I have to say Thanksgiving has never been my favorite family-oriented holiday. My family in America is very small and during the winter months my nuclear family is the only family in a 1000mile radius. So we normally spend the holiday with family friends. Last year, it was really nice as we hosted the whole event at our own home. It felt much more casual and relaxed. Plus, after we stuffed our faces we were able to quickly get to bed.
This year was at my godmother's beautiful home. It was nice seeing everyone, but the time I spent creating the meal the day before was not really worth seeing two 25lb turkey's being cooked and sliced and fought over. I did though have a very extensive menu. I was the only one that would be eating my dishes, so everything I made was single or double servings.
Bryanna's Seitan Turkey
Green Bean Casserole
Bryanna's Rich Brown Yeast Gravy
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Sweet Yellow and White Corn
Cranberry Sauce and Applesauce
It was fun cooking all night, I just hated not being able to reward my cooking with eats right away. Though I did cheat and tried some of the Green Bean Casserole. oops...
Before dinner I spent most of my time re-heating and preparing my food. It is too bad they had to sit a night as the green beans were not as crisp and the mashed potatoes were not as fluffy. Such is life and it was all still perfectly amazing and delicious.
I took one picture of my plate, my family already thinks I'm strange for taking pictures of my food, I was not about to take 30 pictures and let my food get cold. Let's start with the green bean casserole. Holy hell, I absolutely looooved it. It was better than any green bean casserole I have ever tried. If I ever have to go to a dinner or am feeling like a good 'ol American dinner I will be having this! The Seitan Turkey was also amazing, very very flavorful and the texture was perfect chewy and soft. I normally am not the biggest fan of true meat replacers, when they are very similiar to meat's texture and taste I get really weirded out. But for the occassion they worked and were delish. I made my mashed potatoes with Earth Balance, soy milk, and a little Tofutti Sour Cream to fluff them up, they tasted amazing with the dark gravy (which even my parents liked). My mom made the cranberry sauce and applesauce which were to die for, both recipes had fresh orange zest which really made them pop.
Sadly, the apple crisp never actually got to be a part of the dinner party. I made a full recipe of the crisp, but we ended up leaving the dinner early, so we took it back with us as there was already two full tables of deserts to be shared. My family and I enjoyed it the next few days. This recipe is amazing. The combination of allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon made the apples even more brilliant. The topping was also perfect. I wouldnt change a thing about the recipe and I will be making it again and again.
That night I went to bed as early as I possibly could force myself. I woke up at 3.50AM and was at work at 5AM! I worked a 10 hour shift on the lovely American 'holiday' Black Friday. Shoppers galore attacking you, getting mad at you for them not reading discount signs, getting mad at the long lines, and screaming children being lost while their parents are bargain hunting. This year it was not as horrible as the year before. Less people are out due to the economy, but still enough to make it a perfect work day...
My thanksgiving break was not all cooking and eating and work. I got to spend a lot of time with my good friends and some friends I hadn't seen in awhile. I also got to know my new puppy, Mona, a bit better. She is now much calmer around me and likes to cuddle up against me and sleep. 7 more days and I will be back home able to see my family, friends, and of course, my puppies again :)