Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007 - The Beginning And The Middle

I really enjoyed reading about how other blogging friends' Thanksgivings went, but I didn't have the time to write about mine until now.

No real glitches, except one...and I actually considered it a bit of good luck. My carefully planned-for house guests, A and HER H(usband), arrived 2 days earlier than expected. They were concerned that if they had kept to their original schedule, the transport strikes in Paris might have prevented them from arriving at all.

Now, you might think that premature arrivals would be a problem. A did, she felt terrible. But imagine a combination of your best friend, dearest sister, wisest mother and a cleaning crew of 5, and that's A! I kinda wish she had been here even earlier, but I guess there were a few things that I had to do on my own.

Let's get to the good part...the food. The good, the bad and the ugly. Actually, truth to tell, it was more like the good, the dry and the really messy, which started with my first course.

For almost the last two decades, I had only ever made soup or a salad to start. This year events took a slightly different turn. I had seen Giada make Sweet Potato Gnocchi and I decided that would make a perfect first course. Originally, though, I had planned it for dinner for the night before Thanksgiving, when there would be 7 of us.

I struggled mightily with the recipe, added GOBS more flour than it called for (I was also doubling it) and I made an amazing mess.

I ended up with almost THREE HUNDRED gnocchi, so I decided to make THAT my Thanksgiving starter.

I boiled up a couple to test them and they were great. I froze them and tested them again from the freezer...still good. And the best part was that I had 10 days to clean up the kitchen. And when my pre-Thanksgiving dinner dwindled to 5, I was happy that I saved them for T-Day.

I used the hugest pot I have - 12 gallons maybe - to boil the water for the dozens of gnocchi. It DID take forever to come back to the boil, but that's because they were frozen. The cooking time took some guess work, which involved guessing how many I had to eat to see if they were done.

The sauce couldn't have been easier. Melt butter, add sage leaves and cook until the butter is browned. Take off the heat and add maple syrup and cinnamon. I actually forgot the cinnamon and my daughter had the bright idea to just sprinkle some on top of each serving. They were great, although H wanted to know why he was eating French toast for Thanksgiving.

Note: You should always look at the reviews of the recipes on the FN and also on Epicurious. Those kind people that take the time to tell us what went wrong or what made the recipe better are a wonderful resource. Many of them referred to the need for more flour. Unfortunately, I made the gnocchi immediately after the first time it was on, so there were no reviews.

I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to wield a camera when I'm up to my elbows in gravy and mashed potatoes. THIS is the only picture I have of my turkey.

But it does show the Lady Apples I put around it and perhaps you can spy the carrot and onions underneath. And you can see that I covered the too-fast browning parts with foil.

Wait, I do have others of the turkey...LEG, that is.

This is what it's all about. Grabbing a turkey leg and eating it with gusto.

More soon...

PS A brought me my mustard!!! It's on the mantlepiece in a place of honor.


Anonymous said...

i know that hand that was holding the turkey leg! the gnocci was terrific! it certainly was a change from the soups. i think next year you should serve both! i missed the soup and i loved the gnocci! did i miss the pictures of the desserts? as die for! thanks for a wonderful thanksgiving. was that redundant?

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Those gnocchi look great. I love sweet potato gnocchi.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes to do a Henry VIII-style turkey leg dive.

Christie Gray said...

MmmM~ The gnocci looks wonderful =)

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

those gnocchi look sooooooo good. Wait, everything you blogged looked good. Is it weird that I'm not sick of all these thanksgiving recipes yet?

Sue said...

Hi "Anon",
Thanks for coming. How about Gnocchi Soup next year and then we don't have to choose?

Hi Shortie,
The gnocchi were good, but the more I think about that recipe, it gets me mad. It was dreadful...

And the dark meat IS the best.

Hi Christie,
I love the name of your store.

Emiline said...

That's a big turkey leg. I would love to gnaw on a leg like that.
Sounds like you had a good Thanksgiving...I can't believe how many gnocchi you made!
I like the little apples, too.

Cynthia said...

I have a chicken roasting in the oven right now and as the heavenly scent perfumes the air, it sets the right mood for the post :)