Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving, the Lazy Way

Our parents won't be in town until tomorrow (they're dining with another child today) so we are making this a lazy Turkey Day, and let me tell you, it's the best.

First rule - you must stay in your Pajamas for as long as humanly possible. I nearly ruined everything by automatically getting dressed this morning, but since I was able to jump back into my pj's before Holly woke up, only the dogs know that I messed up, so it doesn't count.

Second rule - start with pie. Yep, pie for breakfast. This year it's pumpkin as is fitting. Pumpkin, topped with a good dollop of real whipped cream, and a large glass of cold milk on the side.
While eating my pie I enjoyed reading Bittman's article on Pumpkin Pie.

"I believe in the theory that some people are cooks, while others are bakers. Some are truly, equally both, but that’s rare. Cooks are messier and improvise more, tasting and adjusting, winging it in spirit if not actually in practice. Bakers are more meticulous and methodical, measuring and weighing, careful not to overwork their dough."

I love that man. :) Given this definition, I'm certainly a cook, not a baker.

Third rule - no turkey. Lazy, remember? True, Bittman has two ways of making a no hassle turkey. The 45 minute bird and the braised bird, both of which we intend to try, but I just couldn't be bothered to fight my way through a store of last minute Thanksgiving shoppers to find a bird.
So, we're going to have a wonderful dish of braised brussel sprouts with bacon and shallots (sooo good!), James Beard's crispy stuffing with my own additions of cranberries, pine nuts and sausage, and - if we still have any carrots, which I doubt - a nice bowl of carrot ginger soup. It's one of my specialties. Odd, come to think of it, lots of my specialties have ginger in them. Hmmm... deep inner meaning time...

Fourth rule - consume all things dairy. As you've noticed, I already up a nice dent in my daily dairy quota with the whipped cream and milk - and that was just one piece of pie. I'm counting on hitting at least three pieces by midnight tonight. But to counter all the carbs (yummm... comfort food) I bought three lovely cheeses.
The first is a smoked, aged Gouda from an artisan farm in New York, the second is what appears to be a white cheddar with Jamaican jerk spices from Pike Street Marketplace in Seattle (I say appears because I don't think even they are sure), and finally our old standby a nice double creme Brie. (Does this sound snooty? They're all from Costco, my favorite cheese store!)

I'll be baking the Brie in our crock pot, topped with chopped hazelnuts, dried apricots and a brown sugar/balsamic vinegar glaze.

So far the Gouda is my favorite. It's rich and smoky and oh so smooth! But I have great hopes for the Brie...

We have crackers of all types (yipes) and good crusty loaves of bread and even a small jar of cracked seed mustard (although the cheese doesn't need it and Holly wouldn't eat it anyway!). The only thing we're missing is something to drink! We have mango juice but that just seems wrong. I need grape or cranberry with this much cheese.

Ah, the trials of a lazy Thanksgiving. I hope I'm up to the task. :)
I shall now snuggle up with some sleepy puppies, a good book and my nosh, thankful for a warm home, literacy and my family.

PS. I must note that our wonderful friends Evelyn and Rob invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner, but we had to decline. I'm oncall this weekend and I detest throwing down my napkin in front of all the other guests and bolting out the door because my pager goes off. But I did want to note their extraordinary thoughtfulness and kindness to us. They're gems!
(Note: Evelyn's cranberry gelatin is a killer! You have to talk her out of some of it one day.)