Just In Case You Were Wondering

Fakesgiving was a resounding success. Photos, recipes, and more will be posted soon (I have a final on Tuesday!)


It’s Early, But I’m Already Planning

Fakesgiving is right around the corner!

Well, it’s around the corner that’s around a more immediate corner, maybe a slight left, go through a couple of lights, up a hill, then around another corner. Fakesgiving 2009 is set for November 21st, and I could not be more excited about it!

The bonus: this year’s Fakesgiving celebrations will be held on the same day as the OSU-Michigan game. Because one day in November dedicated to watching football and enjoying a feast just plain isn’t enough.

Please excuse the poor Photoshopping job. The turkey certainly didn’t want to be wearing a Michigan jersey.

So, I know it’s over a month away, but I’m getting psyched about it already. Anyone else celebrating Fakesgiving this year? What are your plans? And what is the deal with this website that seems to involve someone else’s mysterious plans for Fakesgiving ’09? (And why didn’t I buy that URL first?)

Just Gravy

Well, and some mashed potatoes.

The gravy was the first of the Fakesgiving foods to run out. It only made it to one plate of leftovers. For perspective, I have eaten no less than 9 plates of leftover turkey.

My gravy recipe requires a little bit of work, and it also costs you the turkey neck and giblets. It’s that dish that you have to remember is on the stove all day, throughout the entire turkey and side dish process. But, know what? It’s totally worth it.


Whipped cream!

Like pretty clouds. Except, you know, tasty.

Confession: we didn’t make a pie – or anything else that required whipped cream as a topping – this Fakesgiving. This whipped cream was actually a part of something else :)

Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes. Brown sugar. Butter. Pecans. Spiced rum.

Is your mouth watering yet?

It’s like dessert, but it’s served with dinner. Even better.

This photo doesn’t even do it justice. I swear, the brownish-orange dishes never photograph well. It sure tastes good, though.

The Recipe:
Sweet Potato Casserole

5-6 large sweet potatoes
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 oz crushed pecans (or a small bag, found in the baking aisle)
4 oz halved pecans (or a small bag, same as above)
1/4 cup Captain Morgan or other spiced rum
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Do This
Bake the sweet potatoes until they’re soft and mushy. You can do this in the oven the slow way, or just microwave them for about 10-12 minutes. If you live in a very old house (like I do), don’t use the microwave and the oven at the same time, or you will blow a fuse. This happened twice on Sunday before we stopped doing that.
Melt a stick of butter, and stir the rum and the brown sugar in until it’s a liquid. Try not to drink it. I know, it’s tempting.
Using a hand mixer, blend the sugar/rum/butter with the potatoes on low speed, until it’s a light orangey-brown color and light and fluffy (almost whipped) in texture.
Spoon the potato mixture into a casserole dish, and stir in the crushed pecans. Top the dish with pecan halves, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

This has a bit more rum than sweet potato casseroles I’ve made in the past, but it’s not so much that you’ll get schnockered off your dinner. It’s more of a light, sugary, rummy flavor that complements the sweet potatoes.

Also, it tastes pretty good when it runs together with the cranberry sauce on your plate. You know what I’m talking about. Stuff always mixes on Thanksgiving plates. In anticipation of this, put it between the stuffing and the cranberry sauce, and you will not be sorry.

I’m Stuffed

One of my favorite parts of this year’s Fakesgiving dinner was the sourdough stuffing. Or, well, dressing, since I didn’t actually stuff it into the turkey! I made up the recipe as I went along, and I’m so happy that I wrote everything down, because this needs to be made again and again.

Sourdough. Cranberry. Dressing.

I’ve never made stuffing from scratch before (I’ll admit it, I actually enjoy the boxed stuff), and one of the only things I knew about it was that I needed bread cubes. I picked up a loaf of sourdough – it’s one of my favorites, and I thought it might be more exciting than regular white bread. I chopped it into cubes on Saturday night, spread the cubes out on a baking sheet, and by Sunday morning, the bread cubes were nice and crisp.

Sourdough cubes, out to dry the night before.

As for what went in? I knew that I was a fan of mushrooms in stuffing, and celery and onions seemed to be appropriate as well. The fresh cranberries really added a tangy punch, and I am so happy that I was a bit overzealous and bought two bags.

The prep work on this dressing can be done in advance. I chopped the bread into cubes the night before (so they could dry a bit and get nice and crispy), and I chopped up the veggies and stashed them in the fridge until just before go-time.

I love how colorful the fruits/veggies are. Clockwise from top left: onions, cranberries, carrots, celery, mushrooms.

The Recipe:
Sourdough Cranberry Dressing

4 1/2 cups sourdough bread cubes, dried overnight
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped fresh cranberries
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup chicken broth
dash of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Do This:
Preheat the oven to 350. If you have a turkey in there, it should be up to temperature already, and you can slide the dressing into the oven right as you take the bird out. The dressing can cook while the turkey is being carved, and if you’re smart about oven space, you can slide a sweet potato casserole or other dish in at the same time.
Fill a casserole dish with the dried breadcrumbs.
Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a small sauté pan. Sauté the onions, celery, and mushrooms, until all are soft. Pour the softened veggies over the breadcrumbs, and add another tablespoon of butter to the sauté pan. Add the carrots and cranberries to the pan, and lightly sauté them in the butter (don’t cook them quite as thoroughly as the other veggies, though). Incorporate the cranberries and carrots into the casserole dish with the bread cubes and other veggies.
Pour 1/4 cup of chicken broth over the top of the mixture. It should be moist, but not soggy. Shake a little bit of salt, pepper, and garlic powder over the top, toss everything together with a spatula, and put the lid on the dish.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve with your favorite seasonal dishes. Or eat it plain. That’s okay, too.

The best part? It’s delicious reheated, too.

I microwaved a plate of dressing today, and it was just as awesome as it was fresh-baked. The cranberries mushed up a little bit more, too, and it was a perfect snack.


Here’s a little teaser:

Clockwise from top left: dressing, cranberry sauce, crescent roll, corn, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes (no gravy! I forgot to add that before the photo, but it was really awesome), turkey, green beans. Also not pictured: chocolate mousse cake.

In short, Fakesgiving was a resounding success.

Recipes to follow all week long. My fav was the homemade dressing, which I totally improvised (don’t worry, I totally wrote down everything just for you!).