Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is quickly becoming my favourite holiday of the year. No gift pressure, no crammed social schedule that doesn't allow for much enjoyment, no decorations required, and a great meal - what's not to love? Plus it's only one day and everyone still gets it off work.

The only thing that kind of bums me out is that my life is not like a television show. Each year I try to invite people who don't have anywhere to go so we can be like that episode of Friends where everyone eats together. I really love being a hostess and want people to join us on this holiday especially. It would make me feel good, but people either feel like they're intruding or just don't want to come for whatever reason. Bah.

This year, I undertook the task of preparing the meal for my family and friends. There were 12 of us including my brother who drove in from Quebec for the weekend, which was really great. Mom had agreed to take care of the turkey, stuffing and gravy, since this is my first Thanksgiving in the kitchen. I made all the trimmings. Obviously, all recipes were from Barefoot Contessa - my loyalty never wavers.

- Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes: turns out buttermilk is no big deal, they tasted like regular old potatoes, but required a carton of $6.99 dairy product.

- Gruyere and Fennel Potato Gratin: Amazing! My greatest accomplishment - so much flavour, bubbling cheese ($30 worth!) and fennel isn't as offensive or licorice-y as I thought it would be.

- Roasted Carrots: snore, but somehow I managed to burn them on the outside and have them still crunchy on the inside.

- Haricots Verts with Shallots: Yes, I'm being pretentious, they're green beans.
- Mashed Turnips with Crispy Shallots: Ok, seriously, the rutabaga is like Mother Nature's joke on all of us and our knives. Have you ever tried to "cook" these suckers? I might as well have tried to peel, cut and boil a rock. No, for real. They are exactly like 5 pin bowling balls. I hate them. HATE them. But they're so delicious - do they come in cans yet?

- Parmesan Roasted Asparagus: delicious, anything with cheese seemed to turn out well.

- Ginger Cookies: You don't like ginger. You don't. You might think you do until you bite into these cookies and chew on a Canada Dry nugget. Bad.

- Pumpkin Roulade with Mascarpone: so sweet and so amazing - anything that requires a dishtowel to bake it has got to be interesting.

Pear, Apple and Cranberry Cobbler: simple and delicious, but a little "meh".

My family was gracious enough to eat the burned carrots and the turnips that really didn't taste like Grandma's and compliment me afterwards. That's why I love cooking for family - it's not something I've done before for them so I get a similar reaction as whe I took my first step.

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