This was my first time to host Mark’s side of the family for Thanksgiving, and so it was vegetarian Thanksgiving brunch.  I took some photos beforehand….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had a greek yogurt bar, with the homemade granola, and honey and fresh fruit.  I made pancakes as people sat down, which seemed to work okay.

mashed and gravy

Had mashed potatoes and cashew gravy…I discovered sort of the hard way, that even though the cousins were open to eating some of everything….adults are more difficult.  Adults don’t try things like fake sausage.  I thought the sausages turned out delicious….but it’s too weird for some people to try on a holiday.  Cashew gravy isn’t a revelation or new or weird in this house.  I have to remember that this is still an alien food to some.  The cranberry ginger sauce turned out great, too.  Though because this, too, was a slightly weird food….I’d intended it for the pancakes, but people put it on mashed.  It was good there, too, though.  I was happy everybody liked it.

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The seitan sausage rocked.  I did prepare it beforehand, and all I did was fry it lightly in some olive oil just to give it a bit of crunch.  It’s awesome, and I’ll definitely make it again.  Though the kids and Jane (who is vegetarian) and Mark and I had some at brunch, the rest was leftovers.  After everyone was gone though, Mark and I finished it within a day.

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I made two quiches…I went with both of them being identical, basically Mom’s recipe.  Quiche isn’t too weird at brunch, and that went over just fine.  Jane had brought one, too, which didn’t even get carved up.  (We had a LOT of food.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeverages, too.  Had mimosas, which most grownups had…with Chandon Brut.  The white was something called Mohua, and it was crisp and green apple-ish.  Forgot which red we served, but it was a nice one, too.

Most of the family liked the brunch, and the vegetarians and the kids loved it.  (Chase did try everything…I made him…and he dubbed the pancake ‘awesome’).  (Had I been sitting next to him, he would have eaten more quiche….but his father sat next to him.)

pumpkin pancake setupCooking lessons from Thanksgiving:

Serving hot pancakes is easier with smaller groups than seven adults and three kids.  The first kid is done with her pancake before the adults have started theirs…and she wants seconds.  😀

People need the centerpiece fussy dish….it’s the meat-eater way.  Spiced pancakes are not turkey, nor is quiche.  A nibbling many-dishes is a great brunch…but the fussy big main dish still says Thanksgiving to many.

Even with the pancake-flipping, I timed brunch pretty damn well fabulously.  Everybody had a hot meal, all at once, in front of them.  Things got cold in the kitchen by the time most of us pushed back to rub our bellies at the table.  I did not account for people coming an hour late.  So when they arrived, the mashed, the gravy, the sausages were cold.  I offered to flip pancakes, but they didn’t want any.  I didn’t account for that.  Not sure how I could have better handled it, but I’ll think about it next time.

Adults didn’t quite get the yogurt bar.  Even when I told the kids to put yogurt in cups and add whatever toppings they wanted (which they took to, enthusiastically and immediately), it didn’t quite happen with grownups.  Dunno why.  Also, nobody goes for the nonfat yogurt.  (I should have known that.)

Nobody but me in the family drinks coffee….gasp!  I had a cute setup with a large pot of coffee with fixins and my grandmother’s china and the whole bit.  I set out holiday tea with the way die hard coffee-drinkers do….I have the stuff, and expect one person will have tea.  One person did.  And I was the only one drinking coffee….no wonder my husband is strange and is not a coffee-drinker.  Nobody in his family had any.

I was happy with my effort.  It was a LOT of effort, but I was really excited about different dishes.  Most of what I served were new recipes to me, and every one came out on a range of good to fantastic.  Lesson learned?  Some folks aren’t into ‘new’ on Thanksgiving.  *shrug*  And also, family is family.  You get everybody together for a fun meal, and you’re still the same family that was snapping at each other last week.  The reason Mark and I hosted is because we get along well with everybody.  We are Switzerland.  As fun as it was to make cool interesting and yummy food, sometimes some folks are more interested in glowering at each other across the table than in your cool food.

But I’m a mighty decent food assembler.

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