To begin with, we cleaned, but we were not as worried about it being perfect as we might have been in the past. Sure there were clean toilets for our guests, but there might have been dust in the corner. I'm thinking it was ok. The kids helped clean a lot this time. I forced them to *Cinderella mop* the tile.
Next up ~ new recipes. I have a habit of trying out a new recipe for the first time on guests or to take to a potluck at school. I make something new and hope to high heaven it tastes decent. This can get me in a little bit of a bind at the last minute if the recipe isn't working as planned. This year I planned on making homemade crescent rolls. But! I practiced a week ago on Greg & the kids. I have not always been wildly successful with yeasty things in the past, so this required a test run. Good thing I did, too. Although my test rolls turned out quite scrumptious, they were HUGE! And I followed the recipe. If you want to make them yourself, you can follow this recipe. I divided my dough into four instead of two, then cut them into twelve pieces. They turned out just right! Now that I have new found yeast success, I'm trying a loaf of bread next!
I decided to try a pie crust recipe that I found online. I've made my own pie crust before using the food processor and it turned out well. This recipe used the old school pastry cutter way. Wednesday night, I ended up making five pie crust batches to get the crusts for the two pumpkin pies. In the end, it was the food processor crust that was successful.
Then as I was starting to unwrap the turkey to rinse its insides, I mentioned to Greg that it was going to be a delicate dance to get the turkey out of the oven and cook all the other stuff that needed to go in the oven. He mentioned something about the fact that one day we should try cooking the turkey on the grill. I laughed and told him that we were discussing grilled turkey the other day at lunch. Next thing I knew we were skewering that bad boy and setting up the rotisserie rig to cook it on the grill. At.the.last.minute! We looked up a recipe online and found out that it would take no longer on the grill than in the oven. Then, all that oven space was freed up for other thankful goodness. To be honest we wavered from "it's going to be great" to "good thing we also have a ham." The turkey turned out a.m.a.z.i.n.g! It was so juicy and flavorful. Many people came by to snag a sample as Greg's dad was carving. Just the one bite put a look of pure rapture on their faces.
We have hosted Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner many times before. We learn something new each time. We think of ways to make the next time better. We forget to serve stuff. I made my family's traditional Aunt Nell's Salad. I realize that this is not a well-loved dish for many of our guests, but it's important to me so if you are here at Thanksgiving or Christmas, it will be on the table. Except as I was putting away the leftovers, I spied the yellow plastic bowl FULL of the salad that we forgot to set out. That's ok, Heather and I will eat it.