Monday, November 30, 2009

To the holiday!

Here we are, status post Thanksgiving 2009.

Nurses are used to celebrating holidays on days that are not the holiday. I'm lucky enough now to have the holidays off, but sometimes we still don't exactly celebrate on that day. Oh, sure, we'll go to a family members' house and have dinner and drink wine and see people we only see on holidays, but that might not feel exactly like a celebration to us.

So, for the last 3 or 4 years now, our house celebrates the holiday on a different day in the long weekend, and this year it was yesterday.

The dishwasher is on its second load post-dinner, bones and water are simmering for stock, a pie was left out on the counter all night, wine glasses and dessert plates were scattered throughout the house, and those are the remnants of a holiday.

(Oh, and it was only just the two of us.)

Wait! Forgot the most important, telling symptom of post-Thanksgiving-holiday...

... the fridge is absolutely stuffed with Tupperware. We have turkey, stuffing, gravy galore. Cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls. Christmas ales, leftover bread dough, half-used sticks of butter, the ends of sour cream containers and the remaining pie dough... every Monday morning should be so lucky.

The run-down, in order of prep, not consumption:
1. Whole wheat garlic and herb rolls.
3. Cranberry Sauce a la Cook's Illustrated - less sugar, some salt.
4. Salted roast turkey with herbs - salted for 18 long, flavor-building hours.
5. Cheater sausage stuffing - layered stuffing mix, donated too-wet, too-veggie leftover stuffing, and 1/3 lb browned sausage.
6. Yams with Knob Creek bourbon, maple syrup, and maple-d streusel, based on this recipe, adapted to include an ounce of bourbon with the maple-y syrup, and streusel (brown sugar subbed for maple sugar, drizzled with a tablespoon or so of maple syrup, grated yams doubled) in this halved recipe. This was the only dish that was only a partial success: I didn't check them for doneness at the first stage of cooking, and (wrongly) assumed that they wouldn't be crunchy in the middles.
7. Mashed Yukon Golds, made lighter as per Cook's Illustrated, with 2% milk and reduced-fat sour cream instead of cream/butter. Oh, and "mashed" with a pastry blender, as I don't own a masher/ricer/food mill.
8. Purchased Heinen's turkey gravy.

(9. Turkey stock is currently in the oven, my new favorite method.)

Oh, almost forgot:
Cheers to Goose Island Christmas Ale, and Hob Nob Pinot Noir, and Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Delicious accompaniments, and almost certainly the combined reason for that pie being left out all night.

Favorite line of the evening: "What do you like best, Kev?" "I .... I don't know. Everything is better (at our Thanksgiving)." (Kevin then proceeds to demonstrate the 'perfect bite' - turkey, stuffing, mash, gravy.)

Favorite tune of the evening: Joe Bonamassa's The Ballad of John Henry. This is one rockin' tune.

Favorite task of the evening: Picking the turkey off the bone with a glass of wine, one mutt demonstrating his good behavior - to copious reward.

We are so lucky. And, I guess you could imply, thankful.

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