Let's eat!

Hi. My name's Carol, and I love food. No, you don't understand. I love food. If I were on the Titanic, I'd be in the galley (kitchen) eating up the chocolate pudding and the roasted quail. I go to most events, activities and parties just for the food. The company and the conversation are secondary. Here, I'll try to document everything that goes into my mouth. Aren't we excited? Oh, hey, are you gonna eat that?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiv-- er, Christmas!

I'll tell you a secret about me. I hate saying Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or heck, even good night. I feel so stupid and cliche.

This Christmas, I really felt like pulling the covers over my head and sleeping it out until the new year. All of us have colds that last longer than seven days, two of us were drugged up on Nyquil when we were dragged out of bed way too early just to follow the mindless, materialistic ritual of all American consumers: opening the presents in a frenetic flurry. Then, onto making way too much fancy food that we'll have to throw out a year from now.

I really, really wasn't in the mood.

After cussin' the world out for five minutes, I finally went about the business of helping my husband cook up the Thanksgiving feast we'd missed making on Thanksgiving (we were invited to a friend's). All the cussin' in the world won't change the fact that we had a 14-pound thawed bird waitin'. Nobody cares that we were sick and tired and fed up. Bad timing and what-not, we were stuck.

Once I focused on chopping celery, onion for the bread stuffing my dad used to make when he was alive and my husband/mom clamor for, my outlook improved. How could it not? The smell of onion and celery sauteeing in butter and olive oil would put a smile on anyone's face. They should use this scene to cheer up inmates in solitary confinement and mental institutions.

What did we have? My husband made his creamed spinach--a family recipe, mashed potatoes (rinse potatoes before boiling), cranberry compote with Mandarin oranges, gravy and turkey--using the foil technique this year, whereas I finished up with my dad's bread stuffing, at my husband's and mom's request, and green bean casserole.

My dad's bread stuffing is the easiest in the world to make. The trick is to season the heck out of it. When in doubt, season even more.

It helps if you have a small saucepan of water and giblets/turkey neck simmering in the background all this time. Use the stock to help flavor the stuffing, which is basically chopped celery and onions in butter/olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, sage, a bag of bread cubes (we like Franz in the NW), more stock (from a can is okay), adjust seasoning to taste. That's it. To crisp up the top, leave in oven warming.

Personally, I'd rather have the recipe with apples and cranberries in it. To lighten an already heavy feast.

I ate an overstuffed plate full of good tidings. Now, I'm done until New Year's Day, when we decided to do a Christmas dinner of prime rib, cucumber salad and roast potatoes.

Happy New Year!

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