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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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November 25, 2010

A Nice Thanksgiving Day

Well, it's 1:30 and my little pumpkin pie is cooling and my little pecan pie is about to come out o f the oven.  I made regular piecrust this time and had plenty to make two 4" shells but only had enough of my leftover, frozen filling for one mini pie and decided I'd just make a pecan pie with the other crust.  Will be interesting to see how they are because these mini pans are deep and have a small bottom diameter which means the filling is deeper than in a normal pie.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed though.  (ooh, 9:00 p.m. update!!  Just finished a quarter of the mini pecan and the mini pumpkin pie and my goodness they were good!  It didn't seem to matter at all that I froze the leftover pumpkin filling and if I do say so myself, my pecan pie is fairly awesome - mini or regular.  Good thing I only make them once a year!)

And I have the stuffing made and sitting in the fridge and the chicken is ready to put in the oven.  I decided to make a rub for under the skin (and on top) and have no idea how that will be.  My stuffing recipe (which is my mother's) doesn't use sage - it uses thyme and marjoram, so for the rub I used coarse salt, fresh ground black pepper, then sprinkled in some dried thyme leaves and some ground marjoram (having no idea, of course, how much of any of it to use).  Decided that didn't look too exciting and so I grated up some lemon zest, added that and then thought "perce no?" and also grated up some garlic.  Mixed in some olive oil and spread it under the skin and then on top and then poured some more oil in my hand and just rubbed it all over the chicken.  That's another first for me - never went under the skin of a chicken before.

I'll have about 2 hours til dinner once I put the chicken in the oven and am trying to decide what time that will be.  Maybe 2:00 and then eat around 4:00.  Earlier than my normal dinner time but a fair amount later than my normal lunch time. 

It started out beautifully sunny today but is now cloudy and quite dark across the river so some weather is coming.  A perfect day to be inside cooking!  Although I think once I put the chicken in, I'll take a walk.  My computer weather pictures showed sun and 70 for today and then the picture for tomorrow was one I'd not seen before - icicles hanging from a tree branch!

Took my walk down to the river through the upper entrance and back out through the lower entrance. The older I get, the more I think probably sometime I should consider moving to be nearer my children which I would love, but leaving the river would really be a wrench for me.  I do love it. Saw a little flora I'll share...

This is the kind of day I mean...

Tis the last rose of summer in the rose garden at the river...

And this is just part of the tree that was covered with these gorgeous red berries...

Walking back home here was this little cabbage (can't remember its special name) all by itself so I took a picture of it too, just to let it know it was pretty too.

And these bright and perky petunias were outside the junior college building.  Funny to see so many pretty plants in almost December.

Came home and no wonderful smells were coming out into the hall so far but the chicken is cooking the way it's supposed to.  I just put my sweet potato in to bake and am going to make it a little special too when it's done.  Took this picture of my two pies.

The poor pecan pie stayed in the oven a little too long - when I took it out it had puffed up so much that the crust of pecans was all cracked.  I had hoped the crust would sink back down as the filling sank, but, ummm, that didn't happen.  Hopefully, it will still taste good.  And now, I've poured myself a little Bellini cocktail (cheers!) and am sitting watching a couple of cooking shows.  Still need to put the stuffing in sometime, maybe make those sun-dried tomato biscuits - although that's beginning to seem a little doubtful.  If I make those, I won't make polenta cause Thanksgiving or no, I don't need stuffing, biscuits, AND polenta!

And now it's all over and I took a couple of pictures of the finished product.  It's kind of embarrassing because I meant to make a broccoli recipe I found on line last night and forgot all about it until I was finishing up the gravy and everything.  So I admit this was an unbalanced meal, but good!  I used my instant read thermometer on the chicken and it told me it was done so I brought it out to sit for the 20 minutes or so during which all the recipes tell you it will finish cooking.  I finished up the gravy and put the biscuits (yes, I made them) in to bake.  When it came time to slice it, darned if it wasn't red at the bone joints!!  I seem incapable of getting a chicken cooked through.  But there was plenty of cooked white meat so I had a nice helping of that and it was tastier than if I hadn't used that rub.  But, I could easily have used more - I just didn't really know what I was doing.  And I was real happy with my stuffing.  I have some leftovers of that and a little bit of the gravy and, of course, the chicken which I put back in the oven while I ate.  I'll use some of it for a curry.

Now I'm trying to decide whether to go to a movie tonight.  I somehow managed to let myself end up with no movies to watch and of course, there's nothing on TV as usual.  I've been good and got all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and the counters cleared off.  But the rest of my cleaning can wait until tomorrow.  I'm tired!!  (2nd update - I did go to a movie and about laughed myself silly which is good for the psyche.  I won't say go see it cause it had some language in it and could be offensive to some, but oh, it was funny!)


Christopher said...

Where to start... Happy Thanksgiving, first of all! I gotta say, those 2 little pies are about the cutest, tastiest looking things I've seen. And that final plate---mama mia, what a tasty meal that must have been! (And such a great wine glass, I noticed... ;)
Glad you at least had some warmth to your grey day---it was downright cold here, in the mid 40's.
Now--you can't leave us hanging like that at the end---what movie had you laughing silly??

rosanna said...

Hi Mary LINNE; Happy belated Thanksgiving. Yummy dinner, I should have enjoied it too.
I had an early and lonely dinner as well last night, both my men were out of home. I dare say I quite appreciatd it, being at home by myself, it happens so seldom. Have a nice day, Rosanna

vrmichie said...

Last things first: I'm with Chris; what's the name of the movie?!?! The dinner looks delicious but I can well believe you were tired at the end -- it was a major, major project. And how did you season the potato in its pretty little ramekin? And were the biscuits good and, if so, will you post the recipe? And bully for you putting seasonings under the chicken skin. I'm kind of dumbfounded to realize I've never done so myself but it looks so pretty and good I'll have to try it one of these days. Happy leftovers. xoxo

From the Editor's Desk... said...

Thanks for the nice comments everyone. Rosanna - believe me, my dinner was NOTHING compared to a typical Thanksgiving dinner. You'd need to add two or three vegetables, dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc., etc., to what I had, along with more pies!

And I'm not real sure about posting the biscuit recipe - they didn't seem as good as I remembered them and I don't know if that would be because I cut the recipe down to a quarter of the original and maybe it lost something in the process. They were all right but to me they tasted kind of floury...since I have a bunch of dried tomatoes left over, I may try it again, just cutting the recipe in half.

January said...

That looks DELICIOUS!! Nicely done, Mama! I'm glad you got to have such a tasty meal.

jamie said...

Yum! It all looks so good. I'm beginning to think I have converted you to starchatarianism! I want your stuffing recipe - looks amazing!

Note to all - I invited Mary Lynne to my family's Thanksgiving dinner. Granted, we are disfunctional, but I invited her. Looks like we should have just gone to her house!

Sandra from Sydney said...

Mary Lynne, my love of cooking got up and went walkabout long, long ago but I can sure admire the results of your hard work! It all looks yummy and I'm sure tasted even better. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that winter is being kind to you. We are having a mild summer at the moment and I am presently at the beach on a week's holiday :-)
Sandra (Snippets from my Studio)

From the Editor's Desk... said...

Wow, Sandra - a week at the beach in December! Yesterday we had snow off and on all day although no accumulataion. Today is brilliantly sunny but 27 degrees. But I do love the change of seasons so I'll not complain for a while yet! :)

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