November 23, 2009

Turkey Day lineup

It's about time I make a food post for once (dying laughing)

It's hard to believe this is the 7th Thanksgiving Jennie and I are having together. It's probably my favorite home-cooked meal of the year, other than maybe the decadent shrimp and grits that I occasionally bust out for major birthdays/anniversaries. It's one of Kira's favorites too.

Last year we had a great time, though we need to remember to crack a few windows as we keep cooking as this kitchen gets too hot when cooking a turkey. Jennie's best friend Kate took the train up from Louisiana and we had a grand old time. Sadly, no visitors this year. Here's the rundown

  • Definites:

    • Turkey Breast - Aside from the enormous size of most turkeys you can buy, Jennie and I found this is a great solution because we both hate dark meat. They're easier to cook, and we get more white meat than the full turkey we would normally get.

    • Mashed Potatoes - Jennie makes delicious ones. Also, there's nothing more amusing than watching a dog try to eat mashed potatoes and get confused.

    • Chestnut Dressing - I found some chestnuts at Trader Joe's this week and picked them up, remembering that Jennie's family has a legendary chestnut dressing recipe. This is the first time I've seen them sold anywhere I shop. I'm really excited!

    • Potato dinner rolls - Another family recipe of Jennie's that I'm a huge fan of. Maybe I just love baking though.

    • Obligatory Cranberry Sauce from a can - It's not thanksgiving without it. Bonus points for keeping as much of the can shape as possible on the plate

    • Spiced Peaches - Another thankgiving staple - delicious. Basically you cure some peaches in vinegar, sugar, and spices and end up with pure win

    • Cranberry Daquiris - per Klaw, these are delicious but can get you drunk in a hurry.

    • Apple (probably) pie - I used to be a HUGE pumpkin pie fan but that fell by the wayside for some reason when I was in high school. I love making (and eating) pies though so I'll probably bang out an apple pie tomorrow night. I might end up making some sort of berry pie instead though - they're my favorite but fall always makes me hungry for apples.

  • Maybes:

    • Regular Dressing - I think I'm going to make the chestnut dressing the day before and see how it turns out. I don't think we'll have enough energy to make two. We sure do LOVE our regular recipe too so it's a tough decision

  • Not this year:

    • Sweet potatoes - I despise the usual sweet potato recipes that make the rounds - they're usually candied or caramelized and have cornflakes and/or marshmallows in them. I had Thanksgiving at my Aunt Jonette's house (she's considered the best cook in my family) my freshman year of college and while the rest of her food was outstanding, I was floored that she would ever make a recipe with marshmallows in them. Why add all that to sweet potatoes? They're already delicious! My mom's recipe is taken from a Colonial Williamsburg cookbook and is closer to mashed potatoes in spirit - it uses butter and brown sugar with nutmeg and is quite delicious. Sadly it misses the cut behind all the other must-have foods, but it will be back on the menu when we have more guests (and/or a larger family!).

    • Green Bean casserole - This felt the axe of too-many dishes too, but will be back someday. We've made it a few times in the past but somehow our recipe is always a bit off. One thing that bothers me about it is that it doesn't keep well.

  • Non-food: This is the only day of the year when I wish I had a TV in the kitchen.

    • Macy's Parade - I dislike parades in general, but I've come around on the thanksgiving parade a little. The commentators are incredibly insipid and I hate how scripted all the parade performances are. But since I'm usually cooking during most of it, no big deal

    • Dog Show - I'm always rooting for the Cocker Spaniels, of course. They got little to no face time 2 years ago but I think one of them won its group last year.

    • Packers - Lions - Something tells me I won't be hanging on every play of this game. Now that Madden is retired I wish that Fox could bring back the Turducken leg as the game MVP as opposed to the incredibly stupid looking 'Galloping Gobbler' trophy.

    • Miracle on 34th street (the original) - another Thanksgiving tradition. My wife always cries when Santa talks to the Dutch girl in her native tongue.

Should be a good time!


wpbc said...

great post b, i love the macy's thanksgiving parade, followed by football! it's probably that combo that makes thanksgiving my favorite holiday. it actually has been since i was a kid.

one of these years i'm gonna pack up the car and take the family to nyc to watch it live and in-person. until then the view from my vintage tv will have to work.

happy thanksgiving,


Marijka said...

Yum! Everything sounds fantastic.

I will second your experience on the Green Bean Casserole. I've tried to make it a couple times and it never comes out right. I consider myself to be a pretty accomplished cook, but this eludes me.

Happy Thanksgiving!