Thursday, December 3, 2009
It was a simple table. I love the table cloth. It is my sister Denise's. Embroidered cotton. I still have it on the table. So pretty to look at. Denise made the muffins. Fan tail muffins. So much butter goes in to making these, that you don't need to butter them to eat them. They were spectacular. Behind that, is the beautiful bundt cake that my niece Caroline made. Huge pieces of dates and nuts and Bourbon. Dense and delicious. Paired with it, she brought a salt caramel ice cream which she also made herself. I have wanted to make my own ice cream for years. Now I am determined to save my pennies and get an ice cream maker and do this. She even made the ice cream with some lactaid cream seeing I am lactose intolerant. However, as the story goes, I will gladly suffer the pain if the ice cream is good enough to be worthy of the pain.
As you can see, my kitchen is small. really a one-person kitchen and I had it all under control. Neither Denise nor Caroline have a Television, so they plunked themselves down on the sofa and entertained themselves with remote controls while I cooked, set the table and made sure they were comfortable.
I did serve an appetizer of soup. Two of them served in four little bowls. One was a roasted squash soup with a lovely roast flavor smoothed out with cream and a few herbs. The other was a creamed turnip and parsnip soup which was mild and smoothed with cream and broth.
I cooked the 14 lb turkey in a bag. I made an herbed butter the previous weekend and smeared this under the skin. Denise thought a corn bread stuffing might be nice. I had never had that before. So I added my dried cranberries and raisins and caramelized onions to that with a bit of broth. Not bad really. Leftovers are great.
I found a recipe for basil and parmesan creamed mashed potatoes. Wow. Denise brought the basil having an abundance of it growing on her boat. Delicioso. Different from the plain mashed potatoes I have grown up with forever.
Vegetables were root. Carrots, parsnips, turnip, shallot, sweet potato, maple syrup, brown sugar, olive oil, garam masala. Cooked in my dutch oven, in the oven.
And the gravy. Made entirely from the juices that collected in the bag from the turkey. I know that some people think cooking in the bag is not good or not "cool". But the moistness and the taste. It is all there completely contained. The meat just falls off the bones. I went to cut it and I couldn't help myself. I just had to tear off a piece to taste since it was just hanging there begging to be eaten.
And let's not forget the cranberry sauce straight from the can with those wonderful ridges.
What a soup that carcass will make when I finally cook it up. Yum yum yum.
It was a wonderful day. I worked in the kitchen keeping all the pots and dishes clean as I went along. Listening to the girls talk. It reminded me of the days with my husband George. He would entertain the guests while I cooked. I always loved being in the kitchen. It is very satisfying knowing that your home makes people happy and you don't even have to be in the room. Denise and Caroline were comfortable. The house was peaceful. It was the perfect day. The family to be with.