Monday, November 23, 2009

A Prelude to Thanksgiving

Last Thanksgiving, I attempted to tackle a complexity of cuisine never before seen from my kitchen, with the level of difficulty about 7. The play book was straight out of Sunset Magazine, and I made a game plan to launch me to culinary victory. This is the story...

My assignment for our fabulous feast was: stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce and the rolls. Suzi tackled the bird, sautéed mushrooms, green beans,and hoerderves, and Mother-in-law Darlene made the desserts and gravy.

Yes, it was a real team effort here.

My Dish No. 1: Overnight Soft Herb Rolls. First, I must say Thank You to Sunset magazine. Because of your inspirational photography, I decided to go extra fancy with home made bread rolls that require about 15 minutes of kneading.

However, editors of Sunset please note: The directions should say: "Knead dough until carpel tunnel syndrome flairs and your wrists are searing." Since I made two batches of 12 rolls, I now know why the European baking goddesses have shoulders like linebackers and baseball mitts for hands.

My Dish No. 2: Meyer Lemon Cranberry Sauce. Directions say use one 12 oz bag of cranberries and add two Meyer lemons. I was in trouble at the onset since the store only had plain lemons. Am I allowed to make such substitution? What happens if you don't have Meyers? Well I have lived to tell the tale: nothing happens. I made the sauce with regular old lemons and amazingly the sky did not fall from the heavens.

My Dish No. 3: Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Stuffing. This extra special stuffing was chosen due to the King men (our husbands and FIL) love of artichokes and the wives love for mushrooms.

I figured everyone gets something they like out of it even though my father-in-law, Greg, says, "Eatin' mushrooms is like chewin' on a rubber tire." But we were not competing in NASCAR now were we. What could possibly go wrong here?

First instructions were to "brown the vegetables in a 12 inch pan." This would have been nice if all the produce would have fit in a 12 inch frying pan.

Dear Sunset, please edit recipe to say,"brown vegetables in horse trough sized container." Then about the so called "browning." All the cooking vegetables made a lovely brown broth at the bottom of the pan. So now I was making soup. I figured I had to remove the broth...a task for which I was not prepared. How to get the broth out without dumping the vat of veggies was illusive. Spooning it out was not working so well. Then the power play kicked in and I found my kids hot pink colored easy dose dropper. You know those sucky bulb things you use to medicate your kids with Tylenol and Ibuprofen. So there I was suctioning one teaspoon of vegetable broth at a time with a fuchsia colored baby baster. Lovely. I must have made Martha proud at that point.

While the mire poix was cooking, my husband Mike came in to investigate. Then the hysterics broke out.

The bellow exploded, "You're cooking onions....." According to my husband onions are toxic vegetables who's only purpose is to inflict agonizing blindness on people like him.

Note to self No. 1: Cook onions to get Mike out of house.

With my brief window of opportunity I showed Mike the large quantities of ingredients and explained my cooking pot and bowl size problems. He surmised, "You could have just halved the recipe."

How can I argue with logic... But that being said another note to Sunset Magazine is: The recipe should be revised saying, "use small satellite dish to mix vegetables, bread cubes, artichokes and cheese."

Lastly, the stuffing recipe from Satin calls for a final ingredient. Mix in one one solitary scrambled egg. At this point I thinking... huh?? WTF!! Then a whinny brought me back from the abyss.

I had forgotten to feed my horses their lunch.
Big oops. Then worse, I remembered they still had their blankets on. Oh crap. The poor horses were out in the barn sweating under their blankets since it had warmed up to 65 degrees (too hot for horses and blankets). Sorry horses, I am coming.

Things get a little fuzzy about here. The arrival of the relief pitcher containing beerritas occurred somewhere after this. Suzi to the half time rescue. Coincidentally, that brought us up to naps for the kids. Except, as I was half snookered as well I had to lay down for a few minutes too.

Note to self No. 2: Drinking on an empty stomach is stupid and for amateurs.

After my recovery period in time out, I was blessed by my baby Ella reentering the game but looking a bit injured. She came walking out from her room holding her butt. "What is it?" I asked.

"Owie, owie, pocket, owie pocket owie..." she babbled. I reached down to check her back pocket and extracted a two inch long yellow brontosaurus from her butt. OK who did this to her? And she slept on it too. Poor baby.

Not dwelling too long on a dinosaur in the butt, I moved onto My Dish No. 4. Instant mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon (Not so glamorous or difficult right??). Picture a lady cooking bacon with white bed sheet wrapped around her midriff to protect her good crappy cords. This is me.

At this point, necessity being the mother of invention, Suzi and I conspired to get each other designer aprons in the hour before dinner was ready. After all, we should be looking matronly hot when cooking slaving for the family.

Therefore, Suzi and I made a pact to buy each other aprons for Christmas and so it began. The adventure into aprons was started by the mess and grime of Thanksgiving...

That's really how this entire apron blog was born. And now you know the rest of the story...

5 Goddesses Have Spoken:

Donna VW said...

I love your story - I got a visual of the sheet wrapped around... too funny!

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Cute story, poor horsies or horfees as my neice says. The stuffing sounds great.
Oh and love the cute blue fabric for the kid apron. Did you use a pattern or make your own?

Suzi said...

Conversations with the husband are always a crack up! Now on to this year. I will try my culinary skills with the buttermilk mashed potatoes and stuffed mushrooms. Anyone have any awesome recipes out there for the stuffed mushrooms?

Pricilla said...

Erm, does the word KitchenAid mean anything to you?
I don't knead, the machine kneads!

Miss Dot said...

ROTFL this post was terrific -- made my day. I love your suggestions for different size containers. I'll have to make sure I scrub up the ol' satellite dish by Thursday!