So Thanksgiving was good! It’s my favorite holiday, I think, and I really miss having it with my parents. They do it pretty simple, so you miss out on some of the food, but really, they do it so the leftovers make sense and it’s a nice happy non-glutinous day. Sometimes a turnkey is made, stuffing is made, my mom breaks out her awesome old sausage-grinder thing and makes cranberry sauce, and we take turnkey and stuffing sandwiches on a short hike somewhere. I am a creature of habit, and so I have my favorite place that I always want to go, but we’ve done some others that have been nice.
Thanksgiving at John’s house is roughly opposite. Massive amounts of food, everyone sort of assembles like grouchy bears and at some point start eating. This part I really hate. There’s no real designated start time. I don’t mean like 4pm or anything. I mean that everyone kind of sits around and stares at the food and maybe a couple dishes are being worked on and then at some point people are hungry or something, and so just sort of start assembling plates. There is no thanksgiving and there is no… I don’t know. And maybe there is, it’s just deeply buried and so I, as an outsider to the family, can’t see it.
In any case, I escaped that this year. Possibly by being rude, but oh well. Instead I asked around and found an orphans dinner with happy people. I made a pear and cranberry crosata (tart-like thing) that came out well, though it had a couple mishaps along the way. Like, I remade it entirely. The first one went pretty well. I made a few of the pieces separately and ahead of time, patting myself on my back for forethought. And then wednesday evening rolled out the dough, spread on the almond paste, arranged the ginger-baked pears, sprinkled cranberries, made it all pretty. And then thought “How am I going to get this off of the counter and onto a baking sheet.” Whoops. John tried to save it, but it looked terrible, and I wanted to bring something pretty. So I spent thursday remaking it, and it came out much better. Except for the part where the cookbook told me to bake the finished thing for an hour and 20 minutes. Giant typo there. This cookbook has mislead me a couple times on baking times, which is really unfortunate because I love it otherwise. I think it meant to say 20 minutes, because at about 35-40 when I finally rescued it, the bottom was burned. Oh well. People still really liked it, though we were all too full from dinner to much appreciate desert.
Dinner! Dinner was awesome. I only knew one person when I showed up, but everyone was nice and funny and we had a great time. Three people had guitars so there was lots of music and good conversation. The turkey took longer than expected, but that was all right because we were having a good time hanging out and there was amazing cheese to snack on. Dinner was the turkey, gravy, homemade bread, two different stuffings, garlic mashed potatoes, squash soup, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and my absolute favorite thing there- squash and kale lasagna. John didn’t like the bit I brought home, which is too bad for him since I got the recipe and am totally making it all the time. It was amazing. The recipe is butternut squash and spinach, but they made it with kale and mesclun and I think sweet potatoes. This might be what I needed to get me back to cooking my own lunches.
All in all, lovely evening. I asked John about his, and he said it was really good, but then his description was that everyone brought food, stared at it, ate, watched tv for a while. My night included toasts to Bill Nye the Science Guy. I think I made the right choice.