Thursday, November 23, 2006

And She's Off!

The day before Thanksgiving and all through the house not a creature is stirring.... except me. I just did some prep work. Not enough mind you... I'm frightfully behind - but some. To make more sense of this lets go with the menu. (Yes this is a blog, but its also my only written game plan)

I started things off with a soup and a salad in honor of Drew's fancy dinner party. I thought it would be dashingly new to have one. It also gives the turkey time to rest after coming out of the oven. I'm doing squash soup. Well... I was. I already made it. Let me inform you that Turban squash have the most amazingly tough skin. If you want to peel it, or cut it... dont. It doesnt work. The salad's dressing should be fun... I want it to be spicy and strong. And by spicy I dont mean hot exactly. Maybe allspice or nutmeg, something like that, to really give it some depth and winter flavor.

Next, the dinner. The turkey... -_- Always a fiasco. I needed to put more time in the arranging of things. They bought a big one. Its still a wee bit frozen - my fault- but hapily brining. Needs more time! Sigh. Maybe next year I'll remember to start sooner. The interesting part about the turkey, I dont know how to do the honey glaze part. I think I might tinker with that tomarrow... well, I will. I want a spicy honey glaze... like on ham.

Sides... I want so many of them, yet its so impractical and wasteful. How much can/should/will we eat? I really just want variety... The problem is... what if EVERYONE wants some of this kind. Thats 8 people wanting some. The 4 serving batch wont work. When there are 4 sides, and say, 8 full servings of each... thats 32 servings of food. More than we can eat! Its ridiculous and makes me sad. I justify it in that its a holiday of feasting. Its a feast! Please dont think the day we all gourge our selves... Just a day when there's infinite variety at the table.

ANYWAY, sides are pretty classic. The stuffing I'm excited about. And Whit's salad.

Condiments should be very interesting. The second doesnt call for cooking the cranberries. I'm a bit apprehensive. Have faith in Martha, I guess. (Which is strange because Martha isnt my favorite cook...)

Soup : Turban Squash Soup
Salad: Dried Cranberry Spinach Salad with Spiced Basalmic Dressing
Main Dish: Brined Rosemary Honey Glazed Turkey
Side 1: Martha's Cornbread Mushroom Stuffing with Pecans
Side 2: Whitney's Bacon Brocolli Salad with Grapes
Side 2: Mashed Potatoes
Side 3: Sweet Potatoes & Yams
Bread: Grandma's Roll's
Condiment 1: Whitney's Cranberry Sauce (from a recipe in Better Homes and Gardens cookbook)
Condiment 2: Martha's Ginger Orange Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

Desert 1: Home Grown Pumpkin Pie
Desert 2: Lemon Lush
Desert 3: Coconut Custard In Kabocha Squash

Just for fun : Cook's Illustraited Macaroons

I have requests for the Coconut Custard from my father. And potato salad strangely enough... I might throw in some creme brulee... but probably not. Save that for friday or some such.

I love food. So very much. I love grocery shopping. I love buying food that even I cant name. Trying things I know I dont like, just in case I might like it this time... I love checking for ingredients I've heard of but never seen, and the thrill when they finally stock it. Its an art form. A state of mind. A class, a disipline, a niche. And its me.

I bought some McCormik Cardamon today. Buy one get one free.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Small. A world of cushions, blankets and coffee tables. The walls are near, deep yet delicate red. Adorning them are high dark wooden shelves. Shelves filled with gorgeous small knickknacks of a old and golden description. Glory saved throughout the years. Faded and tarnished with age, but still shining brightly through. The untouched floor matches the shelves and is comfortably blanketed by a large rug. Behind the towering plush cushions of the deliciously warm couch there is a window. It opens as though it were a painting. It brings in the scene perfectly fitted into black lined window frames. A snowy scene. Inverted light and dark. The ground is glowing with its generous layer of untouched snow. The sky steps back its position of light bearer and is content to accentuate. Ink black streaks make their way to the sky. Leafless trees streak the white as though painted. A balmy gentle cold, held at bay by the small window. The ever dancing and crackling fire plays out its violent drama safely contained with an ancient fire screen. Stockings warmly dangle above. Empty but for the promises they hold and the excitement they freely give. A latticed wood coffee table. Atop it, a cutting board. Shards of chocolate lay already chiseled from the block and waiting for indulgence. To the side a beautifully made box of spiced chocolate truffles. Discarded also there is a plate, a dark cream color. The remnants of the perfect thick and wholesome stew, in a bread bowl. And then, upon the couch, nestled in blankets... I survey the scene. I take a deep swallow of my rich and smooth hot chocolate. Whipped cream folded with caramel on top. Warm, smooth and not too sweet. I draw it from my lips and turn back to my ornately leather bound tome of classic fairy tales and folklore of the world. My perfect Almost Christmas Day Evening.