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Thanksgiving Successes 2012!

Did you try something new and loved it? Have a trick that makes the meal perfect? A foolproof recipe which is always on your holiday table?

Please share!

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  1. This year we tried making the mashed potatoes earlier in the day and holding them in a crock pot set at low. Past years threads had suggested buttering the crock and pouring a little cream/half and half/etc. to the bottom, adding the mashed potatoes and covering them with a little cream, etc. Stir well just before serving.

    We loved this trick. It was so nice not dealing with the steam and mess just before dinner. It was great having the last minute chores simpler and everything seemed calmer. I'm adding this to my game plan for now on!

    7 Replies
    1. re: meatn3

      We did the same. It was quite a success!

      1. re: pagesinthesun

        We did too - even did a small vegan batch with soy milk and earth balance (one vegan in the crowd) in a smaller crockpot and added more of the soymilk and earth balance to the bottom and that worked too. Am thinking next time I would even make them the night before. Mashed potatoes for 25 is a heck of a lot of work.

        1. re: LilyB

          We also did the mashed potatoes early and stored in the crock post this year. Husband was resistant but declared it a stress-reducer.

      2. re: meatn3

        I make the mashed potatoes a day ahead, and put them in the crock pot and into the fridge overnight. I bring them to my folks' house (25 for dinner) the next day and put them on low to reheat, stirring occasionally. Works like a charm.

        I use a recipe that calls for butter, cream, cream cheese, and roasted garlic. Everybody raves. :)

        1. re: Madronatree

          You can't go wrong with potatoes, butter, cream, cream cheese, AND roasted garlic. :-)

        2. I don't have much experience cooking large pieces of lamb and I successfully deboned, butterflied, marinated and cooked a leg of lamb on the charcoal grill today. It had a gorgeous crispy crust and was perfectly medium rare. It was delicious!

          2 Replies
            1. My contributions were the vegetables and cranberry sauce, and they all turned out very well. I love playing with cranberry sauces, and I'm really pleased with the one I made this year, with orange, pomegranate molasses, and fresh pomegranate seeds. The pomegranate arils added great texture as well as flavor.

              Green beans with sauteed mushrooms, toasted hazelnuts, hazelnut oil, and sherry vinegar were delicious (how could they not be?), and the shaved fennel salad with orange, watercress, and pom seeds worked nicely as a fresh and bright counter to the heavy dishes.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                I brought dessert, both of which-pumpkin spice cookies and cranberry bread, came out very nicely. Both were first attempts, and everyone raved.

                1. re: lovessushi

                  I finally learned to make my own pie crust this year, and it came out as light as a feather. I filled it with pumpkin pie which is a must for husband's family; but when I went to get the can of evaporated milk discovered the expiration date was years ago. I saw someone here recommend the Silver Palate version, using half and half and cream, and it was fantastic. Just had some for breakfast!

              2. No real failures this year, in I'd say everything was a success. I wasn't overly thrilled with the buffalo andouille sausage I used in my dressing as I thought it was too dry.

                This year my only new recipe was trying King Arthur Flour's recipe for Parker House rolls. They got raves all around and will be made again. Lovely texture and flavor. I also made their yankee pecan pie, this is the 3rd year for that one, but I make my moms pie crust recipe with it.

                I've been doing the same cornbread dressing recipe for years now, although I always doctor it up slightly differently. Next year I think I want to try something different. Maybe Challah dressing?

                Cranberry, tangerine and crystalized ginger relish from Bon Appetit is one must have at our house, always gets raves from everyone. I love it's fresh and bright flavor. I did a cooked one for years but once I found this fresh chopped relish we haven't gone back to cooked.

                We always smoke a turkey and it was great as usual.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rasputina

                  I do a challah and cornbread stuffing, half of each. I always added sausage, but this year also added chestnuts.

                2. It was actually my 1st time roasting garlic and my 1st batch of roasted garlic mashed potatoes - so easy and delicious.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    fld, you can roast multiple heads of garlic and freeze it in small containers after mashing. I've got mini-Tupperware containers (2 Tbsp. each) lining my freezer door shelf with several containers of mashed roasted garlic. :-)

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Great, thanks for the tip, it was magical deliciousness. I am looking forward to leftovers.