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 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.
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.
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.
- Mary Lynne
- West Virginia
- 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.