Thursday, November 23, 2006

More Thanksgiving Mayhem!

Here I am, watching Ace of Cakes (can't get anymore Bawlamoronic on cable, food-wise at least) recovering from Thanksgiving dinner. Actually, it was Thanksgiving nibbling. My sister, mother and I are all the Thanksgiving cook, and with my father home from work (he runs his own bar) and my brother-in-law back for the weekend from his Army training, we have food to make for several people (including one other sister and my niece). The centerpiece was, of course, the turkey, marinated from 5:30 in the morning from a fabulous recipe from Emeril Lagasse -his Funky Turkey. It's a recipe I have been using for a few years, since I made Thanksgiving dinner with my landlady when I lived in California. I brought the recipe back to Maryland, and I still use it!

I only noticed as I started cooking that we had a veritable Atkins' Nightmare. Lots and lots and LOTS of starches and carbs. We are not a carb-counting family; we're closer to the Paula Deen school of cooking. But they were tasty carbs! Among them:

  • Two variations of my Grandmother's (may she rest in peace) stuffing - the woman was 100% napolitana and yet the recipe I remember most of hers is her very un-Italian stuffing. Technically, because it never sees the inside of a bird, it's dressing and not stuffing - and we use the words interchangeably in our family. But oh well. My brother-in-law likes sausage in his stuffing. The rest of us prefer it plain.
  • Ccornbread! Oh yum, cornbread! This recipe comes from a book by Baltimore chef John Shields, his Chesapeake Bay Cookery - a Bible of Maryland and Virginia cookin'. I made his Two O'Clock Club Corn Bread. Yum!
  • Mashed sweet potatoes, a recipe from the Food Network. Not among the most exciting recipes I've had - it could've been more so. What I did was basically roast sweet potatoes in the oven, in their skins, for about an hour at 375 degrees. Then I peeled them, added butter, orange juice, salt and brown sugar (the original called for maple syrup, but I wanted brown sugar), and mashed it all together. Then I topped it with marshmallows and more brown sugar, and baked it again for abot 375. Everyone else liked it more than I did - maybe I was just too full by that time.
We never even got around to making regular mashed potatoes, we had so much to eat! And I was hoping to make shrimp and grits - I've had alot of each, but never together, which is more of a Deep Southern thing (not much shrimp and grits up here in the Shallow end).

I was stuffed, and I hadn't even had any turkey yet! And to make matters worse, we had conveniently forgotten any vegetable dishes (well, other than any type of potato). We almost made that world-famous green bean casserole eveyone loves, but it wasn't meant to be. We are a family that procrastinates, and didn't get the turkey in the oven until 3:30! Nothing wrong with eating late, mind you. And the family was happy and saisfied, which is the only really important thing anyway.

Still, we did get around to the turkey about 7:30. No lunch, no dinner, just constant noshing and nibbling all day. Ugh, I feel stuffed. But wait, do I smell pie now?