Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Post-due Post-Thanksgiving Post

To be honest, I've never really understood the fuss about Thanksgiving. I am a fairly recent convert to mashed potatoes, turkey's never done much of anything for me, and it was always just a lot of fuss and family... usually right before finals.

This year, while calmer in terms of family (my folks flew out to visit, so it was just the four of us) was a blur of work and baking and kitchen heat. Admittedly with some very tasty results. This, however, was probably the best part of Thanksgiving dinner:

This was one of Chuck's later attempts to make friends with the turkey, actually. On his first attempt he got a few good bites off of one wing - I was preoccupied with gravy, I can't be held responsible. That, and it was really cute.

But even setting feline cuteness aside, this was a good year. I was working every day but Thanksgiving, so my folks got to take care of the shopping and prep. 

Dad made his Porcini and Cornbread Dressing which is, in all honesty, to die for. I don't even like dressing and I fought for the scraps. I promise I'll post the recipe soon. We have no idea where it comes from - a newspaper somewhere, some year, someone claims. Origins aside, it's fantastic.
But with ingredients like these, can you go wrong?

Add enough mushrooms to anything and I'll be happy as a clam, that's for sure.

The final spread also included mashed potatoes, broccolini, cranberry sauce and gravy... and landed on my desk.

Our dining room table is miniscule, so there was barely enough room for our plates and the champagne (because what is Thanksgiving without champagne?)

The only drawback to the desk-as-sidetable was Chuck learning a nifty trick of standing up on his hind paws and swiping turkey from the platter with his front paws. Unfortunately, all of my pictures of said trick are blurry, so it will just have to live on in memory....

My major contribution was dessert.

I made two pies that morning - apple and pumpkin - which was only faintly nerve-wracking as my mom is usually the pie maker. I've done a few pies since Matt and I moved out here, (how could I not, with all of the Northwestern berries?) but I knew my work would be measured against my mom's legendary pie-making skills. It stood up favourably, if I say so myself.

The apple pie you may actually recognize from my pretty new title up top - that was the project for the evening. Before anyone actually got to taste either pie, we spent hours photographing a single slice on a red plate, experimenting with countless angles, backgrounds and pairs of chopsticks. The end result makes me feel like a legitimate blogger, if nothing else. (Look! A picture at the top!)

Legitimate blogger or otherwise, I apologize for my recent absence - between holiday retail and finals I'm a bit frazzled. I'm cooking, I just can't think to write about it - we eat watching Top Chef and Grey's Anatomy and I speculate about life as a line cook and tall food and feeling a bit homely and, well, short. But after my Japanese final next Tuesday, the cookbook section at Powell's is calling my name, so hopefully I'll find a little more energy and inspiration.


littlebijoux said...

Love the spread! It looks delicious. I would never have thought to serve broccolini, but it looks very tasty and delicious. My mom is a traditionalist, so she gets stuffing mix with whole wheat and white bread, and the craziest we're really allowed is when I brine the turkey and make brussels sprouts. Delicious, though.

Will you be attending my Christmas/Hannukah party on Friday?

Shannon said...

I didn't know you were having a Christmas/Hannukah party on Friday, and of course we'll be there! What can I bring?

Katie said...

We should have bananas foster. Bring a torch and some high-proof alcohol. Wink!