Sunday, December 1, 2019

Belated Thanksgiving Feast

Yesterday dawned misty and gray. When I took Olga on her morning walk, our neighborhood looked like this -- ghostly trees and empty streets.

I got back into bed and read. But by late morning the mist burned off and the city came to life. Olga and I went to the Heath around 11 a.m., under a blue sky, amid golden autumn light:

And, of course, she terrorized squirrels.

Dave, meanwhile, spent most of yesterday working on our traditional Thanksgiving feast for ten (!), which we hosted last night. Lest I sound like I stuck him with the household drudgery while I was off gallivanting around the forests of North London, let me say, Dave gets so excited when he's cooking -- it animates him like nothing else, even music. I have learned to stay out of the way (an imperative in our tiny kitchen) and let him do his thing.

By the time Olga and I got back, the mashed potatoes were done, the dressing was baking and everything else was as prepared as it could be at that point. After bathing the dog, I helped Dave hoist Greg -- that's what he named our spatchcocked turkey -- into the oven, and then he worked on the side dishes with periodic assistance from me. We made my mom's recipe for sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, a holiday favorite of mine -- Dave kept insisting it should have an egg in it, and I said, "Trust me. It doesn't." And it turned out perfect, sans egg.

Our guests arrived at 6 p.m., and of course they all brought food too -- we had four pies, five types of bread, and it was all a little insane, which I suppose it should be at Thanksgiving. We served all the food buffet-style, laid out on our two dining room tables. (For once I was glad that we have two of them!) I am happy to report that Greg was delicious.

One of our guests, who is Finnish, had never celebrated Thanksgiving before. She kept moaning about how full she was. "That's the point!" I told her.

Exhausted Olga, after her long walk, begged some food and then went to sleep on top of everyone's coats, finding them mysteriously preferable to her pink blanket.

I don't even know what time everyone departed, but I'd been working on dishes intermittently so everything wasn't stacked up at the end of the night. (Dave cooks; I do cleanup.) I washed two loads of dishes last night and woke up at 5 a.m. to tackle a third, and to hand-wash the wine and martini glasses and a few other odds and ends. I think it's all more or less under control now (except the broiler pan -- ugh).

We put away so many leftovers that the refrigerator is stuffed. We froze a few things just because the only space we had was in the freezer. You should see the pile of turkey we still have to eat. We seriously won't need to shop for a week.


  1. Good work sharing!
    A nice thing to have plenty of means that you can relax the cooking regime for a few days!
    Sounds like it was a really good celebration

  2. That sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, the cooking, the serving, the leftovers and the clean up. I got to take some turkey home with me last week so I'll have turkey sandwiches for the next couple of days.

  3. Sounds like you guys really outdid yourselves.
    I'm glad it all came out so well.
    The thing about Thanksgiving that's so hard is that after one has cooked all day (or for several days) and then eats the feast, the clean-up is absolutely a Herculean task. I have been brought to tears by it more than once.
    Well, it's generally worth it and now not only will you not have to shop for a week, you won't have to cook for a week either.

  4. sounds like a typical Thanksgiving...everyone stuffed to the gills and still so much food left over.

  5. Glad you had a great Thanksgiving feast. I learned something knew. You have to name the turkey you roast!

  6. Sounds like quite the Thanksgiving feast there. My mom loved the sweet potato yam dish at Thanksgiving as well. Sweet beyond sweet! We have the same rule at our house, the one who cooks doesn't wash the dishes.

  7. It sure sounds like you folks had an awesome Thanksgiving gathering with lots of delicious food. I'm making turkey salad with some of the leftover turkey that I have. I love the photos of Olga. Especially the one of her sleeping on all the coats. My Pogo does that too. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  8. Finnish? Was one of your guests a dishwasher tablet?

  9. Sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving. So glad you didn't let Dave add that egg to the sweet potatoes.

  10. Noooooooo! No egg in the sweet potatoes! How big was the turkey that Dave was able to spatchcock it? I'm very impressed by that. When we used to have T-day, Jim would follow behind me washing everything. If I put a spoon down for a second, gone! Even still, after the final push to get it all done at the same time, there was always a new pile of dishes. I can't decide if I miss those days or not.

  11. The roasting pan is always my nemesis too :)

    But the leftovers are glorious!

    I don't think I could name our turkey - I have to disassociate entirely to be able to eat turkey or any other meat . . .

  12. Leftovers are the very best part of these holiday feasts.

  13. Ohhh your feast and guests sounds like a lot of fun. Mayhem ruled here as well. I just love the photo of Olga lying atop of everyone's coats! She had a full tummy and lots to sniff!

    I tried imagining an egg in the sweet potatoes! I couldn't haha, but I still laughed at the idea. Did Dave change his mind after eating a bit of it?

    As for the broiler pan.. Here is my secret. Spray it down with a spray like PAM or the equivalent and just before putting it in the oven, add a little water to the bottom of the pan. It will mingle with the juices and helps keep the pan from getting that crusty baked on mess from sticking.
    How much water? I just add about a half a cup.

    Our Thanksgiving was nice but I am glad it is over. Now I have to get serious about Christmas. :)

  14. You used your two dining room tables to lay out the buffet. Where did everyone sit to eat?
    (Stubblejumpers Cafe)