The day is over, everyone is asleep, and I'm sitting here reflecting on the day. Tonight I am truly thankful for the family and friends who shared our celebration today. I'm especially thankful that everyone had a great day and raved about the food despite the fact that I seemed to be having one disaster after another. People rarely complain about my cooking but holidays really give me the opportunity to prove just how mediocre I am.
Every cook hopes to have a signature dish, a recipe that no one else in the family would ever dream of competing with. I guess we all want to be a little famous even if it's just in our own kitchen. I'm famous for my pumpkin pie. Famous because my pies are truly spectacular. Unfortunately spectacular isn't always a positive adjective. I don't mean to brag but I make very good pie crust and it's important to me that pies be made from scratch because I just don't like premade crust. I should probably stop caring because my skill at pie making ends at the crust. My pumpkin pies are the stuff of legend because I always do something wrong. In past years I have forgotten to add sugar, put in way too much cinnamon, and dropped pies. This year I put two beautiful pies in the oven and 65 minutes later I pulled out two pie crusts filled with fragrant, bubbling, pumpkin soup. That's when I relized that there were still four eggs sitting on the counter. In my rush to get the pies baked I had completely forgotten to add eggs. So, at 1am I got in the car and went looking for pumpkin pies.
It only took me another hour and a half to bake the frozen pies I found so I was just a little tired at 8am when I dragged myself out of bed to stuff the twenty-eight pound turkey. Do you have any idea how big a twenty-eight pound turkey is? It was big.. too big in fact. Too big for the flimsy aluminum pan I planned on using. After sending Bob out on a fruitless search for a bigger pan I was forced to modify the pan and hope that it would work. Thankfully it did just fine although I had to siphon off the turkey juices frequently. When I pulled it from the oven everyone was amazed by it's golden browny perfection... until I moved it to the cutting board and pulled the legs off trying to get it out of the pan.
After the turkey was out of the oven I made gravy and put the yams in the oven to brown. My family always makes marshmellow covered yams. The marshmellows are supposed to be brown and crispy. If you cook them at a temperature that is too low the marshmellows will just melt and if the temperature is too high or the cook gets distracted they can end up over-toasted..or black. This year I hit a brand new low. I didn't just burn the yams.. they caught fire! I certainly impressed my guests as I rushed my flaming cassarole through the dining room on my way to the backyard.
In the end it was a nice day. Good friends.. edible food.. and plenty of wine. Next year I may just avoid cooking with orange vegetables.