Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

I've been away for a while, taking a short respite from blogging to work on some other writing projects. It is also nice to occasionally enjoy cooking and eating without having to document every moment of it. I am sorry if any of you missed me.

But today, also known as "Black Friday", is all about Thanksgiving Day, quite possibly the biggest food day of the year. (At least in the number of calories consumed.) This year, Mrs. Rosewater and I hit the road and traveled to Eureka to visit her side of the family for a Thanksgiving Day feast. With the family gathered at Grandma's house, a team of us converged on the spacious kitchen to prepare the carb-charged delights that are a staple of Thanksgiving.

Each of us grabbed a station, slicing and dicing and mixing, sauteing and baking the enormous volume of foods that will certainly last into the new year. My hope was to make as many dishes as possible from scratch, and minus the roast and the dressing, we succeeded. Oh, did I forget to mention that tryptophan was not on the menu? Yes, we opted to stay away from the cumbersome and difficult bird of the season and went with a smaller, and easier to cook, roast from Harris Ranch. A few words about Harris Ranch: Harris is the large plot of foul-smelling land stocked wall to wall with cattle and their mountains of cow-pies situated on Interstate 5 about an hour south of Fresno. If you have ever driven past it, you know what I am talking about. I typically avoid products from Harris Ranch, as their cattle rearing practices are dubious at best. However, this not being my kitchen, it was not my place to put my politics in front of family.

The Dressing, (Stuffing not cooked within the cavity of a large bird) started with the basic Stove Top stuffing mix, was mixed with sauteed chicken apple sausage, onion, apple, water chestnuts, celery, carrot, ground turkey and chicken stock. We peeled, sliced, boiled and mashed some organic Yukon Gold potatoes, mixed of course with butter and buttermilk. Yeah, super-healthy.

I brought my recipe for garlic & almond green beans to share with everyone, along with a fantastic recipe I found for Angel Biscuits. These biscuits, a favorite in the South, were light and airy and went perfectly with the rest of the meal. They are incredibly easy, making a very strong argument against buying the dry, tasteless pre-made tubes of frozen biscuits.

It was a great evening of food and family. We all had fun working in the kitchen together, creating a fantastic meal for everyone to enjoy. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with whatever delights you prepared and whoever you spent it with. Right now, left over dressing and biscuits are calling my name. Enjoy!