Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Southern Thanksgiving

Dear Alison, Abigail and Mom,

Since you've all asked how my Thanksgiving visit to Margaret was, I thought I'd do a mass update. We arrived on the Sunday before bc as Marg says, the pre-game show is the best part. She had made an amazing pot roast for us, in the oven bc her slow cooker insert is broken. Only she could wear out a Crock Pot, right? Chocolate cookies from The Grand Central Bakery Cookbook I gave her, and a beautiful gingerbread trifle with apples and cranberries.

We spent the next few days cooking, eating and exercising- you know, the way our family does. We did a bike ride in the pouring rain and came home soaked to the bone but were warmed by chicken curry, quinoa and braised cabbage. You might think that an unlikely combination, but somehow the indian, african and irish flavors all got along in a sort of We Are the World way.

Of course Thanksgiving was the highlight and we planned the menu with care. Not too complex, but special. Traditional but not slavishly so.
parmesan crisps - E
olives - M
turkey of course - Chris
stuffing - Debbie, traditional Tennessee recipe with cornbread and sausage
cranberry sauce - Debbie
gratin of winter greens - E&M
mashed sweet potatoes - E&M
pumpkin pie - E
butterscotch pudding with real scotch - M, made predawn. I think she likes an excuse to get the scotch out before breakfast
pecan pie - M
pumpkin cake - Debbie

But first, there was the hunt to see off...

There was even a group of 10 year old girls on little fat ponies that reminded us of our days hunting in CT.

After the hunt we were on to the big event. We were mostly ready, but the main attraction of the day, the moment we'd all been waiting for, the food without which no southern thanksgiving would be complete, the Deep Fried Turkey, was still to come. There had been a moment of panic the day before when it turned out that every grocery store in the township was sold out of peanut oil. Seems like peanut oil arbitrage could be a good business in November in Virginia.

Chris was in charge. Amos was his assistant. Kima helped where she could. There was beer. Coors Light.

Chris bought a propane powered deep fryer 3 Thanksgivings ago and is now the master of the deep fried bird. "Not my first rodeo" he declared when confronted with internet recommendations not to deep fry a bird over 14 pounds (ours was 19). "More art than science" he claimed when his friend suggested using a meat thermometer to measure doneness.

The dogs thought it was an extra special dog treat. Which in Margaret's house is not out of the question.

Here's how it went...

And here's how it came out...

A great southern thanksgiving.

lots of love, Elise

1 comment:

Magnus said...

Deep fried. We live for this shit.....