Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Good Day Today - Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

My morning began with a reluctant start to a morning run which quickly turned into a delight!  I thought of every excuse not to head out the door to get this done, but I also thought of every reason to do it.  Just do it!  The weather was absolutely perfect!  55 degree temps, perfectly clear skies, gently breeze from the north.  Once I got out there, once I ran the first few miles, everything fell into place.  Perfect!

My morning run completed, next it was time to dig in to the portion of tomorrow's Thanksgiving menu that I've claimed responsibility for.  First order of business:  make my son's favorite pie...cherry!  I use canned tart cherries and canned sweet cherries, both packed in water.  No pre-made pie filling for me!  Too sweet for my palate and not nearly as interesting as using those tart cherries.  If I could reliably obtain real bing cherries at a decent price, I'd prefer those.  The canned tart cherries recipe is from my mother-in-law Smith.  She could make a really great cherry pie!  Ohhh, the house smells so good, now!

Pie out of the oven and cooling, I started in on the sweet potatoes.  I agree with my son and daughter-in-law that the traditional southern sweet potato casserole is pretty disgusting.  I like just plain baked sweet potatoes but wanted to make something a little different, something I could make ahead and bring with me.  I found a recipe for gingered garlic sweet potatoes and... bingo!  That sounds perfect...different...interesting.    I got the potatoes peeled, cut into chunks, and boiling on the stove then took a break to eat lunch - some homemade chicken noodle soup.  Gotta admit that I can make a pretty good chicken soup.  The secret ingredient is garlic. 

Potatoes cooked to softness, drained and mashed, I minced the fresh ginger and fresh garlic and sauteed them in butter then added chicken stock and heavy cream and reduced it before adding to the mashed sweet potatoes.  The mixture is whipped smooth and now resting in a casserole dish, tightly covered with plastic wrap.  This should reheat in the oven tomorrow and actually taste even better. 

The final dish is baby green beans and cherry tomatoes in garlic butter sauce.  I'll bring all of the ingredients to make this at my son's house tomorrow, since it's easy and simple and doesn't take long.  I'll be in charge of the turkey gravy, too.  I make it from the pan drippings drained of fat and cornstarch.  Simple. 

My cat is sitting on my lap, all curled up in a ball sound asleep as I write this.  Hmmm....a nap in front of some old movie sounds like a perfect way to spend the afternoon. 

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