Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Let's just say it is one of those years that you won't EVER forget.

I am going to share with you a couple of stories.  It is very important that we keep this just between you and me, as I have a reputation that would be ruined if it got out how things went down this year.  There were so many things that I can't share them all with you.  This blog has to end at some point, so I am going to tell you just a couple.  I wish I had pictures of them.  At the time, taking a picture was the last thing on my mind. 

1.  I wanted a new dessert this year.  Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake.  My daughters love cheesecake.  I found a perfect recipe (from the Food Network). 

First, make a Graham Cracker Crust.  Sounds easy, but finding enough counter space for 3 cooks in the same kitchen makes it more difficult that it should have been.  But we got that part done.

Second, make the cheesecake layer.  That would mean using Cream Cheese that is at room temperature.  However, we forgot to get it out of the fridge.  So, let's just say we thought we could thaw it quickly in the microwave.  That didn't work.  We tried, but failed.  We whisked it in the kitchen-aid for about 7 minutes and it never got fluffy.  It was runny, as in, would have worked for a glaze on a cake runny. Yep.  Failed.

So, we got out a second brick of cream cheese from the refrigerator.  The foil was removed so it would thaw at room temperature more quickly.  An hour passed.  Finally it was ready. 

Again, the kitchen-aid mixer whisked the cream cheese for about 7 minutes (in spite of the noise and the two other chefs in the kitchen and the noise they were making).  Perfect results.  The mixture was placed on the Graham Cracker Crust and baked the appropriate amount of time. (Wish I had a picture for you.  It was beautiful....)

Knowing counter space was a premium need, the dish was placed in the garage, where it was much cooler, to cool down.  The dish was lovingly placed on the steps in the garage, where there wouldn't be any traffic, in cool surroundings, and could peacefully decline in temperature, so the third layer could be added.  The beautiful Pumpkin Mousse layer was the third layer to this dessert.

This is the stairs.  This is where the dish was cooling.

In the meantime, our neighbors, Connie and Norman were tending their daughters beautiful, long haired, aging Collie Dog named Gus. Gus is a regular in the neighborhood.  He is always tied up to their flagpole on a long leash.  He can walk into several front yards and relieve himself and then walk home.  Gus is old.  He can hardly walk so he just lays on their front lawn.  He is mostly blind, and can't hear very well.  I would have thought he couldn't smell either.  But I was wrong.

Gus could smell this special Thanksgiving dessert.  It smelled wonderful.  We all commented on the wonderful, delicious, mouth watering smell.

By now you know where I am going with this story, don't you?

Yep, Gus was put out to go potty, without having the leash attached to him.  Gus can still smell.  Gut found our garage door open.  Gus found the dish cooling on the steps.  When he was full, and had eaten all the cheesecake (cream cheese) layer he wanted he wandered home.  He was licking his chops all the way as he sundered home at the slow speed of his aging body.  I am sure he was grinning.

Just as Gus arrived home, Connie opened her door to check on him.  She noticed he was licking his chops.  Ahem.  She wondered where Gus had been.  She walked out to see where he might have gone, and saw our garage door up.  She also, saw my darling husband driving towards our garage. 

DH is a good neighbor and he stopped to wish Connie a Happy Thanksgiving.  That is when Connie asked if we had anything edible in our garage.......DH said, "Why, yes.  Our beautifully talented youngest daughter has been working all morning to make a special, world renown recipe for our Thanksgiving Dinner".

He didn't really say that, he just said, "Ya, I think so".  He doesn't talk much.

Connie, then said, "Gus just came out of your garage licking his lips".  She walked down to our house as DH pulled into the garage.  Together they came upon what was left of the dessert sitting on the steps.  It was only a portion of the crust, and no cheesecake layer.................

Our daughter had made a smaller dish for her to take to her home.  She had let the smaller dish cool inside the house. 

Once the "Dog Dish" was discovered she make a second Graham Cracker make the second attempt at the Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake.

The garbage already had two other episodes in it! 

On the bottom layer of the garbage is a broken cereal bowl.  Under normal conditions I wouldn't care, except it is from my Stoneware Set.  The one DH bought me 30 years ago.  The one with the Wheat Motif on it.  The one we only use on special occasions. 

Also, in the garbage is the empty plastic container of a mystery item that fell out of the freezer and broke on the floor.  It had in it something jelly like in consistency and green in color.

It was determined that it was Jalapeno Jelly in the mystery container.  We tasted it and it was very good so we put it in another container, and found room in the freezer for it, in a safer location, and saved it for another day.

As the third attempt to make our Pumpkin Mousse

I have a new set of red glass canisters for this house.  There are three sizes.  It is the kink with the decorative glass ornate top and it has the plastic part that snuggles inside the jar part, so it keeps the contents of the canister fresh.  I keep sugar in one of the three glass canisters.  The recipe calls for sugar.

The lid of the sugar canister wasn't up to the task One More Time to make this d___ dessert. 

By now, all of us were laughing hysterically.  What more could go wrong!!!!!  The lid is not repairable.  In unison we all said, "It is what it is"!  And broke out laughing even more.

