Again, I don't actually know how to bake, but box recipes have gotten a lot fancier since the last time I looked! I picked up a box of strawberry cheesecake mix and a box that promised chocolate s'mores cupcakes. The combination of fancy flavors and cupcakes with filling was just too much fun to resist. This morning I spent a good chunk of time transforming bags of powder into tasty treats, but it worked out pretty well. I always thought that getting a filling inside a cupcake was complicated magic, but it turns out to be pretty simple. In order to give the cupcakes enough time to cool, I waited 'til we got to my parents' house to actually put frosting on top.
I should have taken pictures. Oops! The strawberry cheesecake ones were pretty cute, pink with white frosting, but the s'mores cupcakes looked like chocolate dog turds. Ouch. They tasted better, though - each s'mores cupcake had a graham cracker crust on the bottom and a marshmallow filling. Delicious.
Mom made a turkey, of course, and it turned out especially well this year - very moist and flavorful. My uncle carved it up with his fancy knife that he always brings for just that purpose. It's big and sharp and has a fancy German name - as all knives should, right? He had also brought his classic molded Jello salad complete with lychee eyeballs, but as an added twist he used blue jello instead of the usual green.
An aside: I grew up with jello fruit salad as a part of Thanksgiving dinner because my grandmother (a proper 1950s housewife!) always made it. So I think nothing of starting a meal with such a sweet dish. Seanie finds it freakishly weird to eat a dessert food like jello as a main course.
What else was there? Sweet potatoes. Chow mein - mom usually uses this instead of stuffing, but this year she didn't actually stick it in the turkey because it would take too long to cook. Potatoes. Vegetables. The usual.
It was a little weird having Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house on Thanksgiving. We always celebrate it the Sunday before - when I was a kid, it was easier because then we could drive down to Southern California and spend the actual Thanksgiving day with my dad's parents. After my grandfather died, it was easier to continue having Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday because Sean's family always had a big shindig on the Thursday. But this year, my mother-in-law is taking a break and my brother-in-law is hosting Thanksgiving on Saturday, so my parents got to have their first Thursday celebration in years.