Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Over the river, through the woods, on my couch

I never liked Thanksgiving very much when I was younger.  Truth be told, it's still not one of my favorite holidays.  Although in recent years I have come to greatly appreciate windy days on the parade route (when all the floats run amok) and a pro football game (not a fan of college) in front of the fire.  Usually we head on over to Jerry's cousin's for a huge dinner with his family, kids underfoot, jug wine flowing freely, and football in the family room downstairs. This year it's just us and the boys at home and I get to cook.  This pleases me greatly.

We used to wake up at o'dark-thirty when I was a kid, to get the massive turkey in the oven and the stuffing underway.  I was allowed to sleep a little later than my parents but would always awaken to the smell of frying onions, celery, and Bob Evans (down on the farm) breakfast sausage.  The stuffing would be pretty much finished when I came down, and we'd fry up great batches of it to have alongside scrambled eggs and toast.  It was a massive breakfast, as we wouldn't eat until the turkey dinner was served.  There was always a huge platter of veggies and devilled eggs, and a large bowl of screaming neon-pink pickled eggs and beets.  Then there was the turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, canned green beans, buttered mushrooms and onions in sour cream, corn, rye bread and butter, and that wonderful canned jellied cranberry sauce.

Dessert was, of course, pie.  And plenty of it.  Pumpkin, coconut custard, apple, and lemon meringue, with vats of Cool Whip for topping.  I used to hide the lemon meringue as it was my favorite back then.  Every year, people would look for it and--every year--it would never be found until later, when everyone left, and I got it all to myself.  I would also have it for breakfast the next day as sugary fortification for the great Black Friday shopping trip downtown.

This year is all me.  I've got two very nice turkey breast halves, one of which will be stuffed with sweet Italian sausage, the other with hot.  Just slide the raw sausage meat between the skin and breast, wrap it around, and plonk it in the oven.  Juicy porky turkey goodness.  There will be the canned cranberry sauce as well as a fresh one made with wine and walnuts.  Or I might make a cranberry relish that my friend Rachel makes every year.  No mushrooms but there will be stuffing made with apples, onions, celery, and chestnuts (which I have to remember to pick up today), and almost an entire box of Bell's Seasoning.  Corn, pop biscuits (the Pillsbury out of the can), and I'm going to make that green bean casserole.  I've always wanted to  and this year I'm going in.

There will be a pumpkin pie for dessert, as Jerry loves pumpkin pie, but no Cool Whip.  I'm going to make a bigass cheesecake, Nigella's London cheesecake to be exact, with a salted caramel sauce.  All of us love cheesecake and two desserts makes everyone happy.  There will be wine, of course, and a small platter of radishes, celery, and carrots with ranch dip because we actually like that.

And that's Thanksgiving this year.  I don't think anything else is needed, except a very large stack of wood and some very nice wine.  Which I have to remember to pick up today, along with the chestnuts.

2 comments:

K to the Kee said...

Sounds amazing!!!! Love you guys and Happy Thanksgiving.. Nigella's cheesecake sounds Yum. Have you made before? details please!

Jerry said...

No Cool Whip? Worst Thanks giving ever! :-) Can't wait!