Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Yeah, yeah, I know.  It was a while ago.  I've been busy.  Fa la la la la freakin' la la la la and all that.

OK.  Enough with the Scrooge attitude.  I just love Thanksgiving.  It's all about food, family and friends and no other commercial trappings.

I've been cooking Thanksgiving dinner ever since my mom died more than 15 years ago.  While the very first Thanksgiving was hard, I took it as an opportunity to mix it up a bit and try some new recipes.  Shake up the ol' palate, modernize some of the recipes, infuse some new flavors.

Every year I pore over magazines, cookbooks, and sites like Epicurious, Martha Stewart, etc. looking for something new and exciting.  I watch the cooking shows and ask all my friends what they are cooking.  A whole day centered around FOOD, what could be more fun!?

My kitchen elves and I started a few days in advance.  The beauty of many of the Thanksgiving style recipes is they can (and often should!) be made a day or so ahead of time, and then just reheated before dinner while the turkey is resting and being carved.

This is the cooking crew, otherwise known as Nonna and Bridget.  They peeled a LOT of vegetables!

The kitchen elves also were the dining room elves.  Bridget and Nonna went through all my linens, china, crystal, silve and flatware and designed a very beautiful table.  Didn't they do a nice job?  Aren't I such a slave driver?

All that cooking in advance paid off on The Big Day.  I got to relax, go for a walk, have a long shower, enjoy my family, watch a little football.  It was great.

This is the dinner - ready to shove into the ovens when the turkeys are removed.

Yes, that's right:  turkeys.  As in plural.  I know we were only ten, but....  I do so enjoy leftovers!  And, one of the birds was a "heritage" turkey.  A breed called a Bourbon Red.  This is sort of like a "heritage tomato."  It's the original breed, hasn't been messed with genetically to grow a bigger breast or mature faster or do any other unnatural things that will make it easier and more profitable to get it to your table.  Since it's a REAL turkey, they only get to be about 12 pounds, and that certainly wouldn't have cut it.  So I cooked another "normal" organic bird.  We could definitely taste the difference.  Meatier, in the same way a homegrown tomato is tomatoier.  Much less white meat, the dark meat was very rich.  Definitely doing it again.

The best part of the evening?  Sitting down at the table with my family.  I live far from my original family, so I've sort of adopted people who are now my Texas family.

The second best part of the evening?

The food!

1 comment:

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