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Well, how did you Thanksgiving Go?

Any surprises, any successes, any suprise successes? I had experimented with making my sweet potato pie mixture the day before, and it worked. I also ended up making 4 loaves of the no knead bread (2 at a time) and they all worked, and there were no arguments amongst the 25 people at dinner. What a great night!

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  1. Everything went well, the turkey came out great and all. Just one problem, my pumpkin pie (my first ever pumpkin pie and first pie for that matter) didn't fully solidify. I used the Joy of Cooking recipe with evaporated milk and three eggs. Baked the night before and sat in the fridge overnight. Maybe my mistake was I didn't bake it long enough, or maybe letting it come to room temperature was the wrong thing to do. The taste was good but it was too mushy/melty to get a piece. Sigh. :-(

    5 Replies
    1. re: luckyfatima

      That happened to me the 1st time I made my sweet potato pie. What I learned was that you can't just go by baking time, but have to do a jiggle test to see if it has "mostly" set. I'm sure the part of your pie that did set was delicious.

      1. re: luckyfatima

        Is it possible you used extra large or jumbo eggs? this will effect 'setting' time. Also, I think chilled is ok!

        1. re: luckyfatima

          My experience with pumpkin pie recipes is that they all call for too much evaporated milk. I usually half what's asked for, and it comes out fine. Of course, I like a dense pumpkin pie.

          My dinner was just fine. The turkey (Alton Brown's recipe, as usual) was delicious. Nothing special or unexpected; no surprises, and that's fine with me. I thought I had a lot of turkey leftovers, which I was happy about, because I was worried it wasn't big enough. Well, I DID have a lot of leftovers when I left for work this am, but by tonight there was barely enough to make DH and I a sandwich. It seems both my (college-aged not living at home) boys had snuck home during the day and helped themselves...:-)

          1. re: luckyfatima

            My recipe also calls for three eggs and the evap. milk (I suspect my old aunt's recipe may actually be cribbed from the JoC!). I don't have the book in front of me, but I'd guess you didn't cook long enough. The way I always know the pie is done is that it rises in the middle. If, after the full baking time, it still hasn't risen in the middle, give it another 10 minutes or so, then stick a knife in the center. If it comes out clean, the pie is done. Unfortunately, testing it this way creates a little hole in the center, but nobody I've ever cooked it for seemed to mind or mentioned anything!

            1. re: luckyfatima

              Sad pumpkin pie story, and I knew better, so why I let this happen, I dunno. As I was making the filling, I saw that the can of pumpkin was best used by last spring. Too late. Turned out rather tasteless, definitely could tell the difference (though I don't know if the other people who ate it could, and there were two other pies, so not a disaster). Good news is, I decided to fully bake the pie crust before filling it with pumpkin, definitely worth the time, much crisper, way better. Lessons learned.

            2. I made lamb shanks. did not come out well at all. It was supposed to have a spicy crust, but the last step (fruit and onions in at the end of braising), made them taste...steamed. Awful.
              Far better: Nigel Slaters potato and cream. Excellent. Helped by adding some cheese over the top. Amazing.

              1. I went low key and it was great---more relaxing. The best part was a caramel macchiato cheesecake (more like an espresso cheesecake w/ finely ground espresso). One key was using the rice cooker to cook the potatoes for mashed potatoes. I cooked them early and left them in to keep them warm. Just before serving I mashed w/ cream/milk, butter, roasted garlic, white pepper and salt. They were perfect. I always seem to leave something in the refrigerator and forget to serve it. This year, it was cranberry sauce. Bit hit with the kids were the sweet potato rolls from alex8alot's suggestion.

                3 Replies
                1. re: chowser

                  Every time Alton Brown calls a rice cooker a "unitasker", I yell at the TV! I love my rice cooker for vegetable cooking/keeping warm.

                  1. re: coney with everything

                    Yeah, I found that strange coming from a guy who uses a flower pot as a smoker...

                  2. re: chowser

                    ok, obviously I am a little slow so I need he clarification: the potatoes go into the rice cooker cooked, but not mashed? and then just on the "warm" and not the "cook" setting of the rice cooker, right?

                  3. I had a wonderful dinner, but I found out that you CAN add too much butter. My Pumpking Gooey Cakes were a weee bit too gooey and although they tasted wonderful, after reviewing my baking technique I realized that I had doubled the butter amount that was called for. Ooooops. Oh well, they tasted good anyway.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: othervoice

                      Those sound great, and that's partly because any kind of gooey food is always a hit with my sweety. Would you mind sharing the recipe? I've never made these or heard of them, but I immediately googled and all sorts of recipes popped up. :)

                      1. re: othervoice

                        I would love that recipe as well! I love anything pumpkin and the time is almost done!!!

                      2. Made turkey this year in my brother's kitchen...I've never had any problems with keeping the turkey moist, but this year, it seemed dry. I'm wondering if it has something to do with the fact that he has a gas oven? I use an electric one at home...:o( Luckily, the gravy came out great and compensated for the dryness...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: soypower

                          I have brined my turkey for past 3 years and it is fabulous every single time. A family member calls my bird "the miracle moist machine", you gotta love family! Even the leftovers are great! Also, I make an herb butter and put that under the skin on the breast meat. Blast it at 500 for 30 minutes, give the breast a foil shield and then drop to 350 until done. Don't baste or open the oven, just let it cook. I took it out too early this year (thermometer against the bone- not really 190 duh!). Only cut off leg, and did 2 breast slices. Quickly figured out my prob and wrapped cut side in foil, put it back in for an hour. Still had a moist delicious turkey!

                          That said this year was a little different with family 2500 miles away. Still cooked a 10 pounder for hubby and I with all the fixings. Did a delicious sourdough, carmelized onion, bacon & apple stuffing. I toasted the bread and sauted bacon, onion, apples, & herbs on Weds and stored seperatly in tupperware. Traditional sweet potato casserole, except I used white sweet potatoes and homemade marshmallows. Also roasted and mashed potatoes on Wednesday. Green beans with bacon and shallots were super simple stovetop recipe done last minute. Herb gravy. Homemade applesauce and cranberry compote are staples that I hubbie whipped up on day before. Wednesday evening was pie time, my favorite Apple crumb with buttermilk custard and newbie bourbon pecan tart with chocolate drizzle.

                          Making southwestern turkey soup with leftovers!!!

                          1. re: jme1beachbum

                            I'm making turkey stock right now. Might you have a recipe for the southwestern turkey soup?

                            1. re: onefineleo

                              Sure thing! Its from Cooking Light, my monthly guilty pleasure!

                              http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

                              Thats for the base recipe. I switch out the broth for my homemade stock. I use leftover turkey instead of a new tenderloin. A can of fire roasted tomatoes instead of regular diced and a pinch of arbol chili powder gives it a kick if you like spice! Also I like fresh corn kernels and add some cheese and sour cream to top of final product. I can't leave any recipe as is. Let me know what you think!