Sunday, November 25, 2012


My top three favorite holidays, in order:
1. Christmas
2. My birthday (this list has not changed since I was about 12, so YES, my birthday is a holiday!)
3. Thanksgiving

It's like a delicious, fattening countdown since Thanksgiving is every fourth Thursday in November, followed by my birthday- December 3rd, and then Christmas- December 25th.

When I was growing up, we never had a specific tradition for Thanksgiving. Several years we just had an awesome meal at home, then we went to my dad's side of the family for awhile, then one year my mom and I went with some family friends to New York to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (worth it!!), then we started going to the house of a family friend for potluck type meals. All were fun and all were spent with people we really liked, eating yummy food and talking. So, I suppose that's the common thread.

Last year I had to work (I work nights) and we had only been in Portland for four months so we didn't do anything. This year I was hoping to have it be meaningful again. I would say that was a success. Plus, it gave me motivation to clean the house!

We invited my friend Ashley and her husband over to eat with us. Then we had to decide on a menu. That was harder than I anticipated since we're vegetarian. Luckily, Ashley & Craig have been vegetarian as well, so they didn't mind not having a turkey. I tossed around the idea of Tofurkey but it seems from the online reviews that it does taste a lot like turkey. That's one thing people who aren't vegetarians don't really understand. Sometimes, we just don't like the taste of meat, so I may not want a meat substitute that tastes "just like the real thing". For me, beef and turkey are like that. I never liked the taste. Surprisingly, T doesn't like turkey, either. I would say he's about 90% vegetarian. So, given all that we scratched the fake turkey off our list. Next we looked at a pumpkin gnocchi or butter nut squash gnocchi or faux chicken pot pie. We let our guests make the decision, as they all sounded good to us. They chose the pot pie. One thing you're not supposed to do when hosting an event or having a dinner party is to try all new recipes. Well, since we don't really cook any of this stuff normally, that's exactly what we did.

Appetizer: Pear & goat cheese bruschetta
Main dish: Faux chicken pot pie
Sides: Mashed potatoes, Biscuits (Travis' grandma's recipe), Green bean casserole (brought by guests), Fresh greens & parmesan salad, Stuffing, Pumpkin muffins (brought by guests)
Desserts: Pumpkin pie, Apple Pie (crust from Travis' grandma's recipe), Vanilla ice cream (brought by guests)
Drinks: Spiced apple cider, White zinfindel wine, hard cider (brought by guests) and beer (brought by guests)

I know you're dying to hear how everything tasted since we'd never made it before. My favorite was the apple pie. I could have probably eaten a whole one by myself. So, so, so good! Everything else was really good as well, except the bruschetta and the pumpkin pie. The bruschetta chutney recipe called for apple cider vinegar. I think I would halve the amount called for in the recipe next time or just put goat cheese and a pear on top of the bruschetta and call it good. The pumpkin pie didn't seem to have set enough somehow and then we used a store bought pie crust instead of T's grandma's recipe and it burned. Still, I don't recall a Thanksgiving where I just ate one plate but that's all any of us could shove in. It was so filling. After dinner we played Cranium, did Rorschach tests (who doesn't do those for fun?), and chatted. And ate pie of course. MMmmmm. Pie.

Evolution of an Apple Pie
Start with a great recipe
Chop and peal apples until your hands are wrinkly
That looks about right
Mix the dough for the crust
Roll it out and smush it into the pan
Take a minute to be proud. It's your first pie crust!
Get the yummy filling ready
And finally, make sure the cats help as much as possible

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!