I actually had Thanksgiving off this year. As a waitress, I can't remember the last Thanksgiving where I had the whole day off (and before I was a waitress I worked at a grocery store that was open every day except Christmas, so I worked a lot of those Thanksgivings, too). I couldn't believe my luck this year. So I invited over the crew (old college friends, new city friends, etc.) and got myself ready to host my first Thanksgiving.
Everything turned out so well. We had some beer dip and figs wrapped in blue cheese and prosciutto for appetizers, then moved on to the main event. The turkey was free range and had so much flavor on its own (and turned out so moist! I was very proud of my first full turkey). I think I finally perfected my grandma's dinner rolls (I've gone in and made a few notes on the recipe if you want to give it a shot--sweet, delicious, perfect for a turkey sandwich). We also had the obligatory green bean casserole (yes, I love the cream of mushroom soup version...so sue me...) and some sweet potatoes. These roasted sweet potatoes with garlic oil and fried sage from Gourmet were to die for. I've been craving them ever since. I'm serious: try them now.
Finally we ended the meal with my mom's Caramel Apple Pie, pumpkin pie, and eggnog ice cream. I tried my own crusts this year for the pies and while it worked for the pumpkin, it wasn't sturdy enough for the apple so I had to run out and buy an emergency pre-made pie crust for the apple. Oh, well. Maybe next year. For the pumpkin pie I went with the basic Libby's recipe, but used coconut milk instead of evaporated milk. Yum. And I added cinnamon and ginger to the crust.
Now, the Eggnog Ice Cream was Joe's idea. And I am so glad he had it. It was the perfect accompaniment with the pumpkin pie, but was great on its own. It really tastes like the holidays. And it stayed creamy and perfect even after a week in the refrigerator (there's one or two bites left....I keep thinking I'm saving them for Joe, but I'm tempted to run in there and eat them now...).
2 c. eggnog
1 c. whipping cream
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 TB dark rum (we used Cpt. Morgan)
Combine all ingredients except the rum in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Using a candy thermometer, cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 170 degrees F. Remove from heat. Mix in the 1 TB rum and allow the mixture to cool slightly (let it sit out until it is just above room temperature, about 40 minutes or so). Pour mixture into a lidded container and refrigerate overnight (this is very important in the consistency of the final product--don't skip this!).
Remove from refrigerator and mix ice cream according to the ice cream maker's instructions. Place back into a lidded container and freeze at least 1 hour before serving.