I believe I’ve mentioned that I worked like a slave from August-most of December and the only time in that period I had 2 consecutive days off was for Thanksgiving, which was nice because I had not seen my family ALL YEAR.
I went to the sister’s farm, as is my way for big holidays. I wanted to relax, sleep, eat awesome food, and be cuddled profusely by dogs. I got all those things and a chocolate pie as a bonus so it was a real treat.
Then I slapped on the cobalt Williams-Sonoma apron I got my brother-in-law last Christmas (I don’t have a W-S apron, so I must love them too much because she got the Christmas red and green one last year, too). So that I could help in the kitchen.
Then I got to whip up some herbed butter with my sister’s pro-series Kitchenaid Mixer. Also lustworthy, I keep Craigslisting and I have not found a pro-series in a color I’m OK with in my price range.
Then on to the Brussel Sprouts. I know what you’re thinking, but if you roast them, they are DELICIOUS because it brings out a sweetness you don’t think would be there. We also roasted up pecans with them. I’ve also added a touch of cranberry jelly (homemade not that solid can business) to give it another sweet flavor to go with the roasted nuts and sprouts.
Spoiler Alert: I got the knife I am using in this pic for Christmas because they culinarily spoil me rotten.
Then, the creamed onions… I finally got to learn how to make an authentic Bechamel sauce from scratch. We used flour, butter, a touch of cream, some milk, and a little cheese. You can cook the butter and flour longer to create brown gravy or add more cheese and cream to make an Alfredo. Point is, a technique worth learning, so do it.
The turkey had been brined for 2 days in a mix of stock and herbs pulled fresh from out back. Brining keeps it nice and moist which can be a major problem when cooking most non-greasy (white-meat) fowl while also adding flavor.
Because a family holiday for this part of the family would not be complete without TWO meats and the vegetarian part of the family was safely 4 hours away, we also pulled out some aged prime rib. Why? ‘Merica, that’s why… OK, seriously it’s because there were 3 teenage boys in the house that consume their weight in meat every 4 hours.
The spread: Mashed potatoes, creamed pearl onions, roasted brussel sprouts, green beans (which I did not help with), the most epic corn ever (this was fresh corn we cut from the cob, added bacon and hatch chile peppers to, and then a touch of cream), Hawaiian rolls, and then my Aunt brought every sweet treat ever… Tollhouse pie, chocolate pie, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie.
My aunt made this pecan pie from a recipe from the 1800’s which uses vinegar to cut down the sliminess that sometimes occurs in pecan pie, which made it a no go for me, but great for everyone else. I concentrated on the chocolate pie anyway.
After food, I kissed everyone goodbye and drove 4 hours home because I had to work at 5am the next day like a total slave. Ironically all that cooking was far more relaxing than anything else I had done in the previous few months. I guess when you’re home, you’re home.