The Thanksgiving Post:
I got up this morning, the Friday after thanksgiving. This week the leaves all fell in about three days, after one of the most remarkable fall color spectacles we’ve had in a few years. It was so sudden and so complete, that it reminded me of cherry blossom time in the spring.
Right now, the rain is attempting to account for a few more leaves that have clung to their branches, little flags of glory waving just a little bit longer.
The fresh herbs I’ll be using to cook our “day after” thanksgiving dinner are being washed by the rain. And the sound of the rain on the gutters and the windows is a gentle background rhythm to my typing.
We visit my Uncle’s house in Raleigh on Thanksgiving, a tradition that has existed since they took over the even more ancient habit of visiting my grandmother, and instead started having my grandmother come to them, along with the rest of us. It is one of those markers of continuity in my life, if I get to go to my Uncle’s house on Thanksgiving and I get to hear “Alice’s Restaurant”, the life is good. Not being able to do things like that would indicate to me that something was dreadfully awry.
So after a “thanksgiving dinner that can’t be beat”, we drove over to my father’s house, where he and my step mom were entertaining more of our extended family this year; and we had *another* ‘thanksgiving dinner that can’t be beat”. My father was cooking the turkey in an iron dutch-oven thing over a gas burner on the back patio, and I spent much of my time there sitting with him in quiet conversation that reminds me how much I value him. Oh, and drinking French 75s with St. Germain is fun too!
Among other things served at these meals, we had oyster casseroles, buttery smooth salty country ham, rolls, gravy, turkeys, butter beans, green beans, creamed sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing (stuffing, just not in the bird), coconut cake, chocolate chess pie, sweet potato pie, whiskey-fig cake, pumpkin-pecan bars, and other delicious delights. Charles Dickens is the only person I’ve read that manages to make long lists of so much food that it makes you both salivate and feel slightly ill at the same time. But when I get to recounting our family Southern repasts, it frequently reminds me of him.
And today, well today we do it again. We’re only cooking for here at home today, (and vanilla rum cakes with brown-sugar rum glaze to take tomorrow), but it’s still a thanksgiving meal all over again. We have the turkey, the cheese pudding, the dressing, the mashed potatoes, and a few other items, and I plan to be toiling in the kitchen throughout the day. I’ll be trying to remember to shoot a couple pictures, and then we’ll post a few recipes, notes, and tips herein, in case any of this is attractive to you.
Rum cakes with rum glaze
Today we got up, and with food in hand, headed off to another of my Uncles, where we were meeting up with the 30+ members on that side of the family in order to celebrate our being able to all get together again. In this day and age, that is not so small a thing.
We had grilled chicken breasts, grilled pork loin, fingerling potatoes, cheese pudding, stuffing, Caesar salad, sweet potatoes, greens (collards, kale, cress, mustard, etc), asparagus casserole, fruit salad, macaroni & cheese, home-made rolls. We had Italian caramel cake, blueberry pie, trifle, pumpkin cheese cake and other desserts. We had home-made asian baked turnover/samosa like things that we dipped into sweet garlic chili sauce, and hummus, and chips, and iced tea. Between the food and the company, we had a grand time.
No big news for the garden this past week, though the garlic continues to sprout, and the greens are growing nicely. I’ll be mulching some leaves this week, and covering the garlic beds. In a little bit I’ll be making turkey hash, served over toast, with creamed hash browns for breakfast. Yum!