Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving - The Day the Oven Died

I've been on a blogging hiatus for the past week. All of last week's posts I set up ahead of time. SP and I went to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving! My parents live there, and since we hadn't been out to Las Vegas in over two years, and since last February USAirways offered a great deal of redeeming an economy number of miles on first class seats, we decided that we'd visit my parents in Las Vegas. Plus, SP would get to finally meet my 88 year old grandma and her husband.

Unfortunately, Thursday morning, as SP and I started making the pumpkin pie, our visions of this:
were threatened by the oven. We turned it on to preheat, but after 5 minutes it still said 100 degrees. Thinking we hadn't turned it on properly, we cancelled the setting and, under my mom's supervision, set it again to heat to 425. But it wouldn't heat. It was stuck at 100. Uh-oh. We were mid-pie preparation, there was an 18 pound turkey in the refrigerator, I was already drooling over sausage stuffing. This was not good. The oven had died.

My dad was not happy. He was looking forward to a day of football, wine, and turkey. Now it suddenly looked like we might have to join the super long lines at a Las Vegas casino Thanksgiving buffet. The idea of a long line and a buffet was not appealing. So dad and SP got out the oven manuals, tried to figure out the problem, and finally started calling around looking for a repairman working on Thanksgiving.

The turkey gods smiled upon us. At 11:30 am, the 'Man Who Saved Thanksgiving' showed up:Even more amazing: he had the necessary new part in stock on his truck! The culprit: the igniter. Unfortunately, the 'Man Who Saved Thanksgiving' told my parents that on their kind of oven, this part wears out every 4-5 years (they've had this oven for 4 years). Fortunately, 15-20 minutes later, we were up & running!

My dad was in charge of cleaning and prepping the turkey:He'll be thrilled to see the photo of his hand up inside the turkey, pulling out the inside junk. Mom seasoned it simply - I think she only uses salt, pepper, and butter. It turned out a beautiful golden brown:We did put some stuffing inside the turkey:SP was in charge of carving and he made a beautiful plate of white & dark meat:This turkey was perfectly done - no pink, cooked through, but very juicy & moist and just soooo tasty!Mom made her sausage stuffing, complete with the special secret ingredient (nutmeg).On the left is the stuffing from inside the turkey. On the right is the stuffing cooked in a casserole in the oven. That stuffing was much crisper - which was a good thing. Crispy sausage stuffing - yum!SP and I were in charge of the green bean salad. We used a recipe that my mom & I used one Christmas Eve a few years ago: Green Beans & Portobello Mushroom Saute from Rachael Ray.It was very tasty. Onions, portobellos, and green beans sauteed in butter & olive oil, finished with a splash of sherry.My family is not a sweet potato family, but since she knows SP likes them, my mom got him one:The photo above is the 'before' photo; below is the 'after' photo:We also are not a big cranberry family, certainly not homemade cranberry sauce. My grandma never made the 'real' stuff -- it wasn't until I was in my late 20's that I discovered cranberry relish/sauce was not something that came only from a can but something that could be made from scratch at home!! Following tradition, we had jellied cranberry sauce from a can!After drinking a bottle of Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc during the afternoon, dad opened a bottle of Chandon Rose Sparkling Wine for dinner:Here's the table -- mom got out a tablecloth of the occasion! My parents are informal these days, so to make it more 'special' mom got out her one tablecloth (I think she left the others in Pittsburgh for me!) and she thought she had some candles, but couldn't find them! Doesn't matter - it was still a pretty table of food.Last, but not least, the pie. We used the recipe on the side of the Libby's can of pumpkin!I measured out the sugar & spices:SP beat the eggs:Then he added the pumpkin & evaporated milk. And then we had a brief hiatus during the oven debacle! We covered the wet ingredients & placed them in the refrigerator and covered the dry ingredients until we figured out if the oven was going to be fixed! Once it was fixed and heated to 425, we stirred the dry ingredients into the wet ones:Yes, we cheated and used a deep dish frozen pie shell. We were on vacation!! And here's the finished pie:I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but everyone else really enjoys it, especially with liberal amounts of whipped cream sprayed on top:It must have been tasty -- it didn't last past Friday evening!Hope everyone had as tasty a Thanksgiving as we did!


  1. nice blog... have a view of my blog when free.. http://www.lonelyreload.blogspot.com .. do leave me some comment / guide if can.. if interested can follow my blog...

  2. That is an awesome feast. I hear you about cutting some corners on the pumpkin pie - it's the kind of baked good that really does taste good whether or not you use a homemade crust, etc.
    I am very envious of your Vegas Thanksgiving. Did you have a chance to do some holiday gambling? ^_^