Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner - No Oven Required

Our last Thanksgiving guest left today. We had guests here for just a few hours short of a full week. So although I'm relieved in a way that it's over, I must say it was a FABULOUS week.

I know part of it was that we didn't have to go anywhere; we got to be at our own house. (Emphasis on the word house.) I know part of it is that my in-laws and my husband's best friend from college are such wonderful, fun people. I know part of it was that I had my sister-in-law who actually enjoys little kids around to help me teach preschool and wear paper pilgrim hats with me on Tuesday. I know part of it was doing fun things like going to downtown Austin, taking family photos, and making a pilgrimage to Fry's. But if I'm really honest with myself, it was mostly because the food was so good.

I mean, we got to choose the menu, not just for Thanksgiving itself, but for the whole Thanksgiving weekend. More importantly, for once we had enough people coming to warrant LOTS of food, and something more than a starving student income (or lack thereof) to fund it. There was much excellent gorging. Let me elaborate.

- Rudy's BBQ!!!

-Ralphie's fabulous buttermilk pancakes, some with chocolate chips, served with regular and blueberry pomegranate syrup
- scrambled eggs with cheese

- grilled steak
Who am I kidding? This bullet point deserves it's own paragraph:
We got these awesome New York Strips from Costco that must have been over 2 inches thick. M and his brother grilled these suckers on our gas grill in the backyard (Remember the only nice thing in our back yard?) Herein lies the genius of it all. No dried out turkey from the oven. No gravy (that I'm still intimidated at the thought of making - it's so American). No thawing bird in the fridge for an indeterminate amount of time. No dead carcass I have to fondle and manipulate into a roasting pan. NO GIBLETS! Just delicious boneless, thick, juicy, delicious, red meat. You know it's good when you even don't mind eating the fat. As M's dad put it, I love being an omnivore.
-sourdough garlic bread (warmed on the grill)
-mashed sweet potatoes (These were made in a pot and were the only thing I actually had to start more than about half an hour before we wanted to eat. Once started they could keep cooking longer, so they weren't an exact science.)
- green peas (microwaved from frozen!)
- stuffing (I don't really like stuffing that much, but M does. But he likes Stovetop. Cliche, but easy and ovenless. I actually got my mother-in-law to do this.)
- homemade cranberry relish (I made this the night before. It has pineapple, oranges, and lemons and it actually tastes better if you give them all time to "mesh.")

- schorle (This is something my family picked up in Germany. Sparkling water combined with fruit juice.)

- chips with salsa and guacamole
- petite quiche
- brie and sourdough bread (It's just not a holiday for my family without brie.)

On Thanksgiving
- 1 Sugar free pumpkin pie for M and his dad and 1 regular pumpkin pie, plus Reddi-Whip (I'm way too lazy and we go through way too little whipped cream to do it any other way)
- 2 apple pies from my mom's famous recipe
(NOTE: The pies were also made the day before. Also, extra pie was important so that we could have my family's traditional "pie and eggs" breakfast the next morning)
Other Desserts
- ice cream (sugar free for M and his dad and both Cookies and Cream and Intensely Chocolate for the rest of us) with dark chocolate syrup
- dark chocolate shortbread (sugar free for M and his dad - I even sprung for better cocoa, so it was extra tasty)
- the most sinfully wonderful chocolate truffles ever (You know, the soft kind rolled in cocoa that feel like a little bite of obesity? We bought a double pack at Costco, so we only got a fourth of the way through them. Look out Christmas guests...)
Are we noticing a theme here? Yes, I love chocolate.

I think I've made reference before to the fact that I probably have an unhealthy perspective on food. This doting discussion of our menu may confirm it in your eyes. All I know is that if an unhealthy perspective on food can make a week this great, bring it on!

Oh yah, and as a crowning glory to it all, I managed to send my in-laws home with their Christmas presents (beautifully wrapped with homemade tags and everything, if I do say so myself). I won't have to ship them!

Could I be on any more of a "homemaker power trip"?


Janssen said...

Mmmmmmm, sounds delcious! I know what you mean about being obsessed with food.

Ralphie said...

Yippee for buttermilk pancakes! If you like butterscotch I highly recommend sprinking a few chips (or a lot of chips) of that on top too. Yumlishess.

We ate an insane amont of fodd that weekend too. Melting Pot included. And get this, same waiter.

loonbug said...

Oh man, I am so jealous, you are the epitome of homemaker! That sounds so awesome.
And I don't know why on earth I thought you would have a normal American Thanksgiving dinner. It sounded wonderful!
Umm... can I have your cranberry relish recipe? My mom does one with oranges, apples and cranberries, so I'm curious how yours is.

s.j.simon said...

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this