All in all I must say it was one of the best meals we ever staged. We only had two minor mishaps (ahh, no amputations and only minuscule destruction): husband had a semi-bad burn when he tried to check his "broiled breaded, garlic & parmesan-topped mussels on the half shell" and my glass star anise jar dropped down into the stove top, crashing into smithereens. Minor. And now the vacuum cleaner smells heavenly when I turn it on.
We were disappointed that YeYe was not there with us (he stayed home with a bad cold) but he requested some specific leftovers (sweet potatoes and pecan pie); the siblings luxuriated in the precious time spent with each other, and laughed when I brought out husband's baby pictures and they saw themselves transported to Kowloon, 32 years ago, before they emigrated to Boston.
The dishes I cooked over the course of 2 days were very simple: buttermilk corn bread, sweet potatoes w/ minimarshmallows, brussels sprouts w/ olive oil and garlic (from JMom), roasted brined turkey with oyster stuffing, mashed potatoes (I was so happy because the kids came up to me and said they loved it!--prepared by husband under barking orders from me), Clothilde's recipe of zucchini with tiny pasta, cranberry-pomegranate sauce, pumpkin flan, pecan pie and mango cobbler.
What the siblings brought to our little table: stir-fried shrimp with celery,tofu with broccoli and dried black mushrooms, salt and pepper squid and shrimp, seafood lo mein and fried rice, chopped roast chicken. Mostly from Chinatown.
There was also a half of honey baked ham (which I've lost interest in since I found out OJ Simpson owns-owned?-a franchise; it's never tasted as good as the first try).
I have to post what I think are the most helpful gadgets/thingies for anyone preparing a big turkey dinner:
1. an electric knife for making "professional" deli-looking slices.
2. Meat thermometer for checking temperature of the bird, so crucial for success (overcooked=horrific shreds of tough meat, undercooked=I don't even want to imagine!)
3. Huge serving platters
4. Sense of humor
5. Helpful husband and understanding children, who got neglected a little bit but helped clear the tables.
It is my favorite holiday, did I say that already?