November 30, 2009
Not So Solo, ME Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 48
Once you’ve decided to spend a holiday alone, you will discover for yourself that there’s a fine line between good friends and pushy people.
Luckily, my friends aren’t afraid to cross that line, and truthfully, there wasn’t much pushing involved. It was more like a swift natural progression that started out as a simple question: “What are you doing the day after Thanksgiving?”
Which, quickly and happily, evolved into: “We’re having a Thanksgiving at your house on Friday!”
My two planned visitors bloomed into an additional welcome third, then fully blossomed into wonderful group of five. I'll admit now, that I was a bit relieved by the increased size.
Previously, I'd been wondering how I would entertain my two friends. Backgammon wouldn’t work because it only requires two players, and we were three. Not everyone is enthusiastic about the cerebral game of Scrabble, and although I own dominoes, I don’t really have a clue as to the real rules. I considered buying Yahtzee, but by then my guest list had grown and I figured there’s be enough convivial congeniality that I wouldn’t need a back-up entertainment plan.
Naturally, I was prepared for an overage.
It might have been my up bringing – possibly a genetic predisposition, as well. Or maybe it was just not being able to judge just how much stuffing a box of Stove Top Stuffing would make. Rather than fall short, I had purchased two boxes for three people.
Okay, first stop laughing, and then stop balking at the Stove Top Stuffing. You know I can never leave well enough alone. Taking a cue from my father’s revered homemade recipe, I sautéed onions and celery, to enhance the commercial shortcut. It ended up being a rather sizable pan of improvised gourmet goodness.
I found a recipe for yams with cranberries and apples. I couldn’t even leave that alone. I ended up buying cherries and golden raisins instead of the prescribed cranberries, and a short-cut bag of pre-sliced yams. However, the yams turned out to be spoiled: icky, slimy, and smelly. Frantically, I tried washing them just to see if that changed anything. It didn’t. So - what to do with the perfectly diced apples, cherries and raisins? (yes - I sliced them myself and have the scar to prove it. There are reasons there are pre-diced foods.)
Prepare the stuffing as the box says, adding the already sautéed celery and onion, plus diced apples, cherries, and raisins.
Microwave (yes –microwave) according to box directions. Fluff and let cool.
Grease a baking pan – yes, with butter. It’s Thanksgiving!
Spoon half of the stuffing into the pan, spreading over the entire bottom of the pan.
Add a layer of thinly sliced apples on top of the stuffing then add the rest of the stuffing on top.
Add another layer of decoratively placed thinly sliced apples over the last stuffing layer.
Refrigerate over night. Or not… if you happen to be against pre-preparation and like to cook like a maniac on Thanksgiving morning.
Heat alongside my other pre-prepared refrigerated-over-night favorite: Green Bean Casserole. There'll be plenty of room in the oven, because the turkey will be in the crock pot.
Oh, for goodness sake! I traditionally roasted the Butterball boneless turkeys (yes – plural – another one of those judgment things)in the oven, basted with butter – yes, butter – after a serious rub down with Bob Gibson’s famous BBQ Spices. A friend mentioned a good way to keep cooked turkey warm is in a crock pot. Out of the oven, directly into the crock pot, lid secure, heat on low. The bird kept itself appropriately warm. At least, no one complained.
So, going solo for four straight days wasn’t to be. In fact, the only day I ended up completely solo was Sunday. Encouraged by a grey, rainy morning, I assembled snacks and beverages, grabbed a fluffy pillow, a comforter, and couched myself down with Stephenie Meyer’s third book in the Twilight series; Eclipse.
I read the whole thing cover to cover, and it only took me from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. Then, I de-couched and ate some leftover turkey casserole I had layered up the night before.
Yes, I think that’s exactly how my next Thanksgiving holiday will be spent, too.
In this issue: The Physics of Cranberry Sauce & Instant Stuffing, Scientifically giving thanks, and Enjoying the Road to Accomplishment.
Now Posted: Action Plan Wrapping Up July, New Orleans, October 2009.
Posted by jaselin at November 30, 2009 12:13 PM
Your dad's base for soup, celery and onions, is missing a few more ingredients. Do not forget the carrots and minced garlic. Next time, try using OreIda's frozen bag of Yams, works great, and so very easy. Also, I will send you my homemade recipe of cranberry sauce made with Chambord, etc. if you want.
Just had to add my "suggestions," (2 cents) to this interesting tale of a wonderful Thanksgiving you had.
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