Saturday, November 21, 2009

That Time of the Year

Everyone who's commented, you all rock. I've recovered from my visit to The Mouse, and would have said, posted, and responded more but work has been INSANE this past week!

My NaNovel is about 10,000 words behind. Can I crank that out in one weekend? Sure. It'll be crap, but it's not as if the quality of writing on it otherwise is, say, good. So we'll see. I'm still determined to finish this year.

One thing that might get in my way of churning out scary (and bad!) wordcount though is the time of year we're entering. Unless you live under a rock or outside of the US you're aware that Thanksgiving is coming up this next week, which means my kitchen is going to be working overtime. My parents decided to fly the coop this year and are on their way to board a Caribbean cruise with my mom's brother and sister-in-law, so it's falling upon the local kids to generate our own Thanksgiving dinner.

Now this isn't a hugely big deal. We've done it before. And even when my parents host Turkey Fest, we bring the lion's share of sides, desserts, and appetizers. My brother and sister-in-law are hosting because The Nephew just turned three and is easier to supervise in his own home.

As far as the turkey goes, both my SIL and I can manage to roast a bird and not burn it into a crisp or anything, but rather than either of us taking that on I believe we've opted to purchase a deep fried turkey from some friends of theirs who've used this economic downturn to hone their barbequeing (and now turkey frying) skills to a fine art. It should be awesome -- I haven't had a deep fried turkey for over fifteen years.

What? It's Thanksgiving. I'm not obligated to eat the whole bird. :P

Tradition dictates that we have my maternal great-grandmother's congealed cranberry salad along with the bird. I'm torn on this. On the one hand, I do like the cranberry salad. But on the other hand, I want to try my hand at a standard cranberry sauce if for no other reason than to say "There, I did it!" So I think I'm going to go that route.

The ghosts of my great-grandmother and grandmother are going to get me for that. My mother might too, now that I think of it, especially since she wrote out the entire recipe for me to make and produce by Thursday.

Outside of my heretical cranberry sauce -- which no one will really eat because, really, who does? -- I'll be bringing the refrigerator mashed potatoes, which are deeply awesome although not deeply fried (note that with the fat content they might as well be). Additionally I'm bringing pumpkin pie, buttermilk pie, crackers, and cheese, as well as a couple of assorted beverages. My SIL has volunteered to handle the rest, God bless her, her logic being that she's a stay-at-home mother.

I know she's busy as all get-out regardless of what her job description is, but I'll take it.

This is also the time of year when I start getting the urge to make sour cream glazed walnuts. Choreboy also gets the urge to eat them at this time of year, which might explain the four pound bag of walnuts he brought home from Sam's the other day. We're going to take a tin of them with us to my brother's. They're ridiculously easy to make.

Glazed Walnuts
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb. walnuts

Mix 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 2 tsp vanilla in a sauce pan on top of the stove. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring as much as necessary to avoid scalding. Remove from heat and quickly mix in walnuts to coat thoroughly, then spread on wax or parchment paper to dry.

Serves 1 Choreboy (or an infinite number of regular humans)

So I'm making up my grocery list, checking it about 80 times, and trying to also figure out what I'm cooking today and tomorrow for meals, so we have adequate leftovers to help me avoid cooking other than Thanksgiving stuff until Thursday.

I think I'll also make the walnuts today. [edited to add: make that tomorrow -- today's already getting away from me!]

I'm aware the recipes and what we've got scheduled for Turkey Fest 2009 aren't exactly on the healthy spectrum of foods at all, much less calorie-conscious. Honestly, I don't worry about food composition for these special events. I do, however, focus on portion control. It seems to serve me well. I may well jump way over my calories for the day, but what works for me is that it's once a year. And as long as I'm at least watching the size of what I put in my mouth, I'll keep the damage down.

Okay, off to brave the masses at the store once I figure out dinner tonight and tomorrow (potato casserole? chili? GACK!!!) Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!


Angel said...

And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours :)

I have never had to host Thanksgiving. Our oven is literally too small for a turkey. A turkey breast, yes, but not a turkey. I kid you not.

And I for one love cranberries, however you make them. I will eat them from a can, but my favorite involves frozen whole cranberries, sugar, oranges. Take out the seeds of oranges, throw into food processer, grind the hell out of them. MMMMM.

We will be spending the actual turkey day at my parents, then back here, since JudoMan's birthday (and his twin)are the next day.

This will be the first year that JudoQueen cooks or bakes something for either house, she's already committed to making something for her dad's bday. God loves me--he gave me a teen daughter who LOVES to cook.

Keep on with NaNo, you can do it!!

Choreboy said...

She's getting me back for stuffing her silly when she was sick. Was it really necessary to make 3lbs of glazed walnuts, Amanda dear? You know I have to eat them. They're second only to Reese's Cups.

Amanda said...

Yay for JQ!!! As for NaNo, still cranking it out, LOL.

And Choreboy, yep. Getting you back. Serves you right :PPPPPPPPP

Hee :)

Suzanne Chappell said...

I enjoyed reading this! Do you really not like cranberries, or is it just the congealed kind? I for one love it sliced from the can! Mmm! My family and I are headed up to southeastern Georgia, for our 2nd annual (hopefully traditional) Thanksgiving camping trip. Last year, my SIL and her hubby came along, so we made the deep fried turkey. This year, it's just the four of us, so I've opted for practicality, and we're making fried chicken, with mashed potatoes, green beans (special recipe) corn and rolls. For dessert.. of course, since we're camping... roasted marshmallows and hot cocoa!

Happy Thanks Living!


Amanda said...

Heya Suzanne! Wow, it's been... hold on, I don't think I want to count that high, LOL.

Actually I lovee cranberries, but no one else at this particular gathering appears to have any sort of liking for them, so I'm thinking about making two different types of sauce with the bags of fresh cranberries I've got stashed in my fridge. I'll either do that tonight or tomorrow. Or maybe I'll wait until Thursday morning, even. Not sure.

Have a great holiday, and it's great to see you out here in the blogworld!

Medblog Addict said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I love reading about what people are going to eat on Thanksgiving day.

You don't have to worry about calories. Someone once told me that if you break a cookie in half before you eat it, all of the calories will fall out on the floor. So do what I do -- break everything in half before you eat it ;)