Six observations about My Thanksgiving 2011:
1. Turkey – you have to know your audience and cook accordingly. Since none of the guests this year were particularly keen on dark meat, wings, or “drumsticks” – I just made a turkey breast in a bag and it came out great – juicy and savory. (For more on cooking bags, click here.)
2. Don’t mess with Grandma’s recipe. My grandmother’s recipe for stuffing calls for margarine so I only buy margarine when making her stuffing. I’ve tried it with butter, but it came out “wrong”. [There is nothing wrong with margarine per se, but I never keep it on hand. I was born a butter girl.] ONE time I tried to fancy up the whole dish and completely RUINED it-it tasted weird and no one recognized it! So, take it from me, if your grandmother bothered to write the recipe down, don’t mess with it- just follow it to the letter.
3. Never underestimate the power of the signature cocktail. The cranberry infused vodka was a huge hit so we stuck with this drink all day and through the course of the meal. I had a white wine at the ready to serve but we all voted to stick with the cocktails instead.
4. Keep it simple (and less caloric). I know that Thanksgiving is peak season for Green Bean Casserole but it is another thing to worry about popping into the oven (my oven is small and in desperate need of calibration). So I frenched the beans and steamed them on the stovetop (but you could probably do this in the microwave if you prefer). Then I tossed the hot beans with a small splash of good olive oil and a little sprinkle of garlic powder.
5. Go for the unscented candles. There were no kiddies at the table this year, so I was able to scatter the table with a few clear votive candle holders filled with an unscented tea light nestled in a bit of pea gravel. It was a last minute idea and it was so nice to have a little candle glow with the meal.
6. Life is short – use the good china. Whatever “the good china” means … whether it is a special holiday pattern, the wedding china, an inherited collection, or just the un-chipped dinnerware… get in on the table and celebrate!
Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing this blog.
I appreciate every one of you and hope you had a grand Thanksgiving.
Whether or not you happen to celebrate this holiday, my wish is that you all have a fantastic remainder of 2011 and an amazing year 2012 ahead!
Peace, Love, and Joy,