Thursday, November 24, 2016

Years Ago My Heart Was Set to Live, Oh

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner 2016
For me, when planning out important food, the menu is often tied in to current events.  I suppose how some feel about fashion. The thanksgiving meal was planned with a general sentiment in mind.  This year, due to all the intolerance and what I see as super poor behavior on both extreme sides of the political movement, I thought it might be good to go back to the classic plate.  Cut it back, take it home, to the basics.  Before all the fiddling. Get to the core of it's positive creed. But in today's light, which meant I had to incorporate what I've learned as far as healthier cooking, better ideas. See if it held up to convention.  I kept everything completely homemade.  I didn't add any hipster side or trendy vegetable.

Thinking back on it now, makes me realize just how rooted cooking goes for me.  It's sometimes my only way to work through thoughts and make sense of my present.
Herb Roast Turkey with giblet gravy, Cornbread sausage stuffing, homemade green bean casserole, mashed Yukon and sweet potatoes, Citrus kale salad, and pecan pie with whipped cream.
The salad was very bright with pomegranate, avocado and orange in a very tangy dressing.  The potatoes were not deprived of butter and whole milk, roasted garlic and some roasted sweet potatoes mashed in as well.  Cool color and silky AF as the kids say.
Butter and herbs were slipped under the skin and cavity of this sweet bird.  Something very therapeutic about rubbing down your meal on Thanksgiving morning.  A little quality time with your sacrifice.  I eat meat with enough guilt but not enough to stop yet for any length of time.  But the T'day bird is special and meaningful.  It does represent an offering of thanks for me.  When you start remembering what you are truly thankful for, you can get a little misty.  And it ain't always the Hallmark card variety.  Whatever your belief leanings, I love the idea of a holiday that promotes gratitude.
I even fried my own battered onions for the Green Bean bake and made my mushroom sauce, hand selected the freshest green beans and mushrooms from the good market.

As a side note, Aretha tore the shit out of that national anthem I don't want to hear Nothing else about that!   Had me standing at attention bawling with deep respect and humbleness.  A national treasure. Too lengthy my ass....Sit yo ass down!!! as the kids also say at work.
P doesn't like sweets, or mushy things, so no pumpkin pie.  But the cornbread was baked with pumpkin in it so no Holiday flavor was left behind.  Quite proud of that actually, really great with red apples and sausage.

I'm not so much a baker but I managed to make my own crust and the pie came out really caramelly and I whipped the cream up fresh...highly addictive.   
The turkey was moist, the giblet gravy was finally what I taste in my mind, made from the stock of the neck and perfectly thickened with the drippings from the turkey pan.  The cranberry relish benefited from oranges and apples as well as real unsweetened cranberry juice with just enough sugar added to taste.  All in all, a successful plate incorporating my strategy to surviving these next four years. Keep it honest, basic, and be committed AF to living.

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