Saturday, November 28, 2009
It was a lovely dinner though and a wonderful evening and I spent all day yesterday doing absolutely nothing, which I felt I was entitled to, after starting in on cooking Wednesday evening and then continuing for the entire day on Thursday. We had:
* roasted turkey, a 16.33 pounder from Earthfare. That's a small turkey for me and there are not as many leftovers as I wish. On the other hand, I could lift the damn thing and I managed to brine it in the stockpot, not the mop bucket.
* mashed potatoes, an entire bag of Yukon golds, boiled and then mashed with roasted garlic and butter and cream and milk and cream cheese. Yum. Roasting the garlic gets added onto the cooking time, however.
* creamed onions, which are my favorite Thanksgiving side dish, but which are a pain to fix, since the devotion of those little pearl onions to their skins is touching and strong. Also they make me cry.
* stuffing, my mother's classic, refined by me over years to include a bag of pepperidge farm stuffing mix, raw apples, cooked bacon, sauteed onions and celery and garlic, raisins, an assortment of fresh herbs, chicken broth and, naturally, butter. Lots of butter.
* two kinds of cranberry sauce, the one Noelle makes which is a bag of cranberries cooked in a can of frozen apple juice and the one my mother used to make which is cranberries and apples and oranges (peeled, membranes removed, another pain in the ass) and honey all whisked through the food processor.
* wild and basmati rice with three kinds of sauteed mushrooms, garlic, roasted winter squash and slivered almonds: the token New Dish, loosely based on a classic of Noelle's. Next year I'm leaving out the squash, because chopping it and roasting it and scooping it into the rice was a time consuming royal drag and the texture was wrong with the rice.
* green bean casserole, the trashy kind with the cream of mushroom soup and durkee's french friend onions
* apple pie, which I made and pumpkin pie, which Audrey made at my house on Wednesday night, which was the most exciting night of the whole holiday weekend.
And Jodi brought sweet potatoes and a key lime pie and Kyle and Jen brought delicious cranberry bread. There was lots of beer and some champagne and I served my homemade pickles and hot pepper jelly with crackers and cream cheese for starters. Everyone had a lovely time and pictures of the whole thing can be found here.
But why, you say, was Wednesday so exciting? Well, we nearly burned the house down during the pie baking, which is always entertaining. The oven began smoking after the apple pie came out and before the pumpkin pie went in and I started cleaning up the spilled burning apples on the bottom of the oven (while it was still on, naturally) with paper towels. Turns out that if paper towels touch hot oven elements, they burst into flames - it's sort of arson 101 but I was tired. As the paper towels caught on fire I threw them into the sink, where Audrey, shouting, put them out with the faucet. This was not really a good idea and it became an even worse idea when the sprayer on the sink stuck and sent a fine mist of water into the hot oven, which promptly erupted into an epic but fortunately not all that deadly fireball. I was right there yet my eyebrows through some miracle are not singed. We had to turn the oven off and go out on the porch for a beer and a cigarette at that point.
Anyway, we survived. Young Miles has a bad cold and I have a mild one, which is somewhat annoying, since I would prefer to schedule my illnesses when I can take time off work to deal with them, rather than wasting three day weekends, but oh well, it is not so bad. Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all!