Archive for December 1st, 2005

First of all, I didn’t get drunk on the cooking wine this year, but there are still pictures. Not as many, and not as inappropriate as there would have been with the wine, but still.

Thursday morning the Beloved and I cooked a vegan risotto and a vegan version of broccoli & mushrooms florentine, to take to his aunt’s house that afternoon. Now, the vegan risotto is a lovely dish and a favorite at Chez Hook despite its labor-intensive production (for those unlucky enough to be unfamiliar with risotto, it involves all of the stirring. All. The. Stirring.). The florentine, however, was a new dish. We arrived at Auntie Potty-Mouth’s house (it’s the name she gave herself, due to the blue streak that wraps twice around the house whenever she’s awake), cheerfully bearing food and thankfulness and goodwill. We visited, we chatted, we sat down to eat. We vegans loaded our plates with the risotto and the florentine, and the salad, and just as I was thinking, “my, what a good job we did with the food,” the Beloved proclaims the florentine to be horrible. Out loud. And encourages others to scrape it off their plates and into oblivion.

Now, making the florentine was his idea and mostly his domain that morning. I didn’t have much to do with it, so I wasn’t reduced to tears when he made his proclamation. I didn’t think it was bad, and everyone else said it wasn’t bad, but we do have a heck of a lot left over, and it’s not exactly a hot commodity here. Lesson learned: don’t bring a recipe you’ve never made before to Thanksgiving dinner.

We did have the most amazing pie, thanks to the other Aunt. She bakes and bakes and is fabulous, and makes truly lovely cherry pie with vegan crust. Hooray!

That night we went to my Mom’s house where we found all of her side of the family (6 brothers and sisters, and all my cousins, and their children) and (treacherous woman!) more dessert. I hadn’t seen some of these relatives in a hundred years, and it was a bit insane (the Beloved kind of hid round the corner from the main action).

On Friday we got ready for Saturday (The Day of the Keyes!). We chopped, washed, rearranged, boiled, thawed, and baked. We were champions of Thanksgiving preparation! We also got some of Grandma’s jewelry and sterling appraised, and I made my sole purchase on Black Friday. I know! I didn’t want to buy anything, but we were in this locally-owned gem shop in my tiny hometown and they had The Perfect Gift for someone at a price which caused me to say, “My Goodness, This Is Fantastic! I Cannot Pass This Up!” (seriously, I spoke in capitals). I felt horrid for purchasing anything on that Day of Evil Commercial Madness, but felt comforted because the shop was local, the owners were local, the price was amazing, and it was indeed The Perfect Gift. See how I justify? Isn’t that an excellent example thereof? Yes, yes it is. Oooh, watch how I distract you with pictures of tasty goodness!

The baguette that ate my brain. I forgot that there are eight million risings and proofings that go into making this damn bread, and started it at 9:30pm. Why didn’t I just make pain ordinaire? Because I am an overachieving perfectionist freak, that’s why. And please don’t make fun of the misshapen loaf on the right. It’s not his fault he’s ugly.

This is one of my favorite parts of the holidays: the PieBlob. Somehow, Mom invariably fills one of the pie crusts just to the edge and the filling goes everywhere. It’s still damn tasty, but we just turn that side of it to the wall.

Saturday is kind of blurry to me. I was cooking and baking (yes! more bread!) and for the first time, ate my dinner cold. Now I know what Mom’s been going through all these years that she’s hosted. We had 23 people, and it was kind of a madhouse. Kind of. No, it was a total madhouse. I was lucky enough to sit next to the cousins I like the most, and who appreciated my now-famous potato bread (no pictures–I was frantically running from table to kitchen to check on the bread baking).

And this is my all-time favorite thing to see on a Thanksgiving:

In our family, the men wash the dishes after the meal. We had more participants than just these (my uncles and cousins and various boyfriends of cousins), but this is my favorite picture because here you can see (L-R) Nick, Lloyd (nursing-student-sister’s boyfriend; he’s a wonderful guy), and My Dad. Nick is blurry because he’s Mister Efficient Action Man!!

That was my Thanksgiving: tasty food, family insanity, and being home. Yay!

Read Full Post »