Thanksgiving Recap

For the first time ever I cooked the entire Thanksgiving dinner, and it really wasn’t too bad! I planned it all out in advance and scheduled what I would do when, both in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and the day of.

In hopes that it might be a help in the future, here’s a recap of what I did and how well it all worked, and what I’ll do differently next time (because I’m sure there will be a next time.)

Menu:
Cheddar cheese ball & crackers (from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2008)
Fresh veggies & dip
Relish tray with olives & pickles

Turkey breast (Butterball, preseasoned)
Mashed potatoes (recipe from my mom)
Dressing (Stove Top)
Glazed carrots (blended about three recipes together)
Green bean casserole
Rolls (from a now-defunct website)
Cranberry sauce (from a can)
Gravy (from the packet that came with the turkey + a packet of mushroom gravy.)

Pumpkin pie (from A Passion for Baking)
Apple pie
Peanut butter fudge pie (from The Baker’s Dozen Cookbook)

Biggest success was the turkey breast (juicy & flavorful), mashed potatoes (so good), and the peanut butter fudge pie (amazingly tasty & pictured above).

Biggest disappointments were the rolls (for homemade, they really weren’t any better than frozen), the carrots (too much cinnamon), and the green beans (they weren’t bad, I just still haven’t found my perfect recipe and will keep looking.)

Working ahead was very helpful to keep the day of from being too stressful. I made the dough for the rolls on Monday. Tuesday I made the cheese ball. Wednesday I made the pies and prepped all the veggies except for the potatoes. Thursday morning I drew up a schedule of events so I wouldn’t forget about things like shaping the rolls or reheating dressing.

Next time I’d like to try a different green bean casserole recipe, skip the carrots all together (we had more than enough veggies thanks to the appetizer of raw veggies & dip), try pumpkin rolls, and make my own dressing. I’ll probably try different pie recipes just because I love to do that, but all three pies were a success.

And if I get really ambitious, maybe try a roasted turkey roulade, because that looks amazing.

Did anyone else fix their first Thanksgiving dinner? Have success with any new recipes?