I DO have to admit that the finger-shape wasn't real conducive to making little turkey/mashed potato/gravy/cranberry sauce sandwiches mid-meal (nor for leftovers), but I made do! ;-)
Have I mentioned I also made TWO types of stuffing this year? Rick & Carolyn joined us for Thanksgiving, and they're vegetarians - so I took this as a bit of a personal challenge to try to ensure they were also going to have some traditional Thanksgiving foods while not limiting the meat eaters - this was fun! We had a vegetable-broth based gravy alongside the turkey-and-chicken broth gravy, we had the extra vegetable dish (brussels sprouts to go with green bean casserole, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes) and we had TWO types of stuffing - one with sausage and chicken broth, and one with vegetable broth and extra veggies.
I don't really have a recipe for making stuffing anymore, other than buy a couple bags of the prepared seasoned dry cubes, and then realizing those just won't do, and buying some sort of bread to do the job instead. (Yes, I seem to have done this for at least the last three or four years now) This year I used up the remainder of some homemade honey white bread in the fridge (nicely staled), and picked up two small "stuffing bread" loaves from Giant Eagle. These loaves smelled sooooo good with herbs that I was nibbling on bits of the bread as I was slicing it... Yum! Dried it out in the oven the day before Thanksgiving, and then just left them out to finish "staling". Worked perfect.
Both batches of stuffing had the same veggies/fruit, only the vegetarian one had even more carrots, onion, celery, dried cranberries and dried cherries (first time for using the cherries). Good stuff!
Brett's brother Blake claims that, if for nothing else, he loves coming here for the holidays to get the stuffing - glad to hear it's that good!! :) So I let him take home all the remaining meat-stuffing and divied up the vegetarian between us and Rick & Carolyn to take home.
May as well report here about the rest of Thanksgiving - it went off without a hitch. I was surprised at how calm and relaxed and prepared I was this year. The 14+ pound turkey finished roasting a little earlier than expected (what?! you mean we didn't have to sit and wait on it!??!) Trying frozen instead of canned beans for the green bean casserole worked out great and tasted fresher. The roasted sprouts were a hit. No one died from two sticks of butter, nearly all of a carton of heavy cream, and an entire block of cream cheese being dumped into about 8 pounds of mashed potatoes! (Hey, I NEVER claimed they were diet potatoes!) My sweet potatoes weren't as good as Carolyn's baked sweet potato casserole, but that's totally ok, 'cause her dish ROCKED!
The wines Brett's folks brought helped keep people hydrated (and might've contributed to Brett's headache later than nite!)
And we were doing just fine with "just" two pies - my pumpkin pie, and Carolyn's apple pie (last slice is getting eaten tonite!). I do have to admit to being tempted to also making a pecan pie, but we were fine. We had Cool Whip (Brett's request), and home-whipped cream with brandy for the "big kids". (LOTS of brandy - heh heh)
The biggest crisis of the whole event was me "missing" one raw egg from my count after I'd started making pie crust, pumpkin pie filling, and pumpkin bread to use up the remaining pureed pumpkin. Where the hell did that egg go!??! Turns out the pie crust recipe was NOT harmed by having an extra egg in it! Who knew! MIght've even been better! :) (Had to track down the Never Fail Pie Crust recipe online - was going to take too long to track down the family heirloom copy that grandma passed on to mom and me. Good thing it's not a family secret!)
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving as well!!