Thanksgiving with Serendipity

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching (next week-yikes!)  I thought it would be fun to ask some of our staff members a few questions about how they celebrate this classic holiday.  One thing we all have in common is that we all love to eat and celebrate with our closest family and friends…and everyone seems to have had a recipe disaster….


What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish and why?


Laura, Serendipity Owner:  Pie!  We used to own a bakery in Nederland, CO (“Laura’s Mountain Bakery”) and some of my favorite Thanksgiving memories are from “pie pick-up days”. All the locals would come in and pick up their pies — we would have boxes and boxes stacked up of Chocolate Pecan, Pumpkin, Apple Cranberry, etc.


Erin Grimm, Service Consultant:  Stuffing – rich, full flavor and goes well with the entire turkey spread!


Kelsey DePinto, Service Consultant: Deviled eggs because I don’t know how to make them myself and they are delicious!


Ace Else, Executive Sous Chef: My favorite part of a traditional thanksgiving dinner is the stuffing. It’s so versatile! Some years I make it with raisins and rosemary. Other years I have use andouille sausage for a spicy change.


Amanda Bartczak, Public Relations:  I love a really good homemade cranberry sauce!  It always gets over-looked, but it is the perfect tart compliment to all the rich foods.



Ever experienced a Thanksgiving recipe disaster? What happened?


Laura: When I was about 15 years old I wanted to make a ham for Thanksgiving.  I read the instructions and I thought it said 45 minutes for a 5lb ham.  However, it really said “45 minutes for every lb of a 5lb ham”.  So, instead of 4 hours for the ham to bake, I gave it 45 minutes.


Dan Lacy, Production Manager:  Not really.  I’ve had the opposite happen, though.  One year I found a recipe online for sweet potatoes, the kind that’s blended with the marshmallows.  I didn’t have the heavy cream the recipe called for, since I was in college and broke, so I substituted eggnog.  The recipe turned out amazing!  I don’t even like sweet potatoes, but this was great!


Erin: I didn’t defrost the turkey long enough so it never cooked – we spent all day cooking it! At 10pm we pulled out the turkey (still wasn’t done) and realized we cooked it with the neck still inside. I didn’t pull all the gizzards out!!! We ate the cold sides and watched a movie the rest of the night…. no turkey or gravy that year!


Kelsey: I tried to make my mom’s special holiday Jell-O last year and put too much water in it! It didn’t end up turning into Jell-O…. just a big bowl of sweet watery fruit!


Ace:  One year I made gravy that was so thick, I held the measuring cup upside down and the gravy didn’t move.


Do you serve anything outside of the “traditional Thanksgiving menu”? 


Laura: I love caviar for the fall/winter holidays.  This is the only time I splurge on it — Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  Champagne and caviar is my winter holiday celebration tradition.


Kelsey: My husband’s family is all Italian so we eat homemade raviolis, spaghetti, and calamari with them!


Amanda: While living in Boston we took a spontaneous trip to New York over Thanksgiving.  We were staying in a hotel so we did not have kitchen and most restaurants were closed. We stumbled upon this great neighborhood Peruvian restaurant and had one of the best meals ever!  Ever since then we try to have a South American feast either on Thanksgiving instead of turkey or at least shortly after.   Last year we had roasted vegetable enchiladas with pepita sauce.


Does your family have any other unique traditions?


Erin: We host a “left over” party the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We invite everyone over with all his or her half eaten dishes. No one is allowed to cook anything for this party – it’s a way to get rid of all the leftovers and everyone gets a chance to taste our friends’ cooking.


Kelsey: On Thanksgiving we always go play football, watch football, and play Trivial Pursuit!


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