Ah, the rural life. Critters, events, opinions and trivia.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Thanksgiving Memories

This evening I went shopping for the Thanksgiving dinner provisions. Darn, the store was out of bottled onions, forcing me to buy the fresh tiny white onions. My creamed onions with sherry are always a big hit and every year I try to sleaze out of using the fresh onions since they are a pain to cook and peel and there are seemingly hundreds of them. The year that I used bottled onions, the family said: "Oh, these aren't as good as the ones you usually make...". Sigh.

I remember the first Thanksgiving dinner I ever cooked. I had moved to Santa Barbara CA and lived in an apartment with an artist friend. We invited lots of folks to join us (it was the late 1960's and everything was groovy). For some reason, I decided to "get fancy" with the dinner. I had a cookbook with extravagant recipes and had chosen to make chesnut stuffing, among other things. The recipe said to heat about an inch of oil in a heavy skillet and when it was good and hot, to add the chesnuts in the shell to the oil. So I did. In about 3 minutes, the disaster began -- the chesnuts came flying out of the skillet clear across the room. Of course the doorbell rang and the first of the early dinner guests had arrived just as I was crawling to the stove to turn off the burner while dodging the hot oil chesnut missiles. Not the gracious hostess impression I was striving for. Now I realize that the cookbook should have said to cut a hole in each chesnut shell, so that when they heated up, and the air expanded, they wouldn't explode.

It's been years since I tried to add any new "gourmet" items to my Thanksgiving dinners. My last attempt was to introduce a cranberry orange chutney in lieu of the jellied cranberry sauce (nobody ate it but me).

I don't try to make the entire dinner on Thanksgiving day anymore either. I make everything except for the turkey, gravy and asparagus on the days before Thanksgiving. That way, I get to enjoy my company.

Best wishes to you and yours for a happy holiday. Peace