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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! I know I'm a little tardy with the update here, but since I am so very grateful for so many things, I thought it wouldn't matter if I was a little late saying so.

But first, Thanksgiving dinner, which was AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS. You know what I love? I love that Thanksgiving is a holiday built around food and feasting and thanks rather than religion. I love that when I went to the grocery store the other day almost every basket in every line had a variation on the Thanksgiving theme. (I'm all for alternative menus, but there's something almost patriotic feeling about watching so many people from so many walks of life buying their sweet potatoes, you know?)

Should I mention here that one of the things I miss from my churchgoing youth is singing harvest hymns? They were old fashioned and made me think of I don't know what. Continuity, maybe. I liked singing a song that people have sung for hundreds of years about hastening and chastening.


In attendance: me, my mom and sister, weird cousin Bonnie (who is awesome) and Martina and Irmgard (also awesome).
This is what we ate:

Turkey (there was almost a turkey incident as I rattled around town on Tuesday from fancy grocery store to fancy grocery store looking to buy a fancy additive-free turkey that I didn't pre-order in March or whenever. IT ALL WORKED OUT, but there were some tense moments. I ended up at the Hollywood Whole Foods, which is very nice. They gave me a free turkey bag and politely laughed at my manic turkey jokes, variations of which I'm sure they'd heard all day.)

Stuffing - my mom makes really good stuffing, but she can never remember how she does it so there's always an element of surprise. There was stuffing in the bird, but also a pan of non-bird stuffing.

Mashed Potatoes: Martina brought these and they were SO GOOD. Very creamy, and I think included cream cheese and a pound of butter, more or less. This makes no health difference to me as I already had half of my blood replaced with butter earlier this fall. DELICIOUS.

Spaghetti squash: my sister made this from a pioneer woman recipe, and it was so good - baked in the oven whole, then spaghetti'd up, then mixed with shallots and maple syrup. Verdict: I would be eating it right now if it wasn't gone.

Cranberry Cherry Chutney: I made this ahead - it's really good, but I was a little short on cherries and I don't think it thickened up like it should have. Very tasty, but it didn't have as much structural integrity as it could have. Still - very good on sandwiches!

Sweet Potatoes: Bonnie brought these, and I'm so glad she did. Rather than try to make them sweeter with marshmallows or brown sugar, she fixed them savory-style. Of course the potatoes themselves are very sweet already, so it was a lovely sweet/ savory combination. There were also pecans in it. Very tasty!

Raspberry Jello Salad: My great grandmother used to make this all the time. To be honest, we probably wouldn't have made it if Bonnie hadn't said "I really want Grammie's jello salad." But it is good! There's a layer of sour cream in the middle and the raspberries started out frozen, but they were ones we picked last summer.

Rolls: these white bread rolls made from scratch by my sister are so buttery and delicious, even more so when they're hot with extra butter. (It's like butter anemia. I need a butter infusion or I will die.)

Gravy: homemade turkey gravy. Not too salty, not too boring.

PIES: homemade pumpkin pie from scratch (aka: sugar pumpkins roasted in the oven then converted to delicious PIE.) and apple hand pies, served with whipped cream. (all made by Bec.)

Mystery Salad: brought by Bonnie, I think this had both marshmallow fluff AND cool whip in it. And apples and cashews. Not at all what I was expecting when she said "I'll bring salad" but the textures worked remarkably well together, considering one of those textures was marshmallow fluff.

Didn't make it: I really wanted to make a small soup course to be served in a shot glass, but I ran out of time and honestly, we had so much food! It was going to be carrot ginger. sigh.

Something to consider for next time - maybe a green salad or something with a little bite to counteract all the starch. But I'm not complaining - it was a delicious meal made all the better by good company.

Which leads me to part two of this post - things I'm thankful for. The list would be too long if I tried to write it all out, but every single day I'm reminded of how lucky I am in my family, my friends, and life in general. Thank you to everyone who is a part of that!
6 comments on "thanksgiving"
  1. Oooooooh! Fabulous food! I'm on a mission to spread the joy of szechuan green beans as part of this healthy Thanksgiving dinner. That and creamed spinach. Or I guess regular spinach but why pass up an opportunity to make a roux and fill your spinach with deliciousness? Mmmm.

    Anyway YES szechuan green beans are easy and have that essential bite that counteracts all the creamy buttery oranges and browns. Green beans, soy sauce, brown sugar, cayenne, minced garlic = YUM.

    I also put chopped up crystallized ginger in the sweet potatoes with the butter and brown sugar for extra zing.

    Your carrot ginger soup sounds so good! Oh boy! I want to go cook some more right now.

    Happy Thanksgiving to one of the people I'm most thankful for! : )

  2. Those szechuan green beans sound AMAZING! I will have to try them soon. Do you bake them in the oven, or are they steamed with that stuff on it or fried up in a pan?? I need details!

    I'll send you the carrot ginger soup recipe - it looked pretty easy, but I ran out of time. ooh - I've also got a VERY TASTY recipe for a sweet potato soup that's also very gingery.

    crystalized ginger is a secret weapon. I love it in stuff, but I also love just having a little bit of it every now and then as a treat.

    I love that there are so many things that taste good in the world!

  3. The menu sounds positively "oops, I split my pants but I'll eat some more" delicious. I am glad you had an enjoyable holiday. I am thankful that I have a gal pal that introduces me to music I should already know, that makes me laugh, and makes me a lil envious at times due to her exceptional creativity. But most of all I am thankful that you are in the world.

  4. It was such a good meal! I hope you had a lovely holiday too. As for the rest: you're being kind, but know I'm thankful that you're in the world as well!

  5. Oh please! Everyone knows that I am never "just being kind". That's like the opposite of what I stand for! Or not. I am not sure what I am known for at this point, but that makes it more fun.

  6. А! merci amigo! grand poteau!


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