Sunday, November 26, 2006

Giving Thanks

So Thanksgiving has come and gone and things are more or less back to normal here (whatever that is exactly). My younger son and his GF came for the holiday--and we had a lovely, restful couple of days. Even the cooking seemed restful! It has been a long time since I cooked a turkey dinner (probably at least 10 years) but I guess it's like riding a bicycle--it comes back to you. Maybe because there were only a couple of other people in the house and I was able to assign them tasks. Also because I deliberately cut excessive food out of the plan--no appetizers/hors d'oeuvres, only two vegetables, only one kind of cranberry, etc.

But while I was making dinner I was giving thanks for having such a well-outfitted kitchen that I had just the right tool for everything! It makes me glad I have hung on to all the equipment accumulated over the years instead of dumping it 'cause I wasn't using it on a regular basis. So thanks for:

• the old-fashioned, table-mounted meat grinder (do people still buy these?) for grinding the cranberries and oranges for the relish

• the food processor for crumbing the bread for the stuffing; coarse crumbs (from a nice sourdough bread) are much better than cubes in my opinion

• the electric juice squeezer for squeezing lemons for juice for the turkey broth (cooked my turkey with 1/2 inch of broth, wine, lemon juice, and herbs in the roasting pan--never did this before but I really liked the way it turned out, plus the pan was extremely easy to clean!!)

• the hand mixer for blending the ingredients for the pecan pie (I just do apple and pecan--don't particularly like pumpkin pie, so I don't make it, and two pies was certainly more than enough for three people! Also, I make my apple pie with a crumb topping--thank you Betty Crocker!--and find regular apple pie with two crusts to be too doughy.)

Also thanks to:

• Barbara Downs, who told me back in the '70s that I didn't actually need to put the stuffing in the turkey--much neater and faster to bake it separately (and a few squeezes of broth and drippings from the turkey pan gives it that turkey flavor)

• Marie Callender for some great frozen pie crusts (used to buy Oronoque Orchards crusts back east, but they don't exist here--had to search for a while to find these, but they were excellent!)

• Betty Crocker again for packaged potato buds--with all the last-minute prep on Thanksgiving, mashing potatoes is not in my plan, and I really think these are very good

• Wild Oats for selling me a non-frozen turkey on Tuesday night--everywhere else in town only had frozen

• Trader Joe's for really nice fresh green beans

• Albertson's for the last four rutabagas in Santa Fe and for the Jonagold apples for the pie (after years of using Macintosh, I am making a change!)

The Big Thank Yous

• Thanks for getting relocated to Santa Fe (there were times I thought I'd never fully make it through that maelstrom) and for the ability to turn my house into the home I want to live in

• Thanks for the presence of family on this holiday

• Thanks for the restoration of some sanity to the US electoral process, with high hopes for some changes in Washington under the new Congress

• Thanks to my faithful readers (you know who you are) for continuing to motivate me to write this blog


Tim said...

Thanks for having us, we are very glad we went down there. That was the first time I have driven to a family member's house for a holiday in a long time!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hint on the turkey broth! I'll use it for Christmas.

My thank you, too, if for having family here at Thanksgiving: Grandpa Bob Beyer, daughter Bobbie Beyer, son Andy Beyer and - the best thing that ever happened to me - Cathy's brother, my husband, Rick.

Rick Beyer said...

I think I know who anonymous is, and she whipped up one pretty fantastic meal herself on Thanksgiving (I did the stuffing, but she did everything else!)

Family rocks!!