Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cookie Season. Thanksgiving. Cookie Season

Whoo - everyone said it was the best Thanksgiving ever - I haven't written about it, nor posted the pix, till today - this post is only dated Saturday because I wrote the title & saved it to finish Monday. The main thing that impressed me, when I looked at the shots of the table, was the height of the pile of meat on the platter - ably carved off the bird by my vegetarian brother, and visiting friend, Chad (Chad does have a few Thanksgivingses as the head of the household under his belt, so he should be good at carving). We did totally go into traditional sex roles - the men watched football, the women cooked. But the clean up crew was completely co-ed, so we broke out of stereotype as the night went on.

Here's the menu -
Chex mix (called crack mix by my brother, for its addictiveness)
Leek confit, with goat cheese, to spread on long rise no-knead bread
some amazing cheese, that Lea brought, especially the Gouda with fenugreek
I made some little cheese & mustard crackers that were good the first day, but went soft pretty quick - served with apple butter, which seemed like a good idea, but I didn't like the sugar free variety I got at the co-op - not sweet enough. Shoulda got Smuckers
pickled carrots

two kinds of cranberry sauce, plain and this clementine and pomegranate variety that was my niece Mimi's offering - she also made customized name plates for everyone, shaped like her hand turkeys, with attributes, like Mark has a computer and we both had the librarian book.
Jen's cheese grits
Lea's wild rice salad
Brussels sprouts with chestnuts (the chestnuts were a little hard - they were roasted from fresh; the ones in the stuffing came in a jar)
Turkey with chestnut stuffing - I had a little container of stuffing frozen since last year, and instead of mixing it in, I fried it up and put it out on a big tray with forks while the men were watching football and it disappeared - even though I got a few gripes about putting it out on a common platter in these days of swine flu - they just came and got individual plates, to avoid contaminating each other
mashed potatoes - Dave mashed 'em in the pot, so they were less fluffy than if I'd done them in the mixer
Sweet potatoes with chile & lime
Vegetable stir fry with broccoli & daikon and peppers and Hoisin sauce

Pumpkin mousse with crispy spice cookies in the shape of turkeys
Apple pie with leaf cutouts on top - we all made it together on Wednesday night
Cranberry frangipane tart - it was a Martha - good in concept, not so hot in execution. I made home made cranberry jam for the bottom. Next year I will use the jam in a thinner tart, instead, something like an Italian crostata

Meanwhile, I made 2 kinds of cookies - the bar type lebkuchen and the Moravian ginger thins - before Thanksgiving, and the Simnel cake. I had to do another big shopping at the warehouse grocery for more cookie ingredients, Saturday, so real cookie production didn't really recommence till Sunday, although I made the jam cookies Saturday. So far, I'd have to say that the fruit cake types are coming out the best this year - I made the fruitcake gems last night, and they are lovely. Mollie Wizenberg's fruit nut balls are looking good. But the marzipan-stuffed spice cookies, the Swiss biberli, not withstanding that I thought they were going to be the best ever, because the dough went together so well, literally fell rather flat - the little wedges deflated on being removed from the oven - you can see the little dent in the top in the ones below. The pine nut macaroons batter tasted good, but I only ended up with about 55, and one tray was a little dark on the bottoms. And I think I must've left the baking soda out of the ginger creams - they are hard and small.

Oh well, I'm giving myself and the oven a break tonight, I only made doughs and frosted things, no baking.

No comments: