Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Adventures in Thanksgiving

I love cooking and I love eating, especially with lots of friends and families, so I love Thanksgiving.  For the last few years we've been on our own, which was fine.  I learned how to brine and cook a turkey breast.  Well, learned might be a stretch, I winged it (heh heh) and the meat was super juicy but a tad salty.  This year we're having a bunch of family together for the first time in a while.  I'm looking forward to my cousin meeting my kids for the first time, although he won't actually be here until Friday.  He's driving with his dad from Colorado, and because he's a stormchaser, we're not sure if he's delayed the trip to avoid the storm or meet it head on.  My kids are overjoyed to hang with their cousin again.  I'm a bit sad my sister won't be here, but her cushy government job means she does have to work on Friday (she only gets every other Friday off, boo hoo.)   So in honor of thanksgiving I'm listing, in the spur of the moment, the things I am thankful for, today.

Thanksgiving at Legoland 2008
I'm thankful for the fact that my dad sent an email invitation followed by an Evite, so I could amuse my co-workers at are our spontaneous afternoon wine party yesterday.  So far there are 8 who have RSVPs 1) Grandma and Grandpa (1) 2) Me and the family (4) 3) My husband (1) and 4) my mom and dad (Grandma and Grandpa) (2). 
You see, my parents and I seem to be the only ones in our family who use email much, although my cousin is on facebook.  Also, pretty much everyone invited to this event is only coming to the bay area for our thanksgiving, so probably not a huge need to RSVP.  Here's the invite text:

Thanksgiving is at our house this year and any family member who does not come will be sorely missed.  Come anytime, but dinner is when the turkey is cooked.  Festivities will begin by noon so come early because there is lots of catching up to do.
Next, I thankful my parents have whisked the boys away to their house so I can cook all day.  I also appreciate the fact that I have learned, long ago, to adapt when I complete screw up a recipe.  This is why I only cook for forgiving eaters, and make enough food in case one dish is not so deliciouso.  For your education, I've included a few substitutions here:
  1. Let's say you've just flipped the cubed french bread set out to get stale when you found out nobody's planning to serve stuffing at thanksgiving into the dog's water bowl.  Simply rifle through your overpacked fridge and replace with 5 slices of old wheat bread and a handful of sourdough - done
  3. How about if you bought gingersnaps (instead of graham crackers) and instant pudding and have accidentally added 3x the pumpkin to this pumpkin cream pie recipe?  Whip up a gingersnap crust, then follow the recipe but add a bit more spices, some sugar, an egg and a giant spoonful of Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce.   I'll have to let you know how it turns out later
I'm thankful for mushrooms, which are going in my first ever green bean casserole (trumpet and I think oyster), stuffing (shitake) and button in the gravy.  Oh, and fall M&Ms.

Finally, I'm thankful my mom is no longer gluten free, although for her sake I think she should have stuck with it a bit longer.  It wasn't on a whim, but no reason to delve into reasons now.  I bought a mix of gluten free chocolate chip cookies just for her, and, well, they aren't the worst cookies, but... 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 
Leftover mashed potatoes on me.

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