Thursday, November 27, 2008

Didn't want to dis his traditions

Thanksgiving is an emotionally complicated holiday, and I am pleased to report that ours went swimingly.

I always ask them if there is some particular food that they always have at their house, and then I don't gag when they tell me green bean casserole or banana cream pie. I'm very respectful that way.

Gary came into the kitchen to help several times. He was wonderful. He was also caught off-guard by some of my strange ideas. I made stuffing from loaves of bread, and cranberry sauce from cranberries, and didn't have any of "that gravy stuff." He actually seemed kind of impressed that you could make gravy without a jar or packet. I told him that I found the premade stuffing too salty, canned cranberry sauce sort of scary, and that he was going to have the best gravy he ever had in his life. Really, it is too die for.

He got me back though. I don't see the point of having mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. It just takes space away from the stuffing. So when others insist upon it, I do make that from an envelop (but it is a really good one). He was stunned that I would do such a thing, so he made the mashed potatoes -- from potatoes.

The fam liked the braised turkey okay. The main advantage was that the white meat was not dried out and the dark meat was not undercooked. I was also able to get the equivalent of 2.35 turkeys into the oven in one pan. They ask if I can brine AND braise it next year.

Sure why not, as long as I don't have to make the mash potatoes.

Oh, and Evan says that he would love a robe for Christmas, "You know I read the blog sometimes, right?"

Yep. I know.

Let's see...what else? David has broken up with his boyfriend since he asked to bring him over, but he brought a work friend who had no family in the area. Gary's Evan's boyfriend is very small and young-looking. I was a good hostess and didn't embarass him at all.


  1. Instant potatoes?? :::::shiver::::::: So glad that Gary got you back on the straight and narrow.

  2. Gary's boyfriend? I thought Gary was the straight one.

  3. thanks r. I fixed it. I twisted their names up at dinner too. It was quite the mess. I was accused of getting into the holiday wine early.

    Jo, Gary did not get me back on the straight and narrow. He just made the potatoes. The truth is that mashed potatoes have never been a favorite of mine -- just not worth the effort. Next year the same options will be present: no potatoes, instant potatoes, or potatoes someone else cooked.

  4. Anonymous10:01 PM

    lol, r., i was thinking the same thing! probably she means Evan, unless something *very* strange is going on!

    btw, Yondalla, i might as well take this opportunity to tell you that i enjoy reading this "everday slice-of-life" posts just as much as the philosophical / heavy-issues ones. kind of comforting to get a feel of your thanksgiving traditions and the family dynamics that happen within them, eh?

    -- Silph

  5. So if Evan reads teh blog, does the robe request fall into the smaller spend less on the older boys category? Or was it more than you were intending on spending?

  6. Anonymous4:27 PM

    I suck at making gravy. When it comes out tasting ok (just ok) it looks nighmarish with lumps and stuff and this time it came out looking just beauuuutiful but it tasted awful (too salty...although I think I'll blame the brining) yes...I'm envious...I hate the can/bottled stuff but unless someone else makes it, I don't get to enjoy it.

    I hate making mashed potatoes from scratch too but this year my kid followed Pioneer Woman's cooks' recipe and they came out great so except for draining them (too heavy for her) I didn't have to do any of the mashing...she doesn't know it yet but she will be making them from now on!LOL

    Glad to know everything went smoothly.

  7. Yes, brining can make your gravy too salty.

    Here's what you do: take the turkey neck and gizzard and heart and sear them in a pan. Add onion, carrots, celery and herbs, and cover in chicken broth (salt-free if you brined the turkey) and (wait for it) one cup of vermouth. Cook for one hour. Strain through cheese cloth, thicking with corn starch disolved in cold water.

    When the turkey is done taste the drippings. If they are good add to the gravy base until the gravy tastes the way you want it. I have a one of those cups where you can pour drippings from the bottom while the fat floats on the top.

    If the drippings are very salty add just a little bit.

    And if you want it to be richer, you can add butter, but don't tell anyone.

  8. I'm glad the day went well. It certainly sounds like the food was fantastic!

  9. Anonymous10:22 PM

    Yuk yuk yuk

    Gravy is just gross. Its liking making a broth from toilet water ! LOL

    Totally just kidding, but I still have nightmares of "giblet gravy" from growing up- nasty innards, floating in an oily slop mired with sliced boiled eggs, random vegetable chunks etc. It was like a horror store for a kid who didn't eat veggies, and didn't like their foods touching on the plate.

    Needless to say, i still pass up ALL gravy. You lost me at the "taste the drippings" command. I just have this mental picture of one time when the dog got into people food, and resulted in a gastroinetestinal explosion, hence "dripping" around the yard while yelping. Someone made the reference, and well, it stuck.

    Drip Drip Drip. Aaauuugggghhhhhhh!

  10. I understand...but you know, you can salt the thickened broth and call it good. However, if you don't like gravy at all, it probably won't do.


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