Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Evening

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! In recent years (because I'm a fanatic about my weight), I over-eat only about once a year, and that day is almost always on Thanksgiving. I hate the feeling of being so full, but I love all traditional Thanksgiving foods so much, I just can't help myself. I love cooking them (and tasting along the way), and I love eating them. I especially love watching my family enjoying the food I so lovingly prepared for them.

Daughter Dear elected not to help cook the meal. For one thing, I started my preparations at the ungodly early hour of 10:30 a. m. Heaven forbid that she should get up at such an hour. Moreover, she's reading a good book, which is why she stayed up way too late last night. She slept late today and then spent most of the day sprawled across her bed reading. I would have been inclined to throw a hissy fit because she didn't help with Thanksgiving dinner as she had promised, but I just don't have it in me to interrupt a kid who's actually reading a book. [She did notice the "timetable" hanging on the refrigerator door and remarked, "You write out a schedule?" That gave me the opportunity to explain the theory of the timetable. As a "teaching moment," that was better than nothing.]

The upshot was that I made the entire dinner all by myself, except for carving the turkey, which is DH's job. [Well, to be honest what DH does to a turkey can't exactly be called "carving." I've watched Julia Child and Emeril Lagasse and Food Channel chefs actually "carve" a turkey. What DH does to it is more like a massacre. But, it gets the meat off the bones, and I sure as heck could not stomach getting my hands in all that grease, so I would never never complain about how he goes about it.] Quite honestly I enjoyed the whole process.

I did all the prep work for the side dishes while the pie baked (thanks be to Mrs. Smith's). After I put the turkey in the oven, I had a few hours of downtime, so DH and I went to the beach for an hour or so. When we returned I had just enough time for a shower before the turkey was done. While the turkey was setting and then being "carved" [ahem] by DH, I baked the side dishes, finished setting the table, and made the gravy. Dinner was finished and ready for the table exactly 20 minutes ahead of schedule, which gave me a chance to sit down and have a glass of wine before putting the food on the table.

We ate and ate and talked and talked. It was wonderful. There was not one argument or cross word. I am very, very thankful for that.

Now the carcass is simmering away on the stove, rendering a stock that I will use for for soups, gravies and sauces in coming weeks.

My favorite Thanksgiving side dish is Corn Pudding. My mom gave me the recipe years ago, and I've made it every Thanksgiving since. It's one of those Methodist Church-lady recipes that could not possibly be easier, but it soooooooooo good. I would skip the turkey on Thanksgiving, but not the corn pudding!

I share it with y'all:

1 package Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 can creamed corn
1 can corn (drained)
8 oz sour cream (I use a little more sour cream and less butter)
1 stick margarine (I usually use 1/2 stick of butter)

Melt the margarine/butter in a glass baking pan while preheating the oven. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Bake, uncovered, at 350-degrees for 30-45 minutes.

This stuff is absolutely fabulous warm. It's almost better cold the next day. It pairs perfectly with fresh cranberry sauce.

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