Thanksgiving and all the fixins

A New York Thanksgiving... craziness and all.

Mr. Happy Plate (Mike) and I were planning on driving up to Upstate NY where my parents live on Monday when we got home from work so that we would have a full four days there.  But, someone, not naming any names, got home a few hours late from work, so we decided to sleep for a few hours at home and get up at 1am to start our trek up north.  It is at least an 8-hour drive, so lately, we have been doing these trips during the night to avoid traffic and not lose any valuable time at home!  So, we woke up at 1am, stumbled around the house to finish packing the last minute things, including the doggie, and started our travels.  Three hours into the trip, we hit a traffic jam.  And this was one of those stand-still, turn your cars off, don't move an inch traffic jams, for THREE hours!  UGH. It was awful.  We slept for about an hour of it (after Mike's phone died and he could no longer check his fantasy football team).  Then around 7:30am, I was getting, shall we say, a little stir-crazy, and started talking to Stella (the dog) in the back seat.  And just so you know, I determined she is psychic.  I asked her questions, and she would answer them by licking my hand a certain number of times.  Needless to say, I asked her how many more minutes we would be in the traffic jam, and she licked me 4 times, and we were moving in 7 minutes.  I think that's some pretty darn good!  (Like I said, I was going crazy.)
We finally arrived at my parents house around 1pm on Tuesday.  My grandma and my brother were already at my parents' house, and my aunt arrived the next morning.  We spent Tuesday and Wednesday getting ready for Thanksgiving, doing some last minute grocery shopping, and drinking lots of coffee from Dunkin' Donuts, and a little wine here and there!  Yum.  I'll skip forward to the entertaining parts of Thanksgiving...
8:00 - Mom puts giant turkey in the oven
8:01 - We started making the 10 different side dishes we would have for dinner (sorry about the picture quality, my family was ready to eat and I didn't want to hold anyone up!)
  • Deviled eggs (appetizer)
  • Squash
  • Cranberry Jello salad

Green Beans with prosciutto, pine nuts, lemon, caramelized onions (which I made on Wednesday and forgot to add in on Thursday) and sage

Brussels Sprouts with dried Cranberries, Prosciutto, onions, and Balsamic Vinegar

My aunt is AWESOME at peeling apples for the Waldorf Salad!

Amazing sweet potato stacks (recipe courtesy of my friend at Kiss My Whisk)

Regular Mashed potatoes


Riced Potatoes  (More to come below...)
10:00 - My uncle Pat showed up to the party
10:30 - Mike, Dad, uncle Pat, and my brother and his girlfriend decided to go play tennis.  What?!
11:30 - We start worrying that no one is back from playing tennis (dinner is supposed to be at 2)
11:31 - Mike and Dad come back to save the day.  Mike starts grilling his amazing Tuscan stuffed pork loin outside, and since it was such a beautiful day, we "tailgated" outside in the driveway.
12:00 - Mr. and Mrs. Weir show up
1:00 - Mom takes giant turkey out of the oven
1:01 - CHAOS ENSUES (and gravy is made)
2:00 - Sit down to eat.  For twenty-ish minutes.
2:21 - Dessert (see below)
Every year I tell myself I'm going to eat realllll slowly so I can fit more in my belly.  Didn't happen.  Oh well - maybe next year.

Riced Potatoes:
Have you ever heard of this?  I hadn't. 

Grandma's Ricer
Apparently my Grandma used to make these every Sunday for her family.  So Mom brought Grandma's ricer down to the house for Thanksgiving, and Grandma riced some potatoes for all of us to try. 
Grandma ricing potatoes
Grandma says they taste so much better than regular mashed potatoes.  I don't know about that, but they were really cool.  They look exactly like grains of rice, but when you eat them, the potato kind of melts in your mouth.  Who knew?!

Potatoes coming through the ricer
Mr. Weir was the first one up from the table.  He had to get his dessert in the oven!  We did not know this was happening, as we were all STUFFED.  But when we saw what the desserts looked like, we could not resist.  Mr. Weir calls them Mud Puddles, but I think they are basically delicious chocolate souffles. 

Chocolate Mud Puddles - Souffles
So we ate as much as we could of the Mud Puddles... and thought we could take a break for a while.  THEN he brings out his other 4 desserts!!! Whoa.  Pineapple cheesecake, apple pie, bread pudding, and this chocolate flan cake thing that looked amazing, but unfortunately the flan part did not set.  But, that did not stop us!  We proceeded to eat it out of the kitchen sink, and it was amazing!! (Don't worry - it didn't actually touch the kitchen sink).

Chocolate Cake Flan in the Sink

Dad was the only one still hungry, so he went to eat dessert like a normal person at the table instead of out of the sink
Tailgating in the driveway:

Mike Tailgating with his grill
Tuscan stuffed pork loin on the grill
"Tailgating" with Dad and Stella

Mr. Weir trying to be taller than Mike and Dad

So I've given you the highlights of our day. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday too with family and friends. Now on to Christmas...
COOK DOWN!!!  Mom was so tired from all the cooking, and Stella was so tired from all the sneaking of treats, they fell asleep right on the kitchen floor! :)