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Entries in Thanksgiving (4)

Sunday
Nov252012

Thanksgiving 2012.

So, how was it?  Ours was really lovely.  A plentiful table with lots of plates to fill—a cook’s dream, right?  I think so.  Especially as this cook might have cooked a bit much.  Plus, we were lucky enough to have Charlie’s folks visiting us over the holidays.  It was a good week.

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Some new recipes turned out to be keepers (looking at you, Clementine Chess Pie).  And chocolate dipped Oreo turkeys made an appearance.

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And the next day?  Three sleepy knitters braved the Black Friday line at a crazy hour to score some deals at our local yarn store.  One knitter, who shall not be named but is notoriously NOT a morning person, was even pleasant during the wee hours (though her two former roommies were  scared to death slightly nervous to meet her at that hour).

BlackFridayCarynJennSanI don’t think there are many who would understand the lure of hand dyed wool on sale.  Unless you’re a knitter, that is.  Because if you are, well, then you understand completely.  And I daresay, if you live in the DC area, you were in that line, too!

Here is my haul.  

IMG_7200 Worth it?  Totally.

Sunday
Nov282010

Thanksgiving, 2010.

Well, well, well.  It appears I can only get ahead with my holiday prep agenda if certain things fall by the wayside.  Usually it's feeding the children.  Okay, not really really--unless you count how many Trader Joe's entrees they've had lately.  I actually don't feel that awful about it because I really adore Trader Joe's.  It's the budget Whole Foods as far as I'm concerned.

In any case, it's pretty obvious that blogging took a backseat these past couple of weeks, as did most crafting.  And like everyone else, it's just because I've been busy--my volunteer schedule was double my norm!  But I did manage to get our Christmas card ordered...before Thanksgiving.  That's incredibly early for us.  I'll post it after we've sent them off. 

We used Scrapblog again, like last year.  I really like the design freedom they offer.  None of the preset templates worked for the colors in our photos but it wasn't a problem because I was able to design our own--love that.

I also finished knitting Will's hat.  I plan to top it with a pom-pom even though Charlie asked "why on earth would you do that?"  But I think it'll be darling--especially because I went super simple on it, just stripes in colors that match his winter coat. 

I'll post more pics with details soon...the most exciting thing about this hat, for me, is that I think I've settled on a jogless join technique for stripes.  And I truly don't care if it seems silly to be excited about such a thing because I really, really am.  That said, I do freely admit that it is pretty silly to be as vexed as I can be about teensy jogs in knitting stripes--especially since I didn't even know what they were a few months ago.

I also made some turkey cake balls for Will's Thanksgiving feast at his preschool.   

They were gobbled right up.  Sorry, I just can't pass up a pun, ask anyone...

 

   

We had several left over, so we took them to our neighbor's house for Thanksgiving, where we had a delicious meal and a fantastic time.  For the record, I did bring more than just leftover cake balls, but not much! 

Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend, too. 

Sandra                

Wednesday
Nov182009

Make-ahead mashed potatoes.

I'm getting off pretty easy this year for Thanksgiving.  My folks just moved into a new house this summer and we're gathering there for Thanksgiving.  The last few years, we've hosted.  And to say I like to go overboard on the menu is an understatement--all of the magazines I get tempt me with fabulous looking recipes...and before I know it, I'm making a dozen things in varying textures and tastes, both savory and sweet.  And that's just the appetizers.

My folks will have an abundant spread, to be sure.  But it'll be nice and traditional, no frou frou.  Good, delicious, time-tested family dishes--everything from feel and memory.  In fact, my mind simply cannot form the image of my parents cooking in their kitchen while referring to a recipe in a magazine or cookbook.  You might as well ask me to picture myself eating nothing but raw celery (the one veggie I cannot stand--and it does so have a flavor). 

Along with my sister-in-law, I get to bring dessert.  I'm also allowed to bring one or two starters.  This means I'll bring five.  And they asked me to make the mashed potatoes!!  I about fell over.  But then I remembered that I recently made mashed potatoes for them (using the below recipe) and my mom and I "tasted for seasoning" a good quarter of the dish before it made it to the table.  And then I caught her licking the mixing bowl.

This recipe initially caught my eye because you can make it ahead and store in your fridge for up to 2 days--when planning a large meal, this really works for me.  But even if I'm serving it immediately, it's the only recipe I use because it is amazing.  Once you see the quantity of butter and cream, I doubt you'll doubt that.  Plus, it's from Cook's Illustrated--enough said, right? 

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoess

from Cook's Illustrated

Note:  bake the potatoes until they are completely tender; err on the side of over (rather than under) cooking.

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs russet baking potatoes (evenly sized), scrubbed and poked several times with a fork
  • 3 cups heavy cream, hot (** sometimes I use a cup of half and half but I've never replaced all of the cream)
  • 8 tbl (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • salt (I use kosher) & pepper to taste

1.  Adjust oven rack to the middle position; preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2.  Microwave potatoes on high power for 16 minutes, turning over halfway through the cooking time.  Transfer to the oven, placing directly on the hot oven rack (use tongs).  Bake until a skewer glides easily through the flesh, about 30 minutes, flipping over halfway through the baking time (do not under cook).

3.  Remove potatoes from oven and cut each potato in half lengthwise.  Using an oven mitt or folded kitchen towel to hold the hot potato, scoop out all of the flesh into a medium bowl.  Break the cooked potato flesh into small pieces.

4.  Transfer half of the potatoes to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds, gradually adding the rest of the potatoes to incorporate, until completely smooth and no lumps remain, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides and bottom as needed (you can use a hand mixer instead but lumps will remain). 

5.  Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in 2 cups of cream, followed by the butter and 2 teaspoons of salt (this is for kosher salt--start with a lot less if you are using table salt).  Gently fold in up to 1/2 cup more of the cream as needed to reach your desired consistency.  If you are serving immediately, you are done--so dive in.  If storing--continue:  Once the desired serving consistency is reached, gently fold in an additional 1/2 cup cream (the potatoes will be quite loose...don't worry).

6.  To store:  transfer potatoes to a large microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

7.  To serve:  poke lots of holes in the plastic wrap with the tip of a knife, and microwave at medium-high (75 percent) power until the potatoes are hot, about 14 minutes, stirring gently half-way through the reheating time.  Add salt and pepper to taste--always stirring gently.  Enjoy!

*check out more "works for me" ideas over at We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday
Nov172009

Turkey-hand hand towel.

One more Moore had these turkey tees on her blog and I just love them (just as I love everything she does).  We plan to do t-shirts later in the week as part of a play-date craft activity.  In the meantime, I thought I'd send some love in the form of an embellished tea towel to my wonderful mother-in-law.  We'll see them at Christmas, but we'll miss them over Thanksgiving.  Hands on a hand towel...granted, it's a bit on the nose but it makes me smile. 

Here's an easy tute:

 

  

  

 

Check out more ideas over at DIY day at A Soft Place to Land.

Cheers,