Friday, November 25, 2011

Fist Bump Friday / Just Fishing Friday - perhaps a little of both

Today is Black Friday.  Sound ominous, doesn't it?  Like the plague has descended or something else equally dire.  For most of the world, it's a day of standing in line, pushing through people and aisles to snatch up an incredible deal on some piece of electronics or trinket for giving away come Christmas. 

I can't do Black Friday.  I dislike shopping to begin with, so why would I want to do it with thousands of other people fighting each other for the same piece of cloth and handing over their plastic without thought?  Besides...  I'm done.  I've been working on Christmas presents for quite a while now, made with my own hands.  I've already bought the two presents I couldn't make.  My gifts won't have designer names or big price tags on them, but they will be filled with love and thought for the person it was made for - and that's the actual purpose of giving gifts, isn't it?

So today, while the rest of the world is pushing and shoving, I will stay home with my boy and we will just chill out.  The windows are open, there's food in the fridge and life is good!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving.  I have much to be thankful for - and that includes my very large family.  Cooking for them is a challenge, but my sister-in-law Angi and I did our best with some help from brother Jerry, and John's girlfriend Lynn.  The spread turned out amazing, but not without a couple of mishaps along the way.

Angi is a wonderful cook.  I am a utilitarian cook.  She experiments and adds marvelous flavors to her food.  I tend to follow other people's recipes as I have no intuitive grasp of using herbs or different cooking methods.  Between us though, we made it work.

The night before, she was cooking amazing cranberry sauce at Mom's house.  It boiled over a little and she got it cleaned up - at least most of it.  However, when cooking something Thanksgiving morning, the stove caught fire from the remnants of cranberry spillage.  No damage done - just a startling way to wake up.  And then that day, the potatoes were burned.  The pressure cooker was being used and I guess someone lost track of time once the steam started coming out.  When I arrived, there was a sad looking steamer basket full of brown potato cubes that didn't smell very good.  A bit charred smelling.

Luckily, I happened to have a bag of potatoes in my car and we could start all over again.

I also brought my Nu-Wave oven with me to cook the turkey in.  I did this a few years ago and was absolutely amazed.  It came out moist and tender and it happened a lot faster than a conventional oven would have done it. 

My 12 pound turkey, stuffed with apples was done in 2 hours (I think I actually overcooked it a bit as the temperature was 190 and 165 is the goal - but it wasn't dried out or chewy so it was all good), during which we peeled more potatoes, baked sweet potato souffle, steamed broccoli and made stir-fried green beans. 

Jerry arrived with a smoked turkey and a smoked boston butt.  The turkey was somewhat startling as it was completely black, but under that black skin, the meat was delicious!

The spread:

On the left:  Lynn's corn casserole, steamed broccoli, boston butt, smoked turkey and sweet potato souffle.  On the right, dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, dressing, ham, turkey, and green beans.  Still to come was the gravy...  and then...
there was dessert:

Brownies (Mom/me), Blueberry-Banana bread (Lynn), Apple-Cranberry Trifle (Angi), and two pumpkin pies - one from Lynn and I'm not sure who made the other one.  You can also see the label of a lemon cake from the store, but I don't think anyone ever opened that.

After dinner, some went shooting for a bit.  The Boy got to shoot the rifle again and his Uncle Andy offered to let him shoot a pistol, but it was too loud for him to get that close to it.  The rest of us finished the clean up and made coffee, then sat around and talked for a bit.

It was, in the end a tiring but very satisfying day.  Z and I headed for home shortly after dark, with a pitstop at a friend's house to feed her cat.  Once home, we hung out and watched TV a little before staggering off to bed and VERY sound sleep.

So there you have it - Just Fishin' by taking it easy on Black Friday, and Fist Bumping because once again, we pulled off Thanksgiving in a most satisfactory way!

Go visit Jill for more fishin' and bumpin'!


Faye said...

Hope you're enjoying your post-Thanksgiving recovery day, Sayre. So agree about Black Friday and gift giving philosophy. I'll buy my sister some practical things that she needs and so she can have gifts under her tree, which she likes. Still looking for a small handmade gift idea for friends.

Your Thanksgiving feast looked amazing. Many, many years ago I did that with my adopted family but now they're scattered. Just Willie and me, but that's nice too. I'm sure it makes your parents very happy to have as many of the family together as possible. Enjoy your long weekend!

One Million Tries said...

Looks like you had an awesome Thanksgiving, that is great :)

I've never seen a blackened turkey before, how did she cook that? That looks very interesting.

I agree about Black Friday- I always shuddered at the thought of you guys going crazy with the sales right after Thanksgiving. I agree. I would never do that. Yuck.

Well, then I read the news today and guess what? Canada is now considering their very own version of "Black Friday" - WHY?! I guess they want a piece of the commercialism pie.

I hope it doesn't take hold.

Sandy said...

Looks like a lovely dinner! I do agree with you about Black Friday but the boy and I ventured out today to do the Salvation Army Angel Tree. I am now done and do not have to enter another store till next year.

That sounds SO nice!

Happy Thanksgiving!