And so….it begins!

November 27, 2013

Pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving can now begin.

Pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving can now begin.

Cue dramatic music.

Tomorrow, in the event you have been under a rock for the past several weeks, is Thanksgiving. Or, in the cute-speak spawned by the confluence of holidays, Thanksgivukkah (Hanukkah began tonight). So, of course, cooking begins today, because there ain’t no way you can cook a full Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving day, not if you’re eating midday, and not even if you’re eating at night because then you’re too tired to eat.

So today has been prep and pre-cook stuff, with a couple of the expected Thanksgiving kitchen mishaps. The toll so far:

  • Cranberry salad — My mama’s recipe, the most sacred tradition of the holiday meal, and my six-quart glass mixing bowl brim-full of it. We will have cranberry salad, yes, we will.
  • Cornbread made for the dressing. Twice. Because we got busy while the first batch was in the oven, and it burned. Well, it didn’t exactly burn, but it was WAY overdone.
  • Sweet potatoes ready to go in the oven. With walnuts, instead of pecans, in the topping. Because I ran out of pecans.
  • You've seen 'em before. They're good.

    You’ve seen ’em before. They’re good.

    Lemon icebox pie, made.

  • Pumpkin pie, in the oven. And it’s gonna be a helluva mess, because the pumpkin filling, which is quite liquid in its uncooked form, sloshed out, splatting a healthy amount on the kitchen floor (Lucy was pleased). And some more between the flutes in the crust and the pie plate, which is going to be nasty when we try to cut it, but, oh, well.
Cornbread (batch the second) with a frozen block of chicken stock positioned to melt into it.

Cornbread (batch the second) with a frozen block of chicken stock positioned to melt into it.

Tomorrow, it’ll be time to make the rolls, do the mashed potatoes, make the mac and cheese, cook the asparagus, make the Hollandaise, and roast the bird. I’ll get up reasonably early (which will be an effort, given that I have to pick NS up at the train station at 1:40 tomorrow morning), make the rolls, roast the bird while the rolls are rising, mix the dressing, bake the dressing and the sweet potatoes while they’re rising the second time, cook the mac and cheese and the mashed potatoes simultaneously, then bake the rolls, steam the asparagus and make the Hollandaise. Boom, dinner.

Then run two loads of dishes and collapse on the couch and drink.

I’ve splurged on wine for the holiday. The Beaujolais Nouveau is out, so I bought three bottles of it, along with three bottles of aged beaujolais from the same vintner  (Georges duBouef), three different varietals. The idea being to drink a nouveau, and follow it with one of the aged ones, and enjoy the difference. I also have prosecco, because one should just have a sparkling wine on Thanksgiving, and a few assorted others. Plus hard cider. We will not go unlubricated.

Going to be interesting to taste this pumpkin pie. I haven’t made one in years, but Child A likes them, so I did. Used the recipe on the pumpkin can (why bother looking for another one? These people probably know what they’re about}. It called for sweetened condensed milk. I didn’t have any, having used both cans in the lemon icebox pie. So I used heavy cream, and sugar, instead. We shall see. If it sucks, well, we have lemon icebox and coconut cake. We won’t die.

I wanted to make a steamed cranberry pudding with the berries I had left (I used a bit more than two pounds from a three-pound bag), but probably wouldn’t anyone else eat it but me. I do love the stuff, though. I may make one for Christmas. Meanwhile, I have pork steaks; I’m thinking I’ll braise them at some point with the cranberries in apple cider. You think?

Sweet 'taters.  Can't beat 'em.

Sweet ‘taters. Can’t beat ’em.

The pumpkin pie is out of the oven. So now what I have left is to let it cool a bit, wrap it, and convey it, the potatoes, and the lemon icebox pie out to the auxiliary fridge. The cranberry salad can stay where it is.  Then take a nap before we go pick NS up at the train station…back home, and a few hours’ sleep  before the holiday madness begins.

I hope you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving, get to eat dinner with family and friends, and eat way too much, and that Auburn beats Alabama in the Iron Bowl Saturday.


One Response to “And so….it begins!”

  1. cleavelin Says:

    given that I have to pick NS up at the train station at 1:40 tomorrow morning

    Stefan’s there? Tell him I said hi, and give Woocy a smooch for me.

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