Sunday, November 27, 2011


Thanksgiving was once again held at our house.  We cooked both corporate turkeys.  Mine, and Leon's.  I think we could have once again done with one, but two ensured plenty of leftovers.  Lee and his family showed up.  Lloyd (my other uncle in law - or Eryn's great uncle, depending on how you color it).  My father in law and mother in law.  And my sister in law and her family.  Cookie Queen and her kids showed up later for some play time.

Apparently did a special cartoon to celebrate our turkeys noting, "It's the intangibles that count."

There were two rounds of poker.  I lost the first, despite putting the hurt to my father in law and Eryn (that's right, no mercy in poker, even for my own daughter.  And yes, she plays Hold 'em.  I need to remind her to save some money for New Year's Eve).  And won the second.  $12.  Enough to offset half a bottle of one of the two bourbons I bought for Thanksgiving, as that seems to be the drink of choice - both for the menfolk and womenfolk.  The beer was virtually untouched.

Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare.  Kyle's Kentucky trip influence is clearly visible in my choices.  When I was buying my bottles at The Cellars, there was a kid in a suit shopping for Scotch. He was clearly excited and I had the impression he was either hosting Thanksgiving, or taking a bottle to Thanksgiving, or had gotten a promotion.  He had some good $40 bottles in hand.  Then asked the guy from the Cellars, "So these are nice, but what's your favorite?"  The clerk noted his favorite was just over $100 a bottle and the kid looked simultaneously taken aback and intrigued.  Definitely the appropriate approach.  Some skepticism in your $100+ purchases.  I should have taken down his name and number so we could do scotch sharing nights.  That's the best way to try $100 bottles.  Hear that Kyle?  Up for Scotch or Bourbon nights with a group of 4 or 5?

My wife and I discussed the possibility of making squash soup for Thanksgiving next year.  I am loving the squash soup with crustini/french bread.  Don't panic.  In addition to the turkey, not instead of the turkey.  While listening to MPR, I heard them discussing this recipe, harvest stuffed squash, which I'd also like to try.  Might have to experiment earlier to get an idea for whether it's good.  But the ingredients sound delicious.  Here are the details, courtesy of Beth Dooley at MPR.

Serves 8
4 small Cinderella pumpkins or acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons sunflower oil or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 fennel bulb, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, deveined, and chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
2 cups cooked wild rice or barley
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons rubbed sage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake until it is tender, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the onion, garlic, fennel, red pepper, carrot, and hazelnuts until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wild rice and herbs, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the squash from the oven, turn it over, and place it cut-side up on the baking sheet. Fill the squash with the stuffing. Return the squash to the oven and bake it an additional 30 minutes.

Finally - you can't declare Thanksgiving over until the naked Barbie balances on an exercise ball.  Haven't heard that saying before?  Get used to it.  And just so you don't have to imagine it...

1 comment:

Kyle said...

Squash soup would make a nice starting course for a Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe instead of the crostini, make some buttery, sagey croutons to throw on top just before eating?

As for Scotch and Bourbon, I still find it psychologically challenging to get beyond that $40-$50 mark when buying bottles for myself. It's not such a barrier when gifting bottles though, so maybe a sharing scenario might be a good way to justify a higher end purchase.