Friday, November 6, 2009

Three Weeks to Gluttony

Every year since we were married A and I have hosted Thanksgiving at our house. This year will be no different. The big day is still three weeks away, but I am already starting to consider what to make. We always do a turkey - that's a given. Last year we did two. One we did in the oven and the other we did on the grill. Everyone LOVED the grilled turkey. I'd like to do it again this year, but we will only have one larger turkey rather than the two we had last year (we had more people last year.) In a blatant attempt to flush out lurkers on my blog I am looking for suggestions for turkey prep. At the very least I am willing to wrap it in Nueske's bacon (the best bacon in the world.) I am also looking for recommendations for stuffing. We won't do any stuffing in the bird, in the past we stuff it with tons of garlic, onions, and other delicious veggies. I have heard deep fried turkey is fabulous, but I am not willing to try something this "radical" - our family members and guests have a finite tolerance for change.

From there we are thinking about side dishes. My mom always brings sweet potatoes. She prepares them the only way any self-respecting northern Minnesotan or Wisconsinite would - with ample amounts of bourbon and marshmallows. We'll have mashed potatoes, but if anyone has a suggestion on how to improve these, that would be appreciated. Veggies have always been my mother-in-laws seven layer salad - again, an upper-midwest staple. (Unfortunately, this dish peaked in the 70's.) We'll also do either Szechuan green beans or asparagus, but those are the default options.

If anyone is looking for a turkey prep suggestion - last year one of the birds was stuffed with lemons, oranges and pineapple. I mean crammed tight. And boy was it good. That tends to lend itself more to oven preparation and I can't do it this year because it doesn't work for gravy production - which is an absolute requirement.

In other Thanksgiving prep news we have made some upgrades around the house. A relented and let me install a TV in the kitchen. This will make watching football much easier while cooking. We have also pulled the trigger and bought new dining chairs. After much investigation, sampling, hand wringing, test driving and procrastination we found some at West Elm. These are perfectly acceptable and inexpensive enough that if they don't last no one's heart will be broken. (You don't need pictures now, you'll have to wait three weeks until the table is set.)

As I sit here writing this post I can feel my ass getting bigger and my gut getting softer. I like the holidays but I really need to figure out a way to keep my weight under control. I guess we all have a cross to bear. Mine tends to be fork shaped at this time of year.

12 comments:

Charisa said...

Didn't you also make a lamb cake last year? That rocked!! I would give you Turkey advice, but you would laugh because I'm vegetarian and it would contain no real "turkey" ingredients. You could make mashed potato pancakes (grilled mashed potato patties) - they are GOOD!

Jill Costantino said...

Ohhh - we did a deep fried turkey one year and it was AMAZING! My husband and brother in law almost caught themsleves on fire in the drive way, but it was worth it. Thanks goodness we had snow that year. Stuffing - I am totally NOT vegitarian so I recommend italian meat stuffing with 1 part lean beef, 1 part lean pork, and 1 part lean veal (all ground), egg and parm cheese spices to your liking, if it interests you email or FB book me and I will send you the entire recipe in full. Mmmm I LOVE tahnksgiving dinner, I am visiting my sister so this year I get 2 Canadian and USA!

NJ said...

I'll have to scan and email you a couple of the recipes I used the year we hosted. I have a turkey prep that was with a white wine. I also have some amazingly tasty cognac cranberries and a good wild rice stuffing recipe (also a Minnesota thing). I'll email you these over the weekend...now that I have internet back!!! WHOOHOO Talk about withdrawal!

t-odd said...

Try to keep up folks. The lamb cake is at Easter (you know, "the lamb of god" and all that good stuff.)

Beth said...

Umm...what time should I be there for dinner???? (but only if you wrap the turkey in Beggin Strips... :)

Roo said...

Gotta love that the veg-head thought the lamb was for Thanksgiving.

Darn- I was going to tell you to either stuff it with citrus or put bacon under the skin before you cook it but you already thought of that stuff. I think I'll steal the pineapple idea.

D said...

I thought if I left your post sitting for a couple days, that I'd actually come back to it and read it. Nope.

t-odd said...

D - I will try to include a word search, some dot-to-dots, a coloring page, or maybe one of those "magic eye" things to help keep your interest in my next post. Or I won't and I'll have to live with the disappointment that you comment but don't read. I hope I can go on.

Charisa said...

lamb = easter? Hmmmm, this is amazing, I never would have guessed?!! Lamb of God, yes that makes sense. But what about giving thanks for the lamb?!

Tasha the Triathlon Goddess said...

How about a turducken?

peevish mama said...

Peevish Lurker here, but I can't help myself! I love Thanksgiving! Just saw this post and The Wednesday Chef makes a compelling case for a simple little corn side dish. I may just try it because it sounds so friggin easy! Also, there's a link to a NYTimes article on side dishes in her post. Happy cooking! thewednesdaychef.com/the_wednesday_chef/2009/11/kjh.html

Steve said...

To make mashed potatoes better, and your ass bigger, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS throw a stick of cream cheese in it. Oh yeah, and garlic salt. I always think people know this, but perhaps not. Trust me you'll thank me later. Wish I would have told you this before Thanksgiving. I almost did. :-)