I'm contributing two pies. I found out my friend was going to buy the pies from Marie Callenders, so I figured I could offer to make them as a contribution. Or I could have offered to pay for them, but making is more fun. I can't get my husband to understand that.
To me, though, the dessert is almost superfluous--I really wouldn't miss it if there were no pie, so making pies doesn't seem like much of a contribution. Especially since my friend is still making three herself. She did say that she has the Cool Whip, so I don't need to worry about that, and now I'm worried about the political implications if I bring whipped cream. One of the pie recipes I have calls for a cognac cream topping.
I was just reading something in the newspaper tonight about the trend of BYO. Apparently people throw parties and ask their guests to bring a dish, drinks and so on, and the author didn't think that was a good idea, except among relatives or close friends. To me it seems normal, but then I'm not the formal dinner party type. I will say that there can be some hurt feelings trying to coordinate it all.
Early in my relationship with my husband, I think our first Thanksgiving right after we were married, I tried to have a big family dinner. It was a few months after my father had died, and he always did all the cooking. My sister was hosting it at her house, which caused some resentment on her part, but she had the 6 wild offspring and no one else wanted to do it. She seemed to be upset that she had to do all the work, so I tried to delegate it all out and have everyone coming to dinner bring a dish. My mom and youngest sister really weren't interested in this idea, but my mom said she'd make the pumpkin pie. Youngest sister just road the pumpkin pie coattails. One of my friends from college who is close to my family was eating with us (he still eats with my family on Thanksgiving even though I'm no longer there). He is a good cook, so I was talking to him about what he could bring so as to lighten the load on my sister, Jan. He said that he was making the banana cheesecake, and that was all he was bringing. If we didn't like it, then tough, he didn't need to eat with us.
: Always a drama at the holidays, is it not?
I decided that I would roast the turkey and make the gravy, since that can be time consuming, and we'd also provide a honeybaked ham. Jan was going to do the side dishes of stuffing, candied sweet potatoes and green bean casserole, and also provide the rolls and cranberries. My half sister was coming with her kids, but she wasn't going to bring anything, which was how it should be since she is chronically late to everything and you really don't want to plan dinner around her. I thought it was all worked out. I got up early to start the turkey, and I was going to really pay close attention and bard the breast with fat, and baste every half hour and really have a beautiful bird. My mom called to complain that she discovered that Jan was making Stove Top stuffing, and to her it just wasn't Thanksgiving unless she had the bread crumb and celery stuffing, just like dad used to make it. So I decided to make homeade stuffing and also to make a fruit salad. It all worked, it was a beautiful turkey! OK, the gravy wasn't so great, too thick and lumpy and I didn't have enough drippings to repair it. Not the end of the world, however, and we showed up at her house with the ham, turkey, stuffing, gravy and fruit salad.
Only to find that my sister had roasted a turkey! Not so nearly as lovely as mine as she basically threw it in the oven and let it roast overnight until she woke up and decided it was done. It looked dry, and wasn't nice and golden brown like my oft basted turkey. She also had jarred gravy (OK, not a bad idea) and pretty much everything you would need for a full holiday meal, even the pie. My mom decided not to bake the pie after all. So basically Jan did all the work herself that I tried to divide between us. She told me that she thought she would need an extra turkey, since there were so many of us and we all love leftovers. Don't worry, it will all get eaten
My turkey was about 20 lbs and we also had a big ham. Plus all the side dishes. People always over estimate the amount of food needed, I find. My turkey didn't get touched, not a whole lot of my stuffing got eaten, no one ate the fruit salad but me. My half sister showed up after dinner was over, and had already eaten at someone else's house, but she did take some leftovers--no turkey though. I took my entire turkey home because my sister said she doubted that she and her kids would eat it all. Let me tell you, I was eating turkey for the next month, in one form or another.
Yes, a long boring story, but I couldn't help telling it.
It just serves as a reminder to give cash and forget about the BYO thing. J/K J/K