Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

On Thanksgiving morning I was up at 6:00. Bedding was being washed by 6:15, and Theodore, the turkey, was prepped and already sending out aromatic wafts by 7:00. My 6 guests were arriving by noon, and three of them were even wonderful enough to call me and ask if I needed anything that I may have overlooked, but I had prepared efficiently and effectively for my feast and was steaming ahead with cooking the food, the ingredients were out and ready to go.
I had put together the stuffing the previous evening and made the Senate Cream Pie, a recipe I'd only come across a few days ago..  I changed it a bit, I added chocolate gluten free cookies to the gluten free Graham crackers. I don't have a food processor so I simply stuffed them all in a sturdy freezer zip-loc bag and reduced them to crumbs with a rolling pin (by rolling, not smashing!). I also replaced the whipping cream with a homemade mascarpone cream. I'm not a fan of large portions of just whipped cream and also this cheese cream would sit on top of the pie for a long time without turning to water. I made a fresh green bean casserole with white wine and cream, I wrapped carrot sticks and asparagus with bacon, and then roasted a tray of potatoes, parsnips and brussels. I also made an apple pie using Pillsbury cinnamon Rolls, from a recipe a work colleague sent me.  It looked like a typical American style recipe and quick to throw together. I did add nutmeg and brandy to the apple slices though. But throughout the 17 years I've lived in the states I've never used Pillsbury dough, not being a processed food fan, so I had no idea on how to open the tubes. Finally a YouTube video set me straight.
I managed to snap a few photos of the table before the guests arrived. Nothing in my house matches, I loath sets of things, so the table looked quite arty with its colorful mixture of glasses, plates and napkins, and even odd chairs. The beauty of this is that I don't ever have to worry about breakages, I can just go shop for a replacement, and I love the constant variety. No using the same old patterned plates for years on end for me.
Everyone arrived, and with the doors still open allowing the warm sunshiney day to enter the house, beers and wine were poured while they nibbled on small cheese balls, rolled with cheddar, roasted red peppers and a coating of paprika. These were supposed to resemble pumpkins but I had run out of time to titivate with them. Nobody noticed...
Cheers! A great photo from Rob and Bill took a couple too.
That's it, done with the photos! Time to tuck in and get amongst it!
I did manage to take a photo of my plate before I started munching. I was a little hungry, but why is it whenever you prepare a feast, your appetite wanes? Thankfully, this wasn't the case with my friends, who I happily watched tucking with extreme relish to their meals. And of course, they snaffled seconds afterwards too. It was wonderful to see so much of the food disappear. But then, once cutlery had finally been lowered to the plates, the moaning and groaning started, bellies were too full and there was no way dessert could be tackled.
Jason opted for the relaxed method of dealing with a full belly, and let the tryptophan kick in. Actually, I did try to explain that this is a myth but no-one would listen, so here's the truth. It's simply pure gluttony that causes tiredness!
After a while we did manage to leave our seats and totter down to the pond. The fresh air was invigorating, and we were hoping some food could be shaken down so we would have a little room for dessert when we got back.
Stone skimming or sitting on the bank was the most that anybody could manage and our lack of movement meant that soon we were all feeling the cold, so back up the hill we plodded, and indoors for dessert. Both the Senate Pie and the apple pie were attacked with much gusto, and once again, Jason had to resort to some napping, this time in preparation for his drive back to DC.
After loading up some plates for folks to take leftovers home, I was really pleased to see that I hadn't been left with too much food to polish off on my own. As the daylight faded, so did everyone's energy, and soon my pals were dragging themselves to cars to head home. I think I can quite safely say that everyone was napping as soon as they got home. But it had been a splendid day!

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