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19 November 2010 @ 06:03 pm
Panic is Imminent  
I'm not in full panic mode, yet, but I can feel it lurking just around the corner.

After speaking to my mother-in-law on the phone this morning, the realization hit me: Thanksgiving is in 6 days.

Holy crap.

We're having Thanksgiving here again this year. And only 15 people as opposed to 25 last year. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE having people over. I love cooking. I love hospitality. But it's Thanksgiving. Forget the concept of actually giving thanks for two minutes and hang with me, here. IT'S A HOLIDAY ALL ABOUT THE FOOD.

And you know what? I love that. Bring it on. I'm currently defrosting a turkey in the outside fridge. Aside from that and a 15 minute conversation with the MIL this morning, I've done NOTHING to prepare.

So this is me: preparing.

I'd like to say that I'm going to try a ton of new things for Thanksgiving this year, that I'm going to make Dungeness Crab and Heirloom Bean Brandade, bake a Medley of Root Vegetables with Cipoline Onions and Herbs, that I'm gonna whip up a Pear, Apple, and Quince Crostata, but I'm not. Why not, you may ask? Because I, my dear readers, am a purist.

I believe in plain glazed donuts.

I like non-flavored crème brûlée.

I'm all about mashed potatoes without gravy. (Unless it's MY gravy, and then I drown them in it.)

What I'm trying to say is that while it may not be fancy, by golly and by gum, it will definitely be GOOD. We're going to have roast turkey. Am I going to brine it? Nope. You know why? I can't tell the difference. And I'm going to tell you another secret that no one else will admit to: Turkey on Thanksgiving is like the groom at a wedding. No one's looking at rental boy, and no one's really there for the bird.

It's all about the other stuff. The mashed potatoes made the way my sister and I used to make them, swirling with real creamery butter. The cornbread dressing, with sausage and sage, conspicuously absent of any celery (Ick!). The cranberry sauce - Not that crap that makes a slurping noise when it comes out of the can, but the kind that gets its own fancy crystal bowl, made with real cranberries cooked with plenty of sugar and the zest of an orange. I maintain that if you don't like cranberry sauce, you've never had GOOD cranberry sauce.

I'm going to have help, too. My MIL is bringing food, as is one of Nolan's aunts. But that still leaves me with the following:

*turkey (Got it. No prob.)
*dressing (Grandma's recipe - without the aforementioned nasty, stringy vegetable)
*mashed potatoes (as if I'd let anyone else do these. Please.)
*Giblet gravy (easy on the giblets)
*cranberry sauce (I love the way this looks. It's a really gorgeous dish)
*broccoli-rice casserole (possibly. I've been looking at making something different)
*appetizers (Including these cheese balls and a relish tray)
*pecan pie (Nolan's and the FIL's fave)
*buttermilk pie
*apple pie? (maybe not - seems like overkill)
*pots de creme (this would be just for me. I love them, but they aren't very thansgiving-y.)
*deviled eggs
*rolls (potato rolls? These are mega work. Will have to find mom's recipe and think.)
*wine (heh. I love wine. I might go have some right now.)

So it's doable, is what I'm saying. What makes me sad is that my mom and my sister aren't going to be there to help me cook and watch the parade Thursday morning. It's not that I necessarily need the help, but I absolutely adore it when I have company in the kitchen. When I get to work next to people who are every bit as invested in the food as I am.

Next year.

Next year I may have to put my foot down. You hear me? Mom? Em? I'm talking to you.

And when my size seven and a half hits the pavement, it's all over but the crying.

I don't think I'll panic. I think it's going to be just fine.
I feel:: calmcalm
I hear:: The Penguins of Madagascar
Jessica K Malfoy: food: raspberry heart cakejessicakmalfoy on November 20th, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
Mmm, this is pretty similar to what we have for thanksgiving. my stepmom refuses to let us help, but this year i'm going to insist on it. she has a gluten allergy so she's quit making stuffing over the years but i'm testing a few gluten free ones. i love thanksgiving too! i'm thankful for a food based holiday!
Carrie Leigh: Chocolate puddingcarrie_leigh on November 20th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
For Thanksgiving, I really let out all the stops. I can diet and watch calories the other 364 days of the year. ;)
Jessica K Malfoy: food: shiny heart candyjessicakmalfoy on November 20th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
Ooo me too. I kind of do that the day after Thanksgiving too. Leftovers!
Samanthafiery_flamingo on November 20th, 2010 12:26 am (UTC)
Hallelujah! Someone else on this planet that believes in mashed potatoes without gravy!

Ahem. Carry on. :D

(Also, the menu looks nom. Feed me? *puppy dog eyes*)
Carrie Leigh: coffee for breakfastcarrie_leigh on November 20th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC)
Come on over! Do love a drop in!
Embellishedembe11ished on November 20th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
I have to say that you are way ahead of us. We haven't even bought a turkey yet, much less started defrosting it. And we haven't picked a green vegetable yet. Or dessert, at least not officially. So consider yourself lucky! Hopefully we'll be organized by the end of the weekend. If not, well, who cares, really? Remember that and that you're way ahead of me. :)
Carrie Leighcarrie_leigh on November 20th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
I will!
Mala13oct on November 20th, 2010 04:51 am (UTC)
Oooo when Thanksgiving is done, may I please have recipes? Yeah, I get the irony of me asking for recipes, but hey I'll use it next year. For this year, we are going over to an American friend's place. Next year, I'll do the hosting.
Carrie Leigh: coffee for breakfastcarrie_leigh on November 20th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
Sure thing. Nothing I do is super fancy, but they're all comfort food for me.
filia_umbrae on November 20th, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
The last two years I've experimented with making my own Thanksgiving feasts...not usually on Thanksgiving, since I am making it for my friends, who all have their own homes and families to go to for the holiday itself.

I don't do much that's fancy. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, pumpkin (I know you hate it, but it's sooooo good) pie, sweet potato pie, rolls, and then I'll have other people bring any dishes they want.

I'm actually traveling this year up to DC to be with some friends, so I am going to make that pumpkin bread recipe I sent you, and play the part of helper this year.

I'm really looking forward to it, and I hope my friends' Thanksgiving shinding will be half as good as yours sounds!
Carrie Leigh: Choose your weapon cookingcarrie_leigh on November 20th, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
Fun! The really good part of Thanksgiving is all the camaraderie, I think.

And I bout canned pumpkin to make your muffins. It's on my list!
goeungurl: holiday-thanksgivinggoeungurl on November 20th, 2010 06:14 am (UTC)
*sigh* We don't have Thanksgiving here. Your menu sounds so yummy. Esp your mashed potatoes. I do believe I'm a smidge homesick now. You should post pictures of your Thanksgiving masterpieces. ;)
Carrie Leigh: Beautiful Womencarrie_leigh on November 20th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
Aw, I will.

(Anonymous) on November 20th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
1.Where are Nolan's sweet potatoes? I have to assume MIL is bringing? 2.Assuming no extenuating circumstances as this year, next year it's a date. 3.And, because after all this is your nutritional overseer where is the green veggie? LU,M
Carrie Leigh: Being vaguecarrie_leigh on November 20th, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
1. Lanell, for sure.

2. YAY!

3. Aunt Jo is bringing pea salad and a green bean casserole. I don't know that either fulfills the nutritional requirements that you're talking about. But they're good!