It’s no secret by now that I have been sick for a week and medicated for a few days. Today I was feeling better, but I had no idea how loopy I’ve been until I tried DOING things. First mistake with my brain still addled.

First I went to Whole Foods to pick up the turkey, pumpkin pie, and dinner rolls I’d ordered. Plus all the other Thanksgiving ingredients. I picked up the preordered stuff at the special counter, where they slapped a PAID sticker on the pie and rolls. Did all the shopping, got in line, left the turkey and the bag with pie and rolls in the cart, paid for the other stuff, and left. It wasn’t until I was driving home that I began questioning whether I’d actually paid for everything. I’d forgotten my pick-up receipt at home, the one that blatantly states the pie and rolls were pre-paid the day I ordered (I’d forgotten about that), but the turkey must be paid for at the register. The store was packed, I had 100 things going through my hazy brain, the cashier and bagger didn’t question it, and I didn’t even think about it. I STOLE OUR THANKSGIVING TURKEY!!

When Adam came home, he agreed that I had probably stolen the turkey. I called Whole Foods and explained the entire situation, and they very nicely confirmed that I had definitely stolen the turkey. They thanked me for my honesty and took my credit card information over the phone to pay for said “hot” turkey. They asked for the name of my checkout person (I hope she didn’t get in trouble!). In the background I could hear staff members saying things like, “We’re going to have to check and see how many of these turkeys are actually getting paid for!” and “It’s not the customer’s fault, I know exactly how this happened!” At the end of the day the turkey is now paid for, and Whole Foods has been alerted to the fact that I may not be the only one getting confused in the holiday madness.

Second, I’ve been slaving away today on a ginormous fondant Thanksgiving cake as a final project for my fondant class. For weeks I’ve been planning this cake, envisioning what it will look like, and today I obtained the supplies and started baking…about half an hour before the start of the final class (which just started at 6:30). I completely. Forgot. About the class. All day I’ve been thinking I had to get this cake done, and I’d forgotten it was for tonight’s finale session. Adam asked me about it when he got home, and I just stared blankly at him as I poured batter into the pans just before 6. So then he had to ask me something ridiculously logical like why I’m making a giant 4-tier cake for the 4 adults and 1 child who will be eating it at Thanksgiving tomorrow. I honestly don’t know. I’d always wanted this cake to be a trial run for the one I’ll turn out for next week’s holiday party at our house, but now it seems ridiculous to have this chocolate, fondant-covered extravaganza for such a small group. Clearly, I did not think anything through today.

At any rate, here are some photos of more Thanksgiving prep.

thanksgiving layers

The four layers of the apocalypse. No idea when this will actually get frosted.

making crostini

Making crostini from a fresh baguette (still warm! and definitely paid for!). I’m putting out an assortment of these with various toppings for pre-dinner nibbles tomorrow.

flower prep

Getting flowers ready for the Thanksgiving tables.

Thanksgiving table

Flowers and new orange tablecloth. Still needs to be set.

Thanksgiving dessert table prep

The Thanksgiving dessert table is coming together. This is actually an appetizer AND dessert table. I’m making this cake and putting out the legally purchased pumpkin pie. I went to a cute local candy shop called Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe and picked up those chocolate-covered Rice Krispies treats and chocolate pilgrim/turkey lollipops stuck into the short vases next to the flowers, but that’s it for sweets. Everything else will be crostini, various dips, cheeses, and crudites.

I also made Salmon Mousse this afternoon, to be put out on this table tomorrow. Here’s the quick recipe. I halved this to make enough for 4 people.

Serves 8

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-ounce envelope)
4 ounces smoked salmon, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
coarse salt
fresh dill, for garnish (optional)
crackers or baguette slices, for serving

Place 3 tablespoons cold water in a small saucepan, and sprinkle with gelatin; let soften, 5 minutes. Gently heat over low, stirring, just until gelatin dissolves; set aside.

salmon mousse gelatin

In the bowl of a food processor, combine salmon, sour cream, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth; season with salt. With motor running, add slightly cooled gelatin mixture, and blend until combined.

salmon mousse

Pour into two 8-ounce ramekins or bowls (I used one of my dip cups and a 4-ounce ramekin for half the recipe amount). Without touching surface, cover container with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm but spreadable, about 2 hours or up to overnight. Garnish mousse with dill, if desired, and serve with crackers or baguette slices.