Everything went as planned, except
1. The turkey was overcooked – well, it was a small turkey, which means that the skin takes a longer time to brown, and the meat takes a shorter time to cook. Go figure. How does one optimize THAT? maybe I need to bring a blow torch next time.
2. The stuffing was gummy and weird. I forgot to ask Chris for her recipe for stuffing and I should also have just followed the directions on the back of the bag of pre made stuffing. Or made it from scratch, like Serious Eats suggests.
There were lots of leftovers, lots of (Bo mashed) potatoes – my guests came a little early so I put them to work, and now Bo will never let me forget how the beautiful mashed potatoes were mashed by him. (Actually, by me, because I mashed them while they were hot to get them to the right texture, and then he mashed the dairy and seasonings in after I microwaved them)
3. The puff pastry here is weird and doesn’t puff up as beautifully as shown on the picture :S
As a result my brie was not super melty on the inside despite my baking it for the allotted time. Also the puff pastry sheet smelt a bit rancid.
4. The egg yolk paste for the deviled eggs were a little too salty
5. The bottom crust of the apple pie pastry was a little soggy, but the top was alright.
Maline complains that apple pie is too 4th of July-y and not Thanksgiving-y enough. Pumpkin pie is Thanksgiving-y as I well know but I don’t like it and neither does LZ – one common American food we never did get used to! (I did grow to like mexican food quite a lot, as well as pesto and dill pickles. Still dislike guacamole though) We never liked the taste of pumpkin to begin with, I think, and then to mush it up to a baby food consistency is like taking something bad, and making it worse.
There was lots of laughter and good eating and good music to be had by all. I had no idea choosing a good playlist was so important – I’ve only done it one other time, while preparing for the Cards Chalet roundabout July – I didn’t really know how to choose music to fit the mood then, although I did put a lot of Melingo in because BBQs remind me of siestas and Mexican/Malay lifestyles for some reason. Oh, and I also did it last year for christmas. This time the music was pretty good. Lots of indie music, Iron & Wine, Nerina Pallot, and even some local singer-songwriters. I took out anything that sounded too intense/too romantic/too dramatic (classical symphonies) and we were left with a bunch of easy listening/bossa nova. I also put in some oldies/Joni Mitchell for Maifen :P which she definitely enjoyed. Must remember to pass my spare ipod to her.
The red wine and shallot gravy was pretty good, as were the mashed potatoes and also the dark meat of the turkey. I liked the green bean casserole, but it’s still pretty squidgy and cafeteria food-y. I think next thanksgiving I shan’t be doing traditional thanksgiving foods, but things I’m actually good at. Like crab noodles. Or grilled scallops, or creme brulee or something.
Linmin took a bunch of photos for me which was great seeing I didn’t have the hands to do it myself. They stayed till about 10.45 before leaving – at least two of them stay somewhat nearby (Bo was only 2 stops away!), but poor Edmund had to cab back to Kembangan. Gosh. All the way across the island. It was nice that he managed to join us despite being in the middle of his reservist duty. I wonder why my guests were so shy about showing up to thanksgiving empty-handed. I did it all the time in the States (I had a home to go to every thanksgiving cause of all those nice church ladies) but I did not observe that any of their extended family members brought anything for the host either.
Well. I’d definitely do it again! It was great fun! But I think I’d prefer cooking in my own kitchen. Cooking in UTown is great because it’s really near to work and all my work friends can come (there aren’t that many anyway) and my place is really inaccessible for everybody. Pictures up later!