At this point DH suggested we just make an Apple Pie.  That is his favorite and I have a box of apples in the garage. (Looking back on it now, I wonder why Gus doesn't like apples?) So, we brought in the apples and DH jumped in to help.  He started peeling apples and Beautiful Youngest daughter rolled out the pie dough. 

We thought, "DH is so incredibly intelligent"!  You see, I had purchased a Pie Bird last September when we went to the Eastern Idaho State Fair.  It is a black pie bird, like the ladies in the olden days used to use.  I was excited to get out the Pie Bird and use it in the Apple Pie for Thanksgiving!

The crust was perfect, except for the part that tore.  But that is easily fixed and no one would know.  Except, I took a picture.  Somehow, it seemed appropriate to document the event.  One never knows where it might lead.

The pie was filled to the top with fresh apples.  The filling was cinnamon sugar fabulous.  The Pie Bird was singing praises for the beautiful pie he/she was a part of.  We were cheering with delight knowing we were going to have a dessert for Thanksgiving!

Into the oven the Apple Pie went.  Dessert was going to be just fine, in spite of it not being anything Pumpkin.  Who cares...... no one eating at this house.

As the last of the foods were cooking some of us could finally enjoy ourselves and relax.

The only things still to do was bake the rolls, mash the potatoes, take out the turkey, make the gravy, set the table, put the cranberry sauce in a dish, put the olives in a dish, wash up a few of the cooking pots and pans and dishes, .............. you know............just a few things..............oh, and carve the turkey.

Everyone was tired by now.  We all had been struggling in the kitchen, for what seemed like hours.

Everyone needed a rest and a love. Even the dogs were wore out from watching the kitchen floor for something to be dropped.....and me telling them "OUT" of the kitchen.

Finally, the 20 lb. turkey was out of the oven.  I now had drippings to make the gravy.  I love turkey gravy on my potatoes and the turkey.  Especially, really good gravy.  And this year I made Really Good Gravy!  I added the thickening and Kitchen Bouquet and salt and pepper and a little water from the potatoes and stirred away.  I really got into the stirring, as it was a very big pan.  It had been roasting the 20 lb. turkey.  It was big, so I had to stir kind of hard.

I love left over gravy to put on stuffing and turkey.  The gravy is the backbone of the Turkey Meal.  So I stirred and stirred to assure myself there wasn't a single lump, and there wasn't. 

However, (yep, there is more) the rolls were next to the stove rising.  They were close to the stove to get heat to help them rise.  They were really close.  They were too close!

Oh well.  It just looks bad, and doesn't affect the taste of the rolls.  Oh, and by the way.  I make really good rolls, too.  Really good.  Just add butter.  They are great to sop up gravy, whether it is after they are baked, or before they are baked.  Just saying.....

The sweet potato souffle came out of the oven.  Even though it was covered by it's second topping.  I got a little confused earlier in the day and added the topping before I was supposed to.  The topping should be added the last 5 minutes of baking.  Oops.  I added them too soon.  To fix that mistake I stirred the topping into the souffle and baked it anyway.  Then, 5 minutes before it was done, I added another topping.  They are really "sweet" sweet potatoes.

Well, I was quite finished with the whole Thanksgiving thing by now.  I was tired of being in the kitchen since 7:30 a.m. and I was tired of the mess, and I made an executive decision. 

I announced, "There will be NO table setting.  Come and get yourself a paper plate and find somewhere to eat"!

I was surprised by the reactions of the family....

Yep, Way!

I heard words like.........................."lost her mind",.......................................... "must have a ...fever".........................................  "has forgotten all about presentation", ......."where is our real mother"..............." she's kidding, right"..........................

And then there was loud laughter.... really loud laughter.

Really loud laughter, and dancing, and singing, and clapping......

Sometimes I know just the right thing to say to make my family happy.....

And as they were laughing the Apple Pie was baking.

And, as the "Little Red Hen" had ordered, paper plates were had by all the they all served themselves and then we gathered at the dinning room table and blessed the food.  We all talked about the things we are grateful for.  We all discussed how the last year had so many changes in it for each one of us.  We shared our love for one another.

We got a phone call that someone else was coming over.

We smelled something burning.....

The apple pie was leaking its juicy juices all over the bottom of the oven and smoke was coming out of the oven.

We turned on fans, opened doors and windows. 

We put the pie on a cookie sheet and put it back in the oven and smelled the burning until the pie was done.

We let the pie cool.

We bagged up leftovers for the girls to take home with them.  We filled lots of containers. 

We skyped with our California kids and couldn't get over the fat lip our little grandson had.  Another lesson learned while mastering the art of walking.  We liked seeing our kids, but we LOVED seeing our grandson.  He can just sit there and stare into the computer and make us fall all the more madly in love with him.

And then we  had some hot apple pie with ice cream.

We played Pinochle and laughed about what a fun day we had.


Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to be with, or talk to your loved ones.
I am so blessed with all the things of this world and love my life.  Every minute of my life.

Love, me

ps.  did you have any exciting events happen at your house this year? 
I would love to hear about them.
Did you order Thanksgiving Dinner, and found it frozen when you wanted to eat?
Anything like that?

Please leave a comment, I would love to hear about your Thanksgiving.

Love, Me

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happy, in love, getting closer to retirement, love my family, love my Savior.