Friday, November 26, 2010

Something Old, Something New

I had a case of camnesia yesterday and forgot to take any pictures of any of us and our food. But I want to make a record of a couple of new dishes we tried that were a big success.

For several years I have been cooking my turkeys breast-side-down, on the theory that it makes the juices run into the breast meat and keeps it more moist. But it's kind of ugly that way, and I read this year that it doesn't really matter, so I returned to the more traditional method. But I continued my family method of wrapping the turkey with bacon, and that does work to create a lovely moist turkey, and a delicious appetizer of bacon for the cooks!

What we did that was new was to make home-made cranberry sauce of the first time. It is so simple and it came out delicious, and it looks really beautiful too. 1 pound of cranberries, a cup of sugar and a cup of water. Cook the water and sugar, then add the cranberries and stir and cook till they are soft.

We also tried a new recipe for green beans which was simple and delicious. Pre-cook a pound of green beans in boiling salted water till crisp tender. Drain and set aside at room temperature. When ready to eat, heat a frying pan and add a handful of walnuts to the dry pan and stir to toast. When the walnuts begin to brown, add a Tbsp. or so of butter and the green beans and stir to re-heat the beans and coat everything with butter. This tasted really good and the walnuts also went nicely with the wild rice we were eating. Wild rice is a family favorite for Thanksgiving. If I have extra left over, I will make wild rice cream soup later on.

We also had baked sweet potatoes, which were delicious. They taste especially good right next to the cranberry sauce. I only got 2, since Sam doesn't like them, and we had a lot of other food. I choose smallish sweet potatoes, the kind with reddish skin and bright orange interiors. Wrap each sweet potato firmly in foil. Place them on the oven rack for about an hour as the turkey roasts. When they are completely soft, they are done. They give off juice which will burn and make a mess in the oven, so it's important to have them well-wrapped in foil. To serve, remove the foil, cut in half, lightly mash the flesh with a fork, add a pat of butter and a grind of salt. Mmm, delicious.

With the green beans, the cranberries and the sweet potato, the plate was colorful; in the past, I have noticed that a Thanksgiving plate tends to be all shades of brown and beige!

All in all, a totally successful meal and a wonderful day. It was such a help top have Kristen in the kitchen. She carved the entire turkey while I made the gravy and the mashed potatoes. My gravy, in which I take great pride, was once again really delicious. It didn't seem to want to absorb as much stock as I had prepared, but we saved some of the fat, so I can make another batch tomorrow, if we still have turkey left and no more gravy.

Today, we are going to make cold turkey sandwiches on white bread with butter and take them with us when we go out. Kristen was noshing on bits of turkey last night and commented, "Why do people say Quit cold turkey, like cold turkey was a bad thing?" I like the way she thinks! :-)

1 comment:

epicpoem lily said...

I remember you telling me this recipe years ago for the turkey with the bacon.

I also agree with Kristen about the left over turkey sandwiches.
I like mine with the stuffing on top and cranberry sauce and some gravey. on nice bakery quality rye bread, sliced diagonally in half as neatly as you please.

You are quite the home maker, Evelyn!

I abdicated this year and let our local butcher cook and slice the turkey and make the stuffing and sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce for Eddie and myself and mom and dad.

I did make the table runner which came out very well with silk leaves on a felt base. It was widest in the center and narrowed to the edges of the 90" table.

I created several pieces in quick point for Thanksgiving and Christmas and many ornaments and a few ceramic statues.

Your needle work boarders on perfection and the angels could not have done a better job at what you have been displaying in this blog...I am amazed and duly impressed!

Please tell Sam to share his secret with us on how he gets handsomer every year!