What the Boss Likes – my favorite thing to watch on Thanksgiving

of course, it’s the Addams Family version:

 

 

Oh I really didn’t like summer camp, which was of course a church camp.  I’m proudly an outcast.  🙂

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From the Kitchen – hey, I actually used something I put in the freezer to use “later”

cortland1Thanksgiving was quiet for us. I got a chicken, roasted it per usual and we just sat around eating, drinking, listening to music and talking. I know, crazy a married couple talking for hours  🙂

We were to have a big snowstorm on the preceding Wednesday (4-8 inches which became, oh, enough snow to whiten the ground) and people went nuts as usual, sure that milk, eggs and bread would cease to exist. Add that to the last bits of Thanksgiving shopping by people who haven’t a clue on how to shop *or* cook, and I sure as hell didn’t want to get near a grocery store. Especially, since I am still so very, very, happy not to be working in a meat department this time of year.

So, when I wanted a dessert for our dinner, I hadn’t much to work with. So, I went on a expedition to the north pole, aka my small freezer that sits above the fridge. Amazing how much can get utterly lost inside a space of about 2.5 feet, by 1.5 feet and a foot and a half deep. I came out with a bag of leftover homemade pie crust; maybe put in within the last 6 months, maybe much older. In the fridge was a tub of caramel fruit dip with a few ounces of caramel left in it. And one lonely Cortland apple, about the size of my doubled fist was on the counter. Add to this a few baking staples and we had a lovely sweet.

crostadaCrostada a la “please don’t make me go to the store with those maniacs”
(this is just my estimation on what I used, I was just winging it)
Enough pie crust for a nine inch pie crust
¾ pound apple of your choice, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp flour
5 tablespoons of caramel fruit dip, dulce de leche, some kind of soft caramel

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.   Roll out pie crust into a rough 12” or so circle, about 1/16 of an inch thick.   Mix apple slices with cinnamon, sugar and flour. Arrange slices in a nice layer, a few deep, in center of pie crust out to where you figure on folding it over. Spoon caramel on. You don’t have to be too neat, it’ll melt to where it needs to go. Fold over crust to leave a opening about 4 inches across in the center. Shake on more cinnamon and sugar. Place on parchment paper on cookie sheet and place in oven for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.  During the last ten minutes, you may wish to tent the tart with a bit of aluminum foil to keep it from getting too dark on top.

Remove. Cool. Eat. Preferably with whipped cream.

The frozen pie dough worked really well. I’ll have to keep more in there for the future.

That’s it. Eat well!

From the Kitchen – Thanksgiving – Starch for all! My ramblings, tips and recipes for Turkey Day.

oh, what I find in Microsoft clip art. Because everyone needs a pink turkey, right?

Having grown up in western PA, Thanksgiving means eating a lot and a lot of that being starch.  Stuffing aka dressing, mashed potatoes, homemade noodles (of course on top of the mashed potatoes with plenty of gravy), rolls, and of course various desserts.  Pie for me, thank you!  Or maybe a piece of that pumpkin roll.  Rugelach? You shouldn’t have…. 

My husband and I enjoy chicken a bit more than turkey so we often have roast chicken dinners all through out the year and we will have one for Thanksgiving ourselves a day or two late.  Visiting the relatives does not make for easy snacking at home (it also makes for a splitting headache for me since relatives are largely conservative Christians who are sure that Obama will “git their guns”).  One of our chicken dinners makes a pile of leftovers since there is only the two of us and it’s relatively cheap. At this point, I probably could make a roast chicken dinner with all of the fixins in my sleep.  However, if you think you cannot cook, get yourself a copy of The Joy of Cooking (TJOC) and it will teach you all you need to know. I prefer the older copies that still have the turtle soup recipe in them.  You can often find them at your local thrift store. 

On a typical day I will start with the chicken, one fat roaster (I usually go for around 7 pounds) whatever you can get from the supermarket. As I’ve said before, I don’t care if it’s organic, free-range, kosher, fed marigolds to make it yellow, etc. As long as it’s dead, plucked and gutted, I’m good.  I pull out the giblets and throw them in a pot for broth.  I also pull out any lumps of fat in the cavity and into the pot with them too.  Finally, I inspect the cavity and remove any extraneous innards. You’ll often find what I think are kidneys still hanging around, they won’t hurt but they don’t need to be in there.  Give it a rinse and stick it in your roasting pan. (note: what I do might not be completely draconian “food safety” approved. I have the cert; I know what it says. And you have been warned.) 

I’ve used everything from a 9” square metal pan, a 9” x 13” glass pan and a classic “your grandma has one” black speckled roaster with lid.  I like the roaster the best.  First, I slice onions in fat rings (1” plus) and make a bed for the bird.  I then plop it on top, and stuff at least a couple of tablespoons of squishy but not melted butter under the skin over each breast. I do not put anything in the cavity except, well, more butter, a couple of tablespoons worth. Diet? What is this word d-i-e-t? 

Here’s Vel’s tip: Don’t truss that bird!  Let it splay out in all its glory.  This started long ago when I made my first turkey in our first apartment.  I didn’t think to tie its legs when I roasted it and when it came out my husband decreed it the “slut turkey”.  One thing we noted, and appreciated, was that all of the skin (except the back of course), not just the top of the breast, was golden brown and delicious. Both of us like poultry skin when roasted, and we’ll strip a bird clean if given the chance.  No, a non-trussed bird will not look like something out of Norman Rockwell or the Food Channel.  You are to be eating this, not framing it.  Continue reading