Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nouveau Thanksgiving

This is the first year that I will not be celebrating Thanksgiving with my family - not because I don't want to but because I made a choice to go to Cozumel with my boyfriend to support him during his Ironman race.  Yeah, so maybe I won't exactly be suffering in Cozumel with it's warm weather and beautiful beaches, but my point is that yes, family is more important than a beach but beach trumps family when combined with an important boyfriend event when I can do make-up time with family before and after the actual holiday.  Besides, we should be celebrating our thanks with loved ones throughout the year, not just on one day.

Moving on... (okay so maybe my rambling indicates a wee bit o' guilt)

So that we don't miss out on all the wonderfulness of the actual Thanksgiving food, we decided to celebrate a "mini-Thanksgiving" on Tuesday.  As you may have guessed, this means that this will also be the first year that I will be making, or attempting to make, an entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself.  Yes, the boyfriend offered to help but we all know how that usually goes (I guess I should be happy that I don't have to peel a few potatoes).  That brings us to the title of my post:

Nouveau Thanksgiving
A proposed wiki entry from Sia's point of view

Definition
A new version of Thanksgiving where one is suddenly and without any learning curve thrown into the role of preparing an entire Thanksgiving spread without family (which could be good if, ahem, not all dishes come out like they should).

Roles
  • Acquiring inputs (i.e., grocery and equipment shopping):  self
  • Peeling potatoes:  significant (or insignificant, depending on the status of your relationship) other
  • All other prepping and cooking: self
  • Consuming output (i.e., eating):  significant/insignificant other, friends, crashers (who may or may not be friends), and after all others are served, self
Menu and Recipe Sources (an example... which happens to be Sia's first test case as well)
  • Turkey breast (because those are humongous enough):  an amalgamation of several highly-rated recipes found on epicurious.com
  • Dressing (what we call it in the south when it is not actually placed inside the turkey - another point requiring explanation to the yankee boyfriend):  grandma's recipe, and proudly not made with store-bought bags o' crumbs
  • Congealed cranberry salad (sounds very southern, aye?):  another grandma/mom recipe involving canned whole cranberries with other tasty stuff
  • Green bean casserole (for me at least it's just not Thanksgiving without this tasty yet unhealthy treat):  do you seriously not know where that recipe comes from?
  • Roasted sweet potatoes (a healthier, tastier update since I am, I guess, the younger generation):  real sweet potatoes roasted in the oven, thanks to a recipe in one of my fav cookbooks The Food You Crave (love the handy little link!  this internet stuff is so amazing)
  • Pumpkin tart with streusel topping (another update, just 'cause I can):  a lovely looking recipe thanks to my stepmom's present of Dan Rather's daughter's cookbook (she has an awesome bakery called Rather Sweet in Fredricksburg, TX - Dan Rather's daughter, that is... not my stepmom... though she would love to have a little bakery... I think)...  so I just found out she is not actually Dan Rather's daughter - it's just some giant unstoppable rumor (poor lady).  She likes to knit too so she's good people and doesn't deserve any further rumor mongering (so go forth and correct people).  FYI, I also heard she has cooking classes at Central Market.















So there you have it.  The game plan is set - with all the days/times for preliminary work (e.g., can't forget to defrost the turkey).  Wish me luck, and I'll let you know how it all turns out!
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