Monday, October 09, 2006

Giving thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you are all enjoying the weekend with family and friends. It's been really lovely here with fall leaves turning and the smell off good food always in the air. I am thoroughly stuffed from having turkey two nights in a row.

Holidays are always a busy time for us with the juggling and sharing of our time with our family. Now that we are closer to family, it is nice to be able to spend the time as an extended family. Some family is closer in distance though so this thanksgiving was spent in Oakville and Orono. No Ottawa. I find it hard to plan and travel longer distances even with a long weekend. When I do too much, it is spreading myself too thin and it all becomes less enjoyable. I think we maybe have to pick up a holiday - perhaps American Thanksgiving and spend that in Ottawa. We'll see. For tonight, we are spending it just the 3 of us. We have leftovers from our turkey fry on Saturday and another 1/2 turkey that is cooking in the oven. It'll still going to be a feast.

This thanksgiving was one which I went all out and really cooked. I've realized that I do like planning, entertaining and cooking. It makes me happy and even a bit joyful. It's also a bit of an high and coming down from it is well...coming down from it. I spent a good week picking out the menu thinking about what was in season, what was vegetarian, what took a long time to cook and how much I could squeeze into the oven. It was fortunate that we were doing a turkey fry as it freed up the oven.

Details on the turkey fry. If you are thinking of doing it - it is fun - but a bit scary. Things to remember and they will only make sense if you are doing one.

  • Try and share the cost of oil or offer that other guests bring their own turkey, fish, chicken, potatoes to fy in the oil. We ended up spending over $10 just in oil.
  • Follow the instructions. Oil expands - do no try to do a water /turkey displacement test to figure out how much oil you need. Just follow the instructions.
  • Use a small bird. Bigger birds are 1) bigger, 2) heavier, 3) fattier and 4) scarier.
  • The oil will funnel through the cavity like a fountain. Watch out. very scary.
  • Once the bird is is safely put the lid on. See above point.

Things that I have learned this thanksgiving dinner.

  1. Definiteley make your own cranberry sauce. So easy and fun and tasty too.
  2. Brussel sprouts with lady apples ( or a tart apple) and thyme is pretty good.
  3. If you have to do quinoa. Doing it with red rice and jasmine white to make a 3 grain pilaf is delicious. BTW quinoa is pronounce key-know and it is the only ( I think) complete protein grain. You don't need a complement for it to be complete like other grains do.
  4. If you have the time and patience to make your own pastry then do it. It is way nicer.

* All recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart.

OK - I'm signing off. Thanks everyone.

If you don't see pics - they'll be up soon. I keep uploading them with no results!

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