Friday, November 27, 2009

And we are thankful?

Ahh the holiday traditions - the three F's: Friends, Family and Food. With thanksgiving now behind us we reflect upon the wonderful day we enjoyed. The prep time the evenings before, for both food and cleaning. The arguments the morning of for what clothes the kids should wear (and what clothes they DIDNT want to wear). But all in all a most enjoyable day and, compared to years prior, almost stress free. For those of you reading this blog as a tourist (aka you don't have MM) this will be a nice read. For those of you reading this blog as a local (aka you have MM and may be going through with RVD now) this an important post so please pay attention.
Let's go through the lineup. The day started with a massive selection of cheeses and prosciutto/spinach quiches. The Danish Bleu was my fave with just the correct amount of pungent bite to go well with the dried figs. The quiches are always a winner and this year was no different. There was, of course, a selection of crackers and breadsticks to complement the cheeses. Once the turkey was out of the oven we could warmup the rest of dinner, which was plentiful. We had spaghetti squash lasagna (a recipe from the Italian Beauty Giada) that was almost decadent in it's sweetness. You would never expect squash to be sweet like this but it could have been a dessert and put the sweet potato casserole to shame in the sweet department. Sweet potato casserole (since I already mentioned it) was also a winner. I was afraid it wouldn't be the same style as I was used to having most of my life: brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, marshmallows. You can't have turkey day without it. Mashed potatoes - a must have for any thanksgiving but I have to say they paled to everything else that was offered. However, when paired with the gravy they were superb! The stuffing was mom's normal recipe - a mouth watering mix of bread crumbs, celery, carrots, stock and Bell's poultry seasoning. I believe it needed a bit more time in the oven to crisp up as it was a bit soft but still had great taste. The corn muffins (or as the kids referred to them "cupcakes") were a big hit for the kids, I unfortunately was unable to sample and hence can't provide an honest review. The cranberry sauce was grand as usual, regal in color with a tartness to pucker your mouth but a sweetness to offset the tart and help provide a great complement to the meal. And the other regal-in-color food was the beet salad - I'm a huge fan of beets and this mixture of baby beets with goat cheese was an absolute winner. Last in the sides department was the Brussel sprouts with bacon. I'm sure there were other components to this dish but, like beets, i'm a huge fan of Brussels sprouts and as they say on Iron Chef, "bacon with anything is good!"
The turkey, using the Italian Beauty's Herbs de Provence recipe, was again phenomenal. We brined the turkey two nights prior and dressed the turkey the evening before. The fresh herbs and citrus flavors (as opposed to more traditional stuffing) coupled with the brining process makes for an extremely moist and delectable bird. In addition to all this there was wine aplenty to help lubricate both the food and the conversation.
All of this lead to the inevitable conclusion - dessert! There was a pumpkin pie that made my hair stand up it was so good. The apple pie, almost like an apple crumble in pie form was great with no dry crusts! The brownies were dry and crunchy on top but moist and fudgy within. Of course there was RediWhip to complement it all and coffee to round out the night.
Aside from the muffins, I believe I successfully sampled every item on the menu. Unfortunately I could only fit one helping; a single plate (albeit heaping) of food. I don't believe I could have fit even one "wahfer-thin" dinner mint. My stomach was full to the brim, it was maxed out, stretched to the limit - full!

Another successful holiday to be thankful for - or was it...


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