LUCY BURDETTE: It's been a busy week what with Thanksgiving preparations, house guests, and edits on my third Key West mystery, TOPPED CHEF. In fact it's been so busy that I completely forgot that it was my turn to book a guest and her recipe for today's post. Uh-oh...
As penance, I'm going to share my Thanksgiving disaster.
John and I were hosting a small but lively gathering--seven of us at the table, including Dorothy, his mom, who will turn 100 next summer. You can see why we wanted everything to look and taste delicious! (John and Dorothy pictured on the right, enjoying a lively game of Bananagrams.)
The menu included turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, mashed turnips, cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, biscuits, and two kinds of pie--pumpkin and chocolate cream. Thinking I would go all out to make the pies spectacular, I bought organic pumpkin and gourmet dark chocolate. (See the perfect pies above--these are from last year's dinner.)
Done it before--easy-peasy, right? Just wait...
I made the chocolate first, starting with a graham cracker crust and then following the custard instructions from the JOY OF COOKING. The filling looked a little more grainy than usual, but tasted delicious.
Then on to the pumpkin...too late I realized I'd run out of canola oil for my father's easy crust recipe. I substituted--ahem-- olive oil. Then I ran short of maple syrup so finished the job with honey. And the organic pumpkin came out of the can pale and tasting of squash. So a greenish crust and a pale pie...I tried to make up for it with my special decorative crust hearts.
But I was worried...
In the end, the pumpkin pie was lovely.
But when I rolled the plastic wrap off the chocolate pie, the filling wobbled and sloshed like a chocolate milkshake.
So we served chocolate soup with lots of whipped cream on top... (See photo in case you think I'm exaggerating.)
Lesson learned: back to good old Baker's chocolate and Libby's pumpkin.
And lesson #2--What's important is not the perfect presentation on the table, it's the family and friends around it!
And now your turn: Did you suffer any Thanksgiving dinner disasters? Oh come on, tell us:). I'm offering a copy of AN APPETITE FOR MURDER to one lucky commenter...
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. You can find her on Twitter @lucyburdette or on Facebook.