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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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December 01, 2013

Mmmm.....good food....

Well, Thanksgiving is over and I feel about 5 pounds heavier although my scale tells me I'm not.  I really think my scale tells me what it thinks I want to hear cause it doesn't matter if I feel fat or skinny, I weigh about the same. 

At any rate, this was my third Thanksgiving staying home in Huntington and it was another enjoyable one.  On Wednesday, I went into the bakery and there was my friend Shelley who also is single and doesn't have family in the area.  I asked her what she was doing for T-day and when she said "nothing" I told her she was welcome to come over and share mine although since it was going to be a new recipe, we might end up with hot dogs.  But, as I pointed out, there was plenty of good wine around after my California trip.

So Thursday found me up and at 'em.  I had been going to make just a pumpkin pie but decided to make a pecan one also.  I used my new Kitchen Aid food chopper which is like a very small food processor except it doesn't have a feed tube.  I bought it cause my old mini-mincer had gasped its last and I had used it for chopping onions, celery, etc., but I had been trying to work up my nerve to try using it for making pie dough and, courting disaster, I finally tried it on Thanksgiving day of all things!  But voila!  There was my first thing to be thankful for - it did a wonderful job.  Just one pie crust at a time cause it is small, but it cut the shortening right in. 
(With all the flurry and fuss of cooking, I ended up with only 3 pictures of what I served.  Pumpkin pie finished first...

With the two pies in the oven, I did a little cleaning here and there and then it was time to put my chicken into the brine mixture (I mentioned in my last post I would be doing this based on a recipe from Ravenswood Winery)  My Dutch oven was just big enough to hold enough water to cover the chicken and into the fridge it went for around 4 hours.  I have posted my adaptation of several different recipes I looked at because this turned out to be quite tasty - especially the wine sauce.  You can find it at my "Recipes" page above or by clicking HERE.

Pecan pie picture taken in the evening and the color is very strange.  But the pie was very good if I do say so myself!

Shelley came over around 5:00 and we had a little crackers and cheese with some of a Moscato that I had ordered from one of the wineries - quite tasty and I'm not all that crazy about sweet wines.

I'm sure that as I finished up dinner, Shelley was wondering if I had ever cooked anything before cause I seemed to have one disaster, mix-up, forgetfulness, after another.  Worst one was when I knocked over the little pot of melted, seasoned butter I had on the stove for basting the chicken.  And also the fact that as the chicken sizzled away in the oven, grease splattered horrendously and so every time I opened the oven door, smoke came rolling out.  I really began to be afraid I would set off my fire alarm.  I had put it on a rack in a deep-ish jelly-roll type pan (don't have a roaster) and I finally had the wit to put a sheet of tinfoil over each end of the pan and things settled down a bit.  I made some mashed potatoes and couldn't seem to get them as soft and fluffy as I like, but with the sauce that didn't really matter.  And the stiffer left-overs made a wonderful potato cake the next day. :)  I roasted some little asparagus spears with olive oil and seasoned salt and they looked kind of awful but were very tasty.  And I baked a couple of sweet potatoes and then mashed them up with a little cream and drizzled some of my honest-to-goodness aged, balsamic vinegar from Italy.  Opened a nice bottle of red wine and we feasted happily.
Again the very strange bright orange tablecloth when, actually, it's pretty much the color in the pumpkin pie photo.  I got out my good china to serve on and was so glad I did cause I love it, of course, and Shelley really liked it too.  Mmmm...seeing that sauce makes me wish you could smell it - it was really delicious.

Waited a decent interval and then dug into the pie.  Turned out Shelley isn't crazy about pecan but she enjoyed the pumpkin.  I sent a piece of that home with her and then the next day I took another good-sized piece of that and the pecan down to the barristas at Starbucks and also gave a piece to a neighbor so I didn't have too terribly much to finish off.  I knew if I didn't give it away, I would finish it all off and that wouldn't have been too good an idea.

So, it was a nice Thanksgiving, kitchen mishaps or not.  For all the experimenting around I did with the various things I cooked, I'm real lucky it was all good.  And I'm real lucky I have so much to be thankful throughout the year, starting with my family and my health.


Chinch said...

Yum, yum! It all looks delish! And you got it all done in one day!! I'm really impressed. I did some prep the day before and then ended up having Thanksgiving spread over three days -- finally cooked the turkey on Saturday. Now today, I'm making turkey broth. It may take until Xmas to use all the leftovers. And I really like your china too.

Christopher said...

Mmmm... Looking forward to Christmas and getting some of those homemade pies! It all looks pretty good, and I'm glad the fine wine "not-brine" sauce was, it sounds, divine!

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