It’s Friday and this has been a very long week. Much like everyone else out there, my mind is hardly focused on the task at hand and I just want quitting time to get here as soon as it possibly can. With that in mind and considering how close we are to that Super Bowl of Food Holidays – Thanksgiving – I have been compiling a list of 10 Things I Think About Thanksgiving in between answering emails, dodging phone calls and filling out the new coversheets on the TPS Reports for Home Office.
1. There is no place on the Thanksgiving Table for sushi. It just doesn’t belong. There is no need for an argument here. Next.
2. While I love traditional sweet potatoes and even sweet potatoes with marshmallows, I would have no problem at all if someone switched them out for sweet potato fries. I can’t make them to save my life but I sure do love to eat them.
3. Slide Ridge Honey Wine Vinegar is probably the greatest food discovery I have made since I first discovered Uncle Dougie’s Chicken Wing Marinade. There hasn’t been anything I have put it on that wasn’t automatically better. I am going to find a way to get it onto the Thanksgiving Table this year.
4. I’m getting a 23lb Bird again this year. I am going to respect him with a couple of sticks of butter rubbed into the skin, shoved under the skin and basically put anywhere I can put butter. I don’t think you can ever have enough butter in or on your Bird. Just ask those dudes over at Butterball.
5. I always try to sneak one small new side dish or condiment onto the table each year. Last year it was Balsamic Pearl Onions. Not sure what it will be this year but I have a feeling it will involve the Honey Wine Vinegar I mentioned above.
6. I will miss most if not all of the Detroit Lions football game due to my duty to The Bird. The Lions have never been worth watching in the past so I haven’t really missed anything. Don’t think I am going to miss much this year either. Their hot start has cooled like that extra gravy boat someone left in the kitchen.
7. I no longer put my stuffing inside The Bird even though that is the way I was taught to cook The Bird. I now stuff The Bird with cut up lemons, limes & herbs. I think it helps keep The Bird moist and adds a certain freshness to even a frozen grocery store bowling ball bird.
8. Of course if I did stuff The Bird, I would stuff it with an Apple Cornbread Stuffing. I don’t believe in meat stuffing. I did have my family convinced for a few minutes that my wife’s 100% Italian side of the family stuffed their Bird with pasta but even I couldn’t keep a straight face on that one.
9. Apple – Pumpkin – Pecan – that is the my order of preference when it comes to the traditional triumvirate of Thanksgiving Pies. Of course if someone were to somehow make or bring a Fruits of the Forest Pie, well, I am sure I could find some room on my plate for it.
10. Cranberry Sauce in a can is scary but my Grandmother’s Cranberry Salad recipe is awesome. It’s actually the very first recipe of that I submitted to AllRecipes.com back in 1997 and the first recipe of “mine” that they published on the site. I just refuse to ruin it with a dollop of mayo at the end.
11. (because I can’t count) I know that it will look like I am going to screw up the gravy but somehow I will make the save – at least in the taste department. Two years ago the gravy didn’t look a lot like gravy but it sure tasted like gravy. I stress more about the gravy than I do The Bird.
12. (because when it comes to cooking, a dozen is always a better number) I saw a Wishbone Tie in a catalog the other day and the store is down the street from me but I going to go with the Turkey Tie my wife gave me last year. It’s dark and no one will notice if I spill on it except for the little turkey drowning in gravy.
13. (Baker’s Dozen and the final think) I have never gone shopping on Black Friday and I don’t intend to go shopping on “Black Thursday” this year either (looking at you Toys R Us & Walmart). Thanksgiving is time for family, food, friends & fun. The deals worth getting on the items worth buying will still be there on Saturday or even Monday. So RESPECT THE BIRD, stay home, enjoy the holiday and don’t let Christmas Occupy Thanksgiving.
(You can also go to http://respectthebird.com/ and take The Pledge or you can take it on any number of the pages here at AllRecipes.com)
So come back next time when we revisit Thanksgiving and continue to tell you about our time cooking with Chef Luigi or we might just write about something else entirely different