Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's Probably All about the Pie, But...

It is the day before Thanksgiving. The turkey's been thawing in the refrigerator since last Thursday, so I hope it is ready to have the wrappings removed for an uncovered night in the box, which Alton Brown says makes the skin crisp.
Alton Brown at the TV Academy
I've got some shopping to do today before I get home, mostly fresh vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, and sweet potatoes or yams. I don't have to do the mashed potatoes this year (yay) because a guest volunteered. I really hate the hours of peeling potatoes. Well, it feels like hours.

My husband makes the stuffing. It bears no relationship to the stuffing I would make (I'm not into raisins in my stuffing), but it makes him happy. It's a big bird, and with sit-down scheduled for 5 o'clock, Len will have to get up earlier than he likes to on Thursday morning to get his part done. I suggested he do his prep work today, but I doubt very much he will.

I'll be baking tonight. Pumpkin pie is a must, because it is my son's favorite. Len won't eat pumpkin. More for us. A friend is bringing an apple pie, and I might consider baking one as well.

Plus, other friends are bringing something from Carrara's Pastries, my very favorite place to buy desserts. It always reminds me of my many cousins back East, and how they'd bring wonderful things upstate with them from Italian bakeries in Brooklyn. If you happen to be in Agoura Hills or Moorpark, they also sell wonderful gelato.
A Treat from Carrara's Pastries
Tomorrow, I'll be making a sweet potato souffle, a recipe I found about a half-dozen years ago which is a successful replacement for the marshmallow-topped casserole everyone thinks they want for Thanksgiving. Ugh.

 Sweet Potato Souffle
I've long given up on green been casserole, which sits like a lump in my stomach and then gets thrown out when it isn't eaten as leftovers. (I even tried to fix that by making it completely from scratch, and it wasn't any more successful.) Brussels sprouts will be cooked with currents and chestnuts (I found peeled chestnuts for a bargain at Super King a few weeks ago, must less than the $10/jar I've had to pay in the past if I wanted to avoid the slow and dangerous process of roasting and peeling them.)

My favorite part of this holiday is actually getting to use all my best china and silver. We'll have 14 at the table tomorrow, at least 4 fewer than I thought I would have, so there will be plenty of room to spread out and do elaborate place settings.
Thanksgiving Past, 2013
It's not a lot of fun to clean up when things have to be hand washed, but I save that for Friday, when I'm also swapping out my regular dishes for my Christmas china for six weeks. I am addicted to buying dishes.
 What My Kitchen Looks Like on Friday Morning
Here are some photographs of previous turkeys and previous dinners.Some of our friends are no longer with us, some have moved elsewhere, some have had a bad year. I wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving, free of stress, and surrounded by friends.

 Practice Bird, 2009

Actual Thanksgiving, 2009
 David Wise, Audry, Liz Mortensen2010
Len Wein, 2010
Sara Katz-Scher, Sam, Harlan Ellison, 2011
Len Wein, Ed Green, Liz Mortensen, 2011
Liz's Salad, 2013
Liz Mortensen, Susan Ellison, Harlan Ellison, 2013