Monday, November 21, 2005

Very little knitting, much cooking

My hands have been very tingly and stiff lately (weather change, I think - I have a bit of arthritis), so there hasn't been a lot of knitting going on here. I started on a scarf that will end up as a gift for my SIL, but haven't gotten half as much done as I'd like.

What I have been doing is a lot of preparation for Thanksgiving. This is one of my favorite holidays, both for the abundance of delicious food and because I get to cook my little heart out and go a little crazy. I was also born on a Thanksgiving day, so every seven or so years (it depends due to leap years) my birthday falls on turkey day as well. This gives me just enough holiday+birthday to make it special and a chance to cook like a mad fiend on my birthday and make exactly what I want. Nope, no control issues here at all, I tell ya!

I've made Thanksgiving dinner regularly over the years and tend to play around, adding new dishes and changing things to make it a bit different each year. This year we happen to have very few guests - just two other adults besides me and Dan and little girl to add to the children's camp. My mother in law is coming over later, but she works at an assisted living center and can't take the day off if she wants to get Christmas. So four adults, three small children.

With such a small group, I'm taking it easy on dishes this year and sticking to basics. The menu will be:

Crudites with a cilantro-walnut dip
Lemoncello (looks like it should be ready by then) and Prosecco with these

Arugula, caramelized apples, pecans, and feta with a honey and Dijon dressing
Roast turkey breast
Dark meat braised in port and red wine
Wine reduction sauce
Herbed dressing
Mashed potatoes
Cranberry Jezebel sauce
Buttered green beans with nutmeg
Grandma's rolls (these are rich, a little sweet, and out of this world)
Pinot Noir and Gewurstraminer to go with above

Dobos Torte for dessert

I just finished up the first batch of rolls and the Jezebel sauce and am starting on the turkey prep. The bread for the stuffing has been dried and cubed. I'll boil potatoes and whip them with half and half later today, then set them aside to finish with butter on Thursday. Not a bad start!