Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I'm the cook again this year...and I love it. I enjoy having the family over, getting up early and working on the meal and then watching everyone enjoy what I've put together. Last year, I cooked for 13 in a chalet in Gatlinburg. My mom and dad, my brother, his wife and three kids, my family, my sister and her boyfriend and my mother-in-law all met in Gatlinburg for the holiday and had a pretty decent time living together for 4 days.
This year is very low key. Just my family and my mom and dad...the little sis will be out for dessert and gaming later in the evening and it should be a nice little day for everyone. Here's how the tradition shakes down at my place:
My mom buys the turkey and I cook it. That process starts today b/c the bird has to be taken from the refrigerator and set in the sink as soon as I'm finished here so that it is pretty much thawed by the time I'm ready to brine it tonight. That's tomorrow's post...the perfection of combining science with cooking a Thanksgiving turkey. My mom brings the stuffing - it rocks hardcore. I'm making some killer gravy (thanks again to science),mashed potatoes, oven-roasted brussel sprouts (my dad's favorite), corn, a tossed salad, pillsbury crescent rolls - I know....I considered making my own bread or buying some kind of artisan thing from Panera or any of the fantastic local bakeries around town (yes, another post some day), but there's something kind of traditional about those crescent rolls. Back to the menu: I'll finish out the dinner with three dessert selections: homemade pumpkin pie, homemade pecan pie (I'll make both of those this evening before bed), actual whipped cream - with a dash of almond extract (my secret ingredient that I'm kinda proud of thinking of) and vanilla bean ice cream. I'm hungry just thinking about it. I've also selected a couple of nice, crisp white wines to pair with the turkey and I've got a nice hazelnut coffee for after dinner. Yes, the kids will drink milk, although, the oldest will probably want to pretend he's a grown up and ask for a small glass of wine that he'll taste and not finish. He's a very cultured young man, afterall.
Before all that can go down, though. I'm treating myself today to a pedicure and a new hair style. The house also needs to be cleaned before I even set foot in the kitchen to cook. So, there's a fair amount on my plate for the day before I can serve anything on my family's plates tomorrow.
And, I don't know if you can tell, but I'm kinda geeked about doing all of this today! It's always cool when your TO DO list is all a bunch of stuff you want TO DO!