Saturday, November 17, 2012

catching up, part one - thanksgiving edition

Well, I have a lot of catching up to do. I would like to offer the "I've been busy with work, and so many other accomplishments" excuse, but I'm afraid that's not really true. I've just been having fun. Enjoying my open schedule and the time it gives me to spend with my man. There have been quite a few kitchen adventures over the past couple of months, as well as other adventures too. October was a pretty busy month with Thanksgiving and my birthday celebrations. I also started a new class - hula hooping! I was proud of myself for joining something new, with new people, something that I struggle to do because it makes me anxious. But I swallowed my fears, and I love it! I knew the people would be nice; I didn't know how much joy I would find in learning new things, grasping new tricks that I had been struggling with, and just generally being playful. It is great exercise for my body and my mind. I find myself feeling more agile, dexterous, and this has translated into more flow in my life, at work, and in the kitchen.

However, all of this means I have had very little time at home alone. And little inclination to post here when I do (instead spending my time hooping, or cooking). But, tonight I have the night off, and I've spent the whole day doing just that - being home, alone. Catching up on some comedies, my favourite food blogs, some kitchen work. So I want to finally make the time to post about the cooking and exploring I've done in the past month or so.

Let's start off with Thanksgiving (oddly, posting this a month late makes it rather timely for American Thanksgiving this week). It was my first time making a turkey - I dry brined our 14lb turkey overnight and it turned out quite well. I somewhat followed this recipe, which was an adaptation of the Zuni Cafe roast chicken I've read so much about. I told myself I wouldn't make WAY TOO MUCH food for once, but that of course did not happen. There were mountains of mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, classic stuffing, slow-braised brussel sprouts (my favourite sprout recipe!), homemade cranberry sauce and some beautiful purple and white roasted root vegetables.

It was a great night, with great friends. What I did manage to do that I'd promised myself was to keep my stress levels down for once, by prepping for 3 days ahead of time, and thanks to my amazing sous-chef. I actually managed to get dinner out only an hour later than I'd originally said.

Naturally, we forgot/had far too much wine to think about it/ to take a picture of the spread. But, I got one the next day (my birthday) of our leftovers for "brunch."
We also started the day off with a lovely bottle of bubbles, courtesy of a very generous friend who'd come for dinner the night before.

My favourite part, as usual, was the mashed potatoes/stuffing/gravy, which I proceeded to eat every day for the rest of the week.

I know its been awhile, but its nice to remind myself how thankful I am for my friends, my family, my love, my ability and desire to spend 3 days prepping and cooking a rather expensive meal for the people I love. And how thankful I am for a "hobby" that I am so passionate about and committed to, that brings me such joy (I meant cooking, but I suppose I can add hooping to the list).

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