Thursday, November 23, 2006

Lazy Thanksgiving

Often in the hecticness of two working parents, it's easy to forget how completely blessed I am. I have two wonderful families -- mine and Phil's; two healthy, good kids; a job that I generally like and that keeps us from wondering where the mortgage payment will come from; great friends who are loyal and consistent, even if we can't get together as often as we'd like. It's beautiful to me that there's a national holiday to celebrate all that we have and all that we're grateful for, and that the celebration centers around food. Lots of food. I love it.

Today's going to be pretty low-key, and the meal's low-effort. It's just us, M & T, and Phil's parents for the day. We're having a bigger family gathering on Saturday with Phil's side of the family -- we won't be going to Michigan to see my family until Christmas.

I've been passing holiday menus back and forth with a couple of friends, and have decided my day is going to be the easiest and laziest of all. I think the food will be great, though. Here's what we're having:

  • Curried pecans, olives, and a vegetable tray: Olives are purchased, I made the curried pecans yesterday (I'll post the recipe later this week), and Phil's mom is bringing the vegetable tray. So it's all done.
  • Grilled Cornish game hens stuffed with wild rice stuffing: I brined the game hens overnight because a co-worker said it makes them incredibly flavorful. Phil's consulting a great grilling book called Taming the Flame to figure out how to keep a flame going for 90 minutes. I need to make the stuffing and stuff the birds, but the stuffing's a cinch, and there are only five little birds to stuff.
  • Cranberry relish: Just a low-fat mixture of a bag of cranberries, 2 peeled and seeded oranges, 1 cup of chopped scallions, and 2 Tbsp sugar. Whir it up in a blender or food processor until it's a smoothish consistency with little bits of fruit still left in it. I made this yesterday.
  • Waldorf salad: Phil's mom is bringing this. She makes a mean Waldorf salad that I think might have derived from a recipe in her high school Home Ec class; you don't mess with the classics.
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts: I just have to cut them from the stalk, pour onto a big baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Then bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes, sprinkle with more salt, and serve.
  • Roasted potatoes: Same as the Brussels srouts except I'll add some minced garlic and bake for about an hour. So those will bake together.
  • Homemade bread: Phil's dad is a fantastic baker and is bringing some great bread. He even made a couple little loaves for the table to go with the "little chickens" (as M calls them) we're having for supper.
  • Crustless pumpkin pie: I made this yesterday. It's low-fat, smells great, and the recipe's here. Can't wait. Phil's mom is bringing some whipped cream to go with.
  • Apple crisp: Like the roasted vegetables, this is a Barefoot Contessa recipe. I made the sugar mix to sprinkle on the cut-up apples yesterday and put it in a little bag. I also made up the topping and put it in another bag. So today I'll just cut the apples, add a little lemon juice, mix it with the flavored sugar, pour it in the casserole, top with the second pre-made mix, and pop it in the oven.

I'm seeing some cranberry wine and good socializing in my future...

I'll post tomorrow about how it all went. If you get a chance, post about your Thanksgiving.

I hope you have a great day!


Blogger cybercasey said...

Holidays always mean a good time with friends and family...and who can forget all the food and fun that surrounds it all...and we've just started it off Thanksgiving and more fun awaits us...hope you had a great Thanksgiving and hope you'll more fun during the holiday season....and hey also drop by my Holiday Blog sometime and share some of the funa and joy of this wonderful season....have a great time this holiday season!!!!

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Laura Kitchel said...

The usual crowd at my in-laws was significantly thinner than usual. Only 29 people were there (seriously, this is unprecedented. It's not unusual to have double that number on Thanksgiving at their house), and since it was such an unseasonably warm sunny day, most of the under- 21 crowd spent much of their time outside. So, for the rest of us, it was a very low-key managable day!

5:08 AM  
Blogger amyzeats said...

After 4 Thanksgivings in my home with me at the helm, I think I've finally got it down. This was the most stressless Thanksgiving on record -- even with a near grease fire just before my guest arrived (well, something had to go wrong -- was making these bacon wrapped dates as an app which I stupidly made on a rimless cookie sheet, can imagine the rest). Caught it just in time, didn't ruin the turkey, and all was well. Everything, including me, made it to the table at the same time, everyone was in a good mood -- couldn't have asked for a nice holiday. The key to the food working out well was 1) prepping pretty much everything the day before so there was minimal chopping, et al, to do day-of and 2) not making too many sides, which I always do and which always trips me up. It was a rainy, cruddy day in NYC, but nobody seemed to care. :)

8:01 AM  
Anonymous pk said...

That's a very creepy picture leading off the post. Nice find.

(The Strawberry Shortcake here on the comments page is kinda weird, too!!! I can't wait for more holiday fun!@!!)

9:13 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Hmmmm, a Wiley cookbook. Who would have thunk?

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Blogger SAMY HASSAN said...

Impressive article dude

4:38 AM  

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