Saturday, November 25, 2006

Turkey Day Wrap-Up

No...not talking about the foil packets in the refrigerator. (Which I can't do anyway, because we don't have any more leftovers.)

We had a splendiferous Thanksgiving -- seven people, two takeouts to our elderly relations, six dogs, one cat. (The cat stayed away from the festivities, but the six dogs all, amazingly, got along -- even my cranky, neurotic, elderly mutt.) In a striking example of the Almighty providing, the 12-15-pound turkey I'd ordered from the turkey farmer miraculously grew to almost 19 pounds; the farmer reported that his smaller turkeys had "gotten away from him" and eaten themselves all the way into the next size range. This turned out to be fortuitous; we wound up with just enough leftovers for an extra meal and a "people bag" for Fellow Traveler's sister. The huge casserole of dressing was almost entirely gone by the end of the day -- Fellow Traveler added a bit of apple butter from our church's apple-butter-making project to a standard stuffing , which made it extra good. All the other side dishes were pretty much decimated, as were our Amish-made pies and the Amish rolls, which were so rich and sweet that they tasted more like shortcake biscuits than yeast bread.

I have to admit to a certain amount of trepidation as I approached my first parentless Thanksgiving. People had cautioned that this would be a hard one for me. But I was very happy playing co-hostess-with-the-mostess; I felt as if we'd helped make the day special for others. And we're already talking about next year. (When I'll know to order the larger bird.)

Anyway -- here are two of my own contributions to our repast; an old standby of my family's, and a new salad:

German Sweet-Sour Beans
1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
lean bacon -- 6-8 slices, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 TBS sugar
salt and pepper

Cook green beans in enough water to leave you with about 3/4 cup of bean liquid. Meanwhile, fry bacon on medium heat; add onion midway and continue cooking until onion is soft and transparent. Add beans and 3/4 bean liquid to pan; simmer until liquid is reduced by about a third. Add vinegar and sugar; season with salt and pepper, and adjust the sweet-sour ratio to your liking; reduce liquid again until thickened. Beans can be served either hot or room temperature, and taste great reheated the next day.

Spinach-Pear Salad
baby spinach
Bosc pears, diced
toasted pecans
a little bit of finely diced red onion
a few sprinkles of good coarsely grated or shaved Parmesan cheese

Toss the above with a sweetish vinaigrette -- I used an interesting recipe I found on the Internet that included balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a sploosh of real maple syrup, another sploosh of Dijon mustard. (Keep an open mind.)

Today we got together again with our Thanksgiving guests and some other women in our circle of correspondence, and let someone else (at one of Fellow Traveler's and my favorite restaurants, the Brass Cafe in Mt. Pleasant) make lunch for us. Another day of good food and friendship. But we are beat. And -- no more leftovers to nosh on by the light of the refrigerator.


Sally said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time- glad to meet a fellow Kate Bush/ Bach fan!

zorra said...

Thanks for posting the recipes! Glad everything went so well.

Cathy said...

The spinach pear salad sounds VERY GOOD! Got to try it.