Saturday, November 28, 2009

I'm Still A Pretty Good Cook

What kind of blogger am I, not wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving? I’m usually a day late (or more) with these things. The New Year is coming up and know I will be making a resolution to be more diligent in my well-wishing.

So now that it’s past, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Husby and I hosted this year. Our Thanksgivings are normally spent as guests at his parents’ house, but this year we got to prepare and serve the feast. And I must say, it was quite delicious. Kudos to me!

As some of you know by now, Husby has taken over the day-to-day cooking responsibilities around our house. He’s a good cook and fills me up every night of the week. When it comes to holiday cooking I want to pitch in take over because A) Husby likes to “keep things simple” which is not an option for my holiday meals, and B) I like to keep up on my cooking skills.

Because I don’t cook regularly during the weekdays throughout the year I get a little apprehensive about my skills and big holiday meals make me very nervous because I’m so out of practice. This Thanksgiving was no different. I was nervous about drying out the turkey, nervous about getting everything on the table at the same time, and very nervous about my pie crusts.

The turkey was one of the best I’ve had in my life. Some credit has to be given to Jenny-O and some to Martha Stewart. At Martha’s advice I soaked a four-layer piece of cheesecloth in a pot of melted butter and wine, then draped the cheesecloth over the turkey. Baste every thirty minutes with the butter/wine mixture right over the cheesecloth. Remove the cheesecloth about one-third of the way through cooking time and continue to baste every thirty minutes until the turkey is done. It was golden brown, just like in a magazine, and I’ve never had such a moist bird. Fab!

I didn’t stuff the turkey, but rather prepared the dressing and cooked it in a crock pot. It was hot, moist, and delicious. As for the mashed potatoes, they can be made an hour or two ahead of time and also placed in a crock pot to keep warm. That’s one of the best ideas I’ve heard of. Thanks Mom. I also prepared a pea casserole and an orange/cream cheese/pineapple/marshmallow jello salad which are long-time favorite recipes from my mom.

And on to dessert. Of course one must serve pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. And of course every year there is someone who won’t eat pumpkin pie for some obscure reason, so an alternative also must be offered. Lemon tart. Yow! It was very lemony and really rich. Delicious. My crusts were flakey and wonderful too, thanks to Gram.

Thanks to the other gram, who was kind enough, before she went to the great beyond, to leave her recipe for buns. It was a recipe I was nervous about because for one thing I don’t excel in bread making and for another thing it’s one of those recipes that says things like “a little butter,” and “mix til not so lumpy.” I’ve been in possession of the recipe for over a year and made them for the first time this Thanksgiving. I took my chances with my interpretation of the vague instructions and they turned out beautifully.

I was quite surprised, pleasantly so, at how nicely the meal turned out. There was plenty for all, and because there were only four of us we were able to send leftovers home with Husby’s parents as well as keep a ton for ourselves. We’ll be celebrating with the Thanksgiving feast for several more meals.

I hope it was a great holiday for you all. And remember, the secret is butter, and lots of it.

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