Well, I'd say that my first homemade Thanksgiving meal was a success. I'm most thankful for all of my friends and Momma for being with me on such a beautiful day, sharing this special meal and having buckets of fun. Oh yes, charades and Christmas crackers took over the after-dinner entertainment, and I think it's safe to say the ladies beat the men. Who knew one of the charades categories was "words of wisdom"? And who knew we'd be so good at it? :) Unfortunately, photographing the meal was not my top priority last night, but thankfully my Mom took a few snapshots (I think I ordered her to take pictures before she ate anything on her plate)! So, here was the menu, in no particular order:
A 5kg turkey, very simply roasted, with an onion and some oil and salt and pepper. I have to give my mother all the credit on this one. She kept checking it as it cooked away in our little oven, and basted like a pro. And I'm so glad we have leftovers!
Wild Rice Stuffing with Dried Cranberries
This did not get stuffed into the turkey for the vegetarian's sake, and was definitely a highlight of the meal (if I do say so myself). You would never guess there was rice in this stuffing - it tastes just like the real thing. Only BETTER. The recipe comes from the bountiful vegan thanksgiving e-cookbook, and was followed almost meticulously. The crunch from the celery and walnuts perfectly complimented the soft rice and bread crumbs, while the cranberries added some wonderful color. YUM!
Traditional Cranberry Sauce
Props to Waitrose for actually stocking the (frozen) cranberries to make this really simple and yummy sauce from eat, drink & be vegan.
I mean really, what is Thanksgiving without this ridiculous dish? I think it scared the majority of my guests last night, but they quickly changed their tune when they tasted it. I mean... sweet potatoes with brown sugar, walnuts, and marshmallows? What's not to love? I used this simple recipe from cooks.com.
Pueblo Corn Pie
For the vegetarians last night, I prepared this dish, again from the bountiful vegan thanksgiving book. It basically consisted of two layers of cooked cornmeal, a layer of a chili-like concoction, and some grated cheese. It was gobbled up by both veggies and non-veggies alike. Here's what the chili part looked like before it all got baked together:
Major thanks to Phil for baking the cornbread on Wednesday night before we got home from the airport. It was a simple boxed recipe but came out perfectly and was a great accompaniment to the meal.
Green Beans with Toasted Almonds
Here's mom's plate with everything except the pueblo corn pie on it... turkey with gravy, candied yams, stuffing, cornbread, and green beans.
Dairy-free, Soy-free Pumpkin Pie
I had super high hopes for this pie from one frugal foodie, especially as it involved coconut milk and that intrigued me. Unfortunately, my lack of eggs made it very pudding-like and gloopy. Plus, I made the pie crust from scratch using the veganomicon recipe, and the edge was rock hard. The pie filling and bottom of the crust TASTED great, but it just wasn't a winning dish.
After the pie, we passed around some medjool dates, almond candy from spain, and mint chocolates, while we played (and dominated) charades. I think 18 seconds was the table record. My friends are excellent mimers... who knew? But I think the winner of the night was my Mom. Not only did she help me every step of the way with preparing and cooking the meal, but she acted out her charade for "material girl" in the best way possible.
Thank you all for a wonderful night!