Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Day Before Thanksgiving

I woke up to the ridiculous attempt at a snowfall. I had to wait an hour til it was light enough to take pictures. This will melt befor long, so I am not counting it as the real thing. However, that does not distract from the fact that I am not at all prepared for winter. I mean emotionally. I have plenty of warm knits to wear, should I find the need to go outdoors. And two days ago I started a walking regime that I plan to continue, especially after having been in California and eating three squares a day. Oink.


The deck looks like a sad vacation paradise, doesn't it?

I just poked the camera out the front door for this. I am in a short nightgown and the wind blew right up my skirt. eeouuww.

The holiday is almost here and I cooked the turkey yesterday, and not a minute too soon. My upstairs oven computer broke before I left for CA and Dave had it repaired.
It lasted one day. It is not working again. Nevertheless I am thankful that it did work yesterday and our bird and stuffing was yummy. This is not our feast. (more on that later).

We are not invited anywhere for the big day and that is OK with us. Since we have the luxury of not working, we are MEGA-THANKFUL. This is Dave's first major holiday without stress in 31 years.
Imagine that. Thirty One Frickin' Years of helping out those folks who are having 20 guests and have never cooked a turkey, ham, leg of lamb, goose, roast beef, whole fish, crown roast of pork etc. etc. etc. Mostly they wanted to know all from step one on through 754 and wanted to argue with Dave about every aspect of it.
In truth, he has never cooked any of the above either, coming to me fresh from the gulag of his mother's pitiful cooking, and into the bright clear light of one who can actually read a cook book. Nevertheless, grocery store customers trust a man in a white coat and blood stain spattered apron. In our early years I gave him a Good Housekeeping Cookbook which he used as Holy Text to support his advice. Those days are over.

I cooked the bird yesterday to avoid a bigger puddle of turkey juice to clean up. I had the bird defrosting in the garage and apparently that worked really really well. I was far from starting any artwork and having exhausted myself at TJMaxx ( both local stores) I had no more entertaining ideas of what to do than to cook the bird, and finish my laundry.

Starting at 2pm, I chopped apples and onions, and sauteed the hot pork sausage, melted the butter with the can of chicken broth, grabbed a handful of big plump raisins, cracked two eggs and poured the package of cornbread stuffing mix into a big bowl. Stirred that up, washed the bird, stuffed said bird and bagged it and left the scene. Three hours later it was done.

Dave had gone for an all day spin, and I had turkey-nibbled myself into a second glass of wine by the time he arrived. I scooped out a big glob of stuffing and fed him some thigh meat and then we broke up the carcass and had it bagged and in the refrigerator by 6:30.

Now here's my plan. We are lucky to live in a place with mucho Mexicanos. I will venture out today and get the corn husks, masa and dried ancho chilis. I will boil the carcass to make broth, amending it with chicken broth, and simmer the dried chilis to make a paste. I will remove the meat from the turkey and chop it up in the Cuisinart, flavor it with the chili paste, soak the ojas (corn husks) and soften the masa with broth and we will form our assembly line and MAKE TAMALES!!

I will not announce this to my friends and brother and yet by some holiday miracle, a line of tamale eaters will begin to form outside our door. You just wait.

15 comments:

  1. Well, this post marks a big event! Your blog is one year old. I remember reading about tamale making at Thanksgiving last year! Has it really been that long? I am so thankful -- in the holiday spirit -- for the humor, insight, creativity and instruction I've found in your blog. I say, much more knitting, food, quilts and clever musings in the next year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We arrived save in Boston, only an hour late and rendevoued with all the relatives. We sat up drinking till midnight, the boys went out on the town. No snow here but cold. I am ready to assemble tamales. See you later.
    Love
    F

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yum..warm tamales on a cold day! Have a relaxing Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, I am jealous about the snow! (And the tamales, too, actually.) I am doing my usual November thing: dressing as if it is actually November weather instead of the 70+ degrees it is. (I'm wearing sweatshirt and jeans while the people around me are wearing thin t-shirts and light capri pants...what do they think this is, June?!) Caroline came down in a sleeveless dress for school today and she reminded me, after I protested that she'd be cold, that she was hot in the long-sleeved dress she wore yesterday. I'm in denial. Have a great thanksgiving and enjoy the tamales! Sounds like a fabulous plan!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was hoping for turkey pictures. I want tamale assembly photos if I am going to do them myself. G gives all the employees gift certificates for turkeys from Jewel (tell Dave I am name dropping) so I am hoping that he remembers to give ME one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Will trade tamales for yarn. xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ooohh, I wish Germany were closer to Illinois--I want tamales too! We've been known to make tamales for Xmas at our house. It's traditional Mexican Xmas fare and who are we to argue?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Shawna4:02 PM

    Winter is only coming now!?! How lucky can you be! It has been winter here for more than a month and we had snow in september. We made wonderful snowpeople in september before the snow melted away and then the next snowfall was quite dry.

    So how long does the snow last in your area of the world? We have it until the April and sometimes longer.
    Shawna in Yellowknife

    ReplyDelete
  9. We also had this smattering of snow yesterday. It looked lovely and it actually stayed on the ground since it never warmed up. I love snow. It purifies everything.

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