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No one ever said I was a Neat Cook

Today my daughter, her husband, my two grandchildren and my boyfriend are coming for Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, I know it is a day early, but it is what it is.

They arrived in Hawaii last night and as Sherry grew up here, her best friend lives here and is having Thanksgiving dinner on the Real Day, so we chose to have another one the day before.  Fine with me.

As you can see from the photos, I am a very messy cook. Plus trying to make pecan pie from scratch, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole all in a condo size kitchen is not easy.

Oh, I forgot, two kinds of fresh cranberry sauce. One ‘raw’ and one cooked. The cooked one is called the New Cranberry Sauce. It is made with chopped onion, garlic, a bag of fresh cranberries, sugar, ginger, cranberry juice and an apple chopped up when all this is thickened.

My sister likes the jellied one in the can, but to me homemade cranberry sauce is a must.

Luckily I made the pumpkin pie last night. (And made the pie dough last week and froze it). I defrosted the ball of dough in the fridge overnight.

I did the pie method differently. Before I actually baked the pie, I first rolled out the crust, put it in the pie dish, lined it with another pie pan filled with rice and  baked the crust for half an hour at 350, removed the pie tin lining and then baked it another five minutes. This is called a Blind Bake. Cool, fill, and bake as usual. End result is a very flaky crust.

I made the traditional pecan pie from the recipe on the Karo syrup bottle, but my girlfriend Sharon gave me the idea to add a shot of Jack Daniels to the filling. I don’t know what amount a shot is, so I put in two tablespoons. I can’t wait to try that.

I got all the cooking done by noon and then realized that my building announced that they are shutting off the water between twelve and two today. Great.

So I left the big mess and was just doing things that didn’t require water. (Like emptying the garbage). Out of habit, I went to the sink to wash my hands and guess what? Water. So I cleaned up the dishes, ran the dishwasher and now will take a nice bubble bath.

For the table cloth I used an authentic piece of tapa cloth made in Fiji. I thought it would give a South Seas touch to the dinner. I had some tapa left over after cutting a circle, so I made matching napkin rings by covering  paper towel rollers and cutting them in sections. (Very Martha Stewart).

The good news is my sister is picking up the dinner rolls and all I have left to do is the green beans and the gravy.

I sent the above photos to my boyfriend and he is so observant. His reply: “Where is your favor?”