening it for the next hour or two. Thus, we were considerably delayed in getting the turkey launched.

3. I bought something labeled "sweet potatoes" at the store, but whatever they were, they were not the sweet potatoes I'd imagined. For starters, they were white instead of orange, which we didn't realize until we'd started cutting.

4. We tried to make the sweet potatoes the way my mom does, whipping them and then baking them with marshmallows on top. But when I tried to puree the roasted potatoes in a blender with brown sugar and butter, it was like pureeing cement. The blender gave up the ghost with a rubbery smell of protest, and we threw out the sweet potatoes, which tasted something like sweetened plaster.

5. I made the pumpkin pie -- at least the filling -- by mixing canned pumpkin with various other ingredients from a recipe. I had to estimate the spices, because we didn't immediately have measuring spoons at hand, and I overspiced that pie pretty fiercely -- but we agreed we liked it nonetheless. Let's hear it for ginger and nutmeg!

For all that went wrong, though, a lot went right. Dave's brined turkey was delicious and juicy, and his mashed potatoes and my roasted Brussels sprouts worked out well. The cornbread stuffing would have been better had we not bought pre-made cornbread from the supermarket, which turned out to be unreasonably sweet. (Why do people put sugar in everything these days?)

Anyway, we finally ate around 7:30 p.m., which made it a memorable Thanksgiving!

(Photo: Shadow of a porch railing in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, Nov. 2009)


  1. We love our sweets, don't we? I agree that savory cornbread is much nicer.

    Sweet potatoes are white, yams are orange-y. I like them both, but maybe not when they taste like plaster.

    However it sounds like a lot of fun! We each had a bloody mary before beginning our cooking. I think all the food was too salty as a result, but otherwise our feast turned out just as we had hoped.

    Much love to you and may the blender R.I.P.

  2. Wonderful photo. And I like your meal recap. You and Dave are a great team. Enjoy your weekend, Doll!

  3. I've never eaten Brussel Sprouts voluntarily.

  4. This sounds much like what was going on at my house!

    There are lots of varieties of sweet potatoes, ranging from garnet red potatoes to the very white biodynamic sweet potatoes from Kentucky, which were absolutely delicious after being whipped up with heavy cream, Chipotle pepper, and other spices.

    We recently burned up our old blender and bought a new Kitchenaid at BB&B (model KSB 560, 900 watts) which works great.

    The secret of a good Thanksgiving dinner is lots of wine and being able to roll with the punches that inevitably come with the meal. Sounds like you did just that!

  5. sounds great steve

    I love sweet potatoes but not with added sweetening - and I've had similar identification problems with both sweet potatoes and with yams - I think there are lots of varieties of each.

    I was at a conference on Thursday and after I'd told one of the staff how delicious the pumpkin soup was, he went back to the kitchen and returned with a list of the spices used - 10 in all! pumpkin needs spicing up a bit i think

  6. I stick by my original statement that Brussel Sprouts are nothing more than Cabbage Testicles and are not suitable for human consumption!