Friday, November 27, 2009

Emmo's First Thanksgiving

OK. So, I've obviously had Thanksgivings before, and have even had quite a few Thanksgivings on my own before... but this was the first Thanksgiving where I actually cooked traditional food. A couple hiccups aside (the beauty of cooking just for yourself is that nobody else really has to know the details of such hiccups), it went pretty well. There were two things I had in mind for this meal. First, I had to prep all of the ingredients to be able to do The Sandwich afterward. Second, I needed both stuffing (because it's the best non-sandwich part of Thanksgiving) and straight-from-a-can Green Bean Casserole. It's far from sophisticated and goes against everything I feel strongly about in terms of food, and I know you could easily make a fresh version, but damned if I don't crave the barely-homemade canned version when Thanksgiving rolls around. The first step, of course, when cooking a large, complicated meal involving lifting heavy containers with your bad back, is to first create a large obstruction in the middle of the kitchen (for a good reason, of course):I'll probably resurrect my recipe blog later to post the approximate recipes (so that I can have an easy on-line reference for myself next year), but here are some pics in the meantime. Cranberries as they start cooking:Brussels sprouts (blanched, then tossed in sautéed shallots and bacon). Here they are finished:
as components cooking:and looking all gorgeous pre-dressing with shallots and bacon:Stuffing (like my mom taught me), with fresh cornbread:and fresh herbs:combined with the rest of the classic ingredients to be just what I was craving:Pan gravy for the turkey and stuffing:That non-gourmet staple, Green Bean Casserole:
And, finally, the turkey. There was a gap in the skin, so I used metal skewers to "sew" it together:and it came out pretty darn well:Here's the final spread (minus that embarrassing casserole):
and a plated version:Honestly, by the time I finished all of the work I was barely hungry enough to make a dent in that plate, but what I could eat was mighty tasty. This year I'm making the sandwich (turkey, cranberry sauce, brie, and arugula) on fresh-baked rosemary focaccia like god intended. My dough is rising right now, but I'll post pictures of that (hopefully awesome) reward for all this work tomorrow.

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