Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For years we have hosted. I love getting up when it is dark and the temperature is in the single digits. I don’t love the raw turkey and stuffing the rib cage with bread and veggies but I prepare it for those I love so I suck it up and bind that bird.
This year we decided not to host as bug’s arrival is unknown. We started the day off lazing around and for us that means doing stuff but not in a hurry. Andy studied a bit. I puttered and loved my animals and gave them Thanksgiving treats. We made a quick jaunt to the store and it was amazing how many folks were out buying instant potatoes, disposable roasting pans, canned items for this god awful casserole that Andy insists on making every year and then it is the first thing to be gobbled up defying my only homemade Thanksgiving splendor. Sigh.
We had to get items for said casserole, capers for my beets (I used the very last of this summer’s harvest), a bottle of wine and a certain absorbent feminine product for me in case my water breaks.
I got busy in the kitchen. The items I was to make to bring to Laura and Craig’s house:
And then I wanted to also make:
turkey with stuffing for us to have around for the next week
gourmet nosh item
And then Andy made:
Green Bean Casserole
Andy cleaned the bird for me and I made my mom’s stuffing to place in the bird. As previously mentioned, I do not enjoy this part of it and am reminded why I was a vegetarian for a decade but I do it because it is ridiculous to eat meat but then be a total pansy when it comes to preparing it. As a real woman I should slay the turkey myself. Maybe next year.
With the bird in the oven, we went for a walk. It was a gorgeous day and Alice only misbehaved once and really she can’t help it that she must smell the bum of dogs passing by. Her doggie psychic says she used to be a monk and she is now overwhelmed by her acute senses. Especially since she didn’t get to talk or act out in her last lifetime. I don’t think she used to be a monk. Perhaps a monkey.
I had contractions on the walk. Which I have been having but during one of them I got really hot (and it was like 9 degrees outside. Why isn’t there a degree symbol on the keyboard? That really chaps my hide.) and had to sit down.
We came back from the walk and had to rush around to get everything done. This always happens to me. Plenty of time and then blam! No time. We were late. The tardiness was furthered when I began making a two pumpkin pies–one to take and one to have and Andy said just make one babe and I inquired further and he declared he doesn’t like pumpkin pie. I had no idea. After a decade together I didn’t know he didn’t like pumpkin pie. Have I failed as a wife somewhere?
So, I enthusiastically tossed the pumpkin cans aside and began wildly searching through the freezer. This is secretly one of my favorite things: the challenge of cooking under pressure without the correct ingredients. I find it invigorating. I had raspberries from last summer’s Arlee harvest, apricots from Laura’s tree, rogue strawberries and cranberries. So I made a miscellany fruit pie. It was a hit.
Dinner and company were fab. And the whole day I felt thankful. For my man, my fam, my friends, my animals, my house, my bug, my life.
Recipes, both delicious, both from Food & Wine:
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 4 medium shallots, very thinly sliced
* 2 serrano chiles, very thinly sliced
* 1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder
* 1 teaspoon nigella seeds (also sold as black onion seeds). Couldn’t find this so I left it out.
* 3/4 cup popcorn kernels
- In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil. Add the shallots and chiles and fry over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are golden, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the fried shallots and chiles to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- In the same pot, cook the curry powder and nigella seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the popcorn kernels and cover. Cook, shaking the pan every 30 seconds, until the kernels have stopped popping, about 8 minutes. Season the popcorn with salt and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle the popcorn with the shallots and chiles and serve.
ROASTED BEETS WITH CAPERS
* 2 cups kosher salt. This is a lot of salt. I don’t get it. I used about 1/2 and it was fine.
* 12 small beets (about 2 pounds), tops trimmed, 12 small leaves reserved and minced. No greens this time of year so I left out.
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon drained capers
* 1 tablespoon minced chives
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Spread the salt in a small roasting pan and set the beets on top. Transfer to the oven and roast for about 50 minutes, or until the beets are tender when pierced. Let cool for 20 minutes.
- While the beets are still warm, peel and cut them into wedges. In a medium bowl, combine the beets and their leaves with the olive oil, vinegar, capers and chives. Season with salt and pepper, toss and serve.