02 November 2014

The Ole Miss Rebel Blackbear Landshark Turkeys?

Last night, my dear and wonderful Ole Miss Rebels suffered a devastating loss.

Losing is nothing new - we've been losing all my life.  But, some are harder than others.  And this year we've been good.  Actually good and also sort of psychically good.  And, apparently, defeats are harder when you're good.

And we played our hearts out.  And so did they.  And everyone did well. And rah rah rah.  And at the end of the game, it was close.  And one of our guys had his ankle snapped in half while trying to score the go-ahead touch down. And he fumbled.  And we lost.  And it was awful.

So...all that to say, I needed solace.

I poured myself a glass of port and I got in my bed and I found solace in the easiest, most controlled thing I know to find (fairly superficial) solace in.  I menu planned.

I menu plan every week, but this called for something more stringent. Something dramatic.  Something about which I could feel accomplished.

I planned Thanksgiving.

I do love a Thanksgiving menu plan.

Boy howdy.

This will be our 9th annual Thanksgiving to host and our 6th to post the menu in advance.  It's like a tradition or something.  ;)

Actually, this year, we are going to the beach for Thanksgiving, but the various people involved demanded (me included) that we not forgo the tradition. So, we're having Turkey Day a bit early - the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Which is in less than three weeks!  So, it's almost a good thing that the Rebels lost and I needed therapy. 

The Before

Tomato Feta Crustini - Contributed by my Step Mother.  She's awesome, and so is this. 

Cream of Carrot Soup -  We've become soup people, and Carrots didn't make the sides this year, so I thought I'd put it here. 

The Standards

Turkey:  I cannot decide.  So, I guess I"m not quite finished planning.  But, we will have a Turkey.  I'm thinking of trying it in the oven overnight again.  I did that two years ago and ended up with a Christmas Vacation Hissing Turkey, but I did it for the first 2-3 years we did Turkey Day, and I had excellent results.  I'll either do that or continue with the Spatchcocking and Grilling tradition we've got going.

Dressing - Grandmother's.  Cornbread.  Onions.  Celery.  Perfection. 

Sweet Potatoes - Traditional.  Hotty Toddy written in Marshmallows.  Surrounded by Pecans.  Maybe. We'll see.

The Six Selected Sides

So, Dressing and Sweet Potatoes are sides, yes, but they're non-negotiable sides.  The rest are up for debate, and I love rotating and playing with it.  Six is the number I've settled upon.  Six Forsters. Six Sides.  We're going with it. 

Salad - Crunchy Romaine Toss.  It's a family favorite of ours.  Paul loves it. We all love it.  It's crunchy and buttery and sweet. 

Potato Chive Casserole - This one is new.  We shall see.  It doesn't seem, from its ingredient list and method, that it could possibly be bad.

English Peas Au Gratin - There was this restaurant in Oxford when we were there - called Boure.  It was perfect.  My twenty-first birthday was celebrated there.  I'll mention no more about it, but I will include a picture...  Wait... no...  But, anyway, they had one of those great lists-of-sides -  you know, you could order an entre and it came with two sides.  Most places that have that are kind of mediocre, but not Boure.  Oh no.  It was *perfect*.  And my favorite side of theirs was English Peas Au Gratin.  I still love it.  And it's time again to have it. 

Roasted Winter Squash - Plain Jane.  Maybe I'll mix Butternut and Acorn?  Just salt, olive oil, maybe some Thyme or Cayenne or Both? 

Corn Souffle with Creamed Onion Sauce -  It's in a favorite cookbook - Come On In - and I've been eying it for years.  It's time.

Wild Rice with Roasted Grapes -  What?  I saw it.  I thought "Why not?" It's the exotic option for the year.  Also, my mother in law told me she likes Wild Rice. 

The On-the-Tables

Red Pepper Cranberry Sauce - I've been wanting a bit more nip, and I saw a recipe in the NYTimes, so I'm trying it. 

Gravy - Of course.  My Stepmother's recipe.  For which I must remember to buy brandy.  Must.

Canned Spiced Peaches.  It was a tradition of mine growing up, and now my children ask after them at the first gobble.  This year, Eason saw a pumpkin in Kroger in September and said, "Oh, it's almost Thanksgiving!  That means Canned Spiced Peaches!"

Homemade Sweet Hot Pickles - Always

Bread - Stepmonster in charge.  She's good.  Really good.


Char's Pecan Pie - There is this restaurant in Jackson.  Its pecan pie deserves its own holiday.  I discovered a recipe purporting to be their recipe.  I tried it.  It's pretty darn close.  It's so good.

Pear Pie - Pears are my favorite fruit.  Pie is my favorite dessert.  See? 

Blueberry Pound Cake - My friend has this pound cake.  I always think "nah - I'm not a huge cake person.  And I don't want blueberries in mine." And then I taste it.  And every.single.time, I think "Damn, Gina, that is good." (My friend's name is not Gina.  That's what Martin Lawrence's girlfriend's name was on his show Martin from the 90s that was highly inappropriate but sometimes I watched it late at night when Mama was snoring on the couch and I was drowsy and Ted Koppel had ended...  and Martin said "Daaaaaammmmmmmnnnnnnn Gina" every time he was enthused...) 

Chocolate Pie - Stepmonster again.  It's her signature.

It should be a good year. 

And the Rebels are playing that day.

I trust that we won't experience the kind of tragedy that we did this weekend.  But, if we do, we'll have available the only therapy that trumps menu planning therapy.

Cooking and eating therapy.

No comments:

Post a Comment