Friday, November 29, 2013

The Thanksgiving Carol

The title of this post is based on a comment made by a friend of my son - the friend is a Marine currently based in Okinawa and he was telling about his Thanksgiving Day. Tucked in at the end of his comments was the line "...and I listened to the one Thanksgiving Carol".

Do you know what he means?

We decided to have a quiet Thanksgiving Day at home with just the three of us. Although we regard having turkey for the "feast" as a given we are not averse to trying new recipes and methods.

In an effort not to feel overly stuffed we decided to break up the meal. And we kept it more casual and ate at the kitchen table.

Soon after noon we sat down to Butternut Squash soup followed by a small mandarin and some bread (see it reappear later). Once that was cleared we needed to get serious about the main event of the turkey. Given that we were only three people a 7.7lb turkey breast was waiting in the fridge. Checking the notation on the wrapping revealed that the "estimated cooking time" was 2 1/2 to 3 hours but since there was also one of those nifty little plastic doodads that pop up when the bird is cooked I thought that sliding the turkey into the oven at 1pm should produce a main course around 4 or 4.30pm. But, by golly, when I peeked in the oven only 90 minutes later that tender timer had already popped. H'mm, what to do?

Speed up everything else was the answer. Besides, the turkey could sit a bit; after all there was nowhere else to be! With two people working in the kitchen we got the mashed potato, the stuffing, the gravy, the roast vegetables and the from-scratch green bean casserole prepared. The molded cranberry sauce had been made the night before.
 And, according to schedule we sat down to our main course around 4.15pm.
 You know what followed; yes, lot's of dishes and careful stowing of leftovers of everything. Do you know where this is going?
 By 7pm or so it was time for the dessert course. On offer were: a very fine apple pie (above),
 a new recipe I renamed Thanksgiving bread (I was following a recipe called Cranberry, Orange, Coconut bread but since I also added in pecans that name was becoming way too long),
and a browned butter pecan pie. True to expectation, the pecan pie is very sweet but with a dollop of sour cream to counteract that it was just fine despite the way it oozed all over the plate.

And tonight for dinner? Why we got to do it all over again!

And in case you're still wondering about what the Thanksgiving Carol comment was all about...Have you sat down and really listened to the lyrics for the Arlo Guthrie song "Alice's Restaurant"?

Yep, a Thanksgiving meal that just couldn't be beat.

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