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So here I am after a marvelous Thanksgiving! I hope yours was splendid, too. Last time we spoke, I was getting prepared for the Fearful Food Face Off. But I have a confession to make. There is no such thing as a Fearful Food Face Off. I would have no way of judging who would win, and really don’t care anyway.

So, in all seriousness, I think my dishes were a success! After spending all day before Thanksgiving baking, it had better be. Originally, my goal was to make everything by myself with no help. Aka, I would not resort to asking Mighty Mom for assistance unless I was truly in dire circumstances. That was what would make it more of a fearful challenge. I’ve made easy things like cookies and cakes and ramen noodles on my own before, but never something as important as some dishes to bring to Thanksgiving. So this time, I would do it all on my own, and sink or swim on my own. But, like I said, that was the goal.

What actually happened is another matter. I didn’t make it five minutes! Mom was cooking alongside me, and oh-so-available for questions. For goodness’ sakes, this was for Thanksgiving dinner and I didn’t even know what al dente meant in the recipe for my macaroni and cheese! I knew it meant cook it right, but how would one go about that? I have since learned it means in practical terms tender and soft when you bite it, but not too soggy. I am very glad I didn’t have to figure it out on my own, as my mom was picking up things that were wrong with the recipe as we went along that I would never have caught.

Here’s what the finished product looked like:

It looks gross, but those are panko bread crumbs on top. Adds a lovely texture and crunch. It was half-devoured by the time we left and my uncle said it reminded him of No Nonsense Nana’s cooking when he was little. So I call this one mission accomplished. Here is the recipe if you are interested: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/baked-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/index.html

The one thing I made almost entirely myself was Herbed Monkey Bread. Funny name, good stuff! I love bread. All kinds. I love working with dough. So this one was super fun to make! It’s basically a yeast dough with all these cool herbs like thyme, parsley, and rosemary spread onto it. Plus parmesan. Parmesan makes all things well. Unfortunately, I got the recipe out of my local newspaper, so I don’t have the recipe to share. But here’s a picture to make you envious:

Last but not least was pumpkin cheesecake. After making it, I understand why it received so many votes! Good job, voters! Quite yummy, although quite rich. And probably one of the most difficult to make. It ended up being a little too soggy, but otherwise, I think it was swell. Oh, forget talking. Here’s a pic:

And the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/almost-famous-pumpkin-cheesecake-recipe2/index.html

All-in-all, each were edible and 2 of the 3 recipes were definite keepers. I really do like cooking, and maybe one of these days I’ll have as much knowledge and know-how as Mighty Mom and won’t need her help at all. Until then, I’ll learn by the side of one of the best cooks I know.

I absolutely loved working beside her in the kitchen. It’s one of those small things in life that mean so much. She let me do enough so that I could call the dishes my own, but she was also available for guidance if I needed it. It was a wonderful feeling to work side by side, and have something of my own to contribute for Thanksgiving dinner. If you haven’t done it before, I highly recommend it.

Would I call this fear conquered? Yes and no. I brought some things of my own for Thanksgiving, so yes. “No” because I didn’t make it without any help no matter how it turned out as planned. Ah, well. There’s always next year!

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Your Turn #4

With Thanksgiving this week, I was wondering…

Which Thanksgiving dish of one of your relatives are you least looking forward to? (Don’t worry, they won’t know you said anything.)

Which Thanksgiving dish of one of your relatives are you most looking forward to?

Feel free to answer either one of the questions, and/or both!

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