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e_moon60

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Day After [Nov. 26th, 2010|10:27 am]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

Yesterday was cloudy and windy, all but one hour when the wind died.  That was between the warm-to-hot wind that blew from the SW until sometime around 11 (I was busy, OK?)  so we were all a bit too warm, running around in short-sleeved T-shirts & jeans, doing the prep work for the dinner.   Making dressing, putting turkeys to bed in the roasters, finishing table setting and decoration, putting the ham in the oven,  chatting with early arriving guests while zipping back and forth on these and other things.   Worrying a little that it was going to be too hot in the back room, with 15 people busily eating, unless we turned on the AC and opened all the windows, but there was this cold front due...

Then on one trip across the yards,  I noticed the wind had died.   Kept going, picked up stuff left at one house and now needed in the other, and came back out.  The stillness had acquired a directionality.   On the next trip out, as I looked at the sky, the cloud cover had a distinct difference between that to the north and that to the south--color, density, etc.  Stuck my head back inside and reported that, then zipped back out and across the yards to baste the ham again.    While I was in that kitchen, which has a window and door to the north-slightly-west,  a soft fist of wind hit window and door, and the leaves blown north, away from the house, by the previous wind were now picked up and tossed at the house.    By the time I went back across the yards (maybe 15 minutes, at most) the temperature had dropped enough that I felt chilly in just a T-shirt.   On subsequent trips, it was colder each time, until I gave up and put on a long-sleeved turtleneck.  

We sat down to eat in a room no longer too warm, but cooled just to the comfortable point (and guests were arriving from the cold outdoors.)

Lots of eating and talking ensued, and didn't stop for hours (the eating had pauses, even gaps,  and finally was down to desultory and intermittent nibbling by individuals, who could be found propped against a doorframe with a small plate of something---the talking had no pauses.)

The food guests brought was delicious.   They said the food I cooked was delicious.  This created the happy coincidence of happy cooks on all sides.  Turkey, ham, dressing, gravy, green beans, salad, and various accouterments disappeared...then so did cake and pies.  Lots of pies.  A gracious plenty, as a friend of my mother's used to say, disappeared.   And there was enough, in abundance, that I could have two slices of pumpkin pie for breakfast (it's a vegetable, she says virtuously.)  

Today is clear, deep blue sky, chilly and breezy, and drop-dead gorgeous.   Today is for packaging those leftovers destined for the freezer, and enjoying the ones destined for today's meals.  (We like T-day leftovers.)   Today is for resting (having worked our buns off Wednesday and Thursday--well worth it, but the bodies are stiff and sore.)  Today is for being thankful all over again, for the friends that came and enjoyed themselves where we could share in their enjoyment   




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[User Picture]From: dragonmyst
2010-11-27 02:36 am (UTC)
Sounds wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving (belated I guess).
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[User Picture]From: made_of_paradox
2010-11-27 03:03 am (UTC)
Pumpkin pie at breakfast is perfectly justifiable if the temperature is low enough. And sometimes even whipped cream on it is justifiable at breakfast.

I'm just a little envious that there was enough for two pieces at breakfast. :)
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[User Picture]From: amm_me
2010-11-27 03:15 am (UTC)
Well, I didn't get up till almost noon, so I felt justified in having a reprise of the whole meal for lunch. Turkey, dressing, gravy, the last of the green beans and sweet potatoes, AND I remembered the cranberry-orange relish, which of course i had forgotten in the fridge yesterday. No pumpkin pie, though, that traditional addition didn't get made this year.

And of course it was GORGEOUS weather, what Thanksgiving Day ought to be but often isn't.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-11-27 03:36 am (UTC)
Pie was available at breakfast because R- bought two pies. Usually I make one huge or two regular pumpkin pies...so I CAN have pumpkin pie the next day. One pumpkin, one chocolate*, and one pecan pie are sure to disappear on the day (no matter how few guests) but lots of other desserts** mean that I can usually salvage most of a pumpkin pie (if there were two) for the days after. People start sampling, and don't necessarily go back for seconds of the pumpkin (a few don't even LIKE pumpkin.)

*Chocolate because it's dead easy to make and certain people really, really like it. Brownie mix (fudge type) and store bought deep-dish pie shell. You need the box-size mix, not the small-package mix (for the small package mix, a regular store-bought pie shell will do.) Mix up the mix, egg(s), oil, water, pour into pie shell, bake. Amazingly good, though it takes longer to bake than regular brownies.

** A ginger-creme bundt-pan-type cake (guest provided), an apple pie (ditto), two pecan pies of different type (ditto), brownie pie, two pumpkin pies (purchased) and apple pandowdy. So people had choices. Whipped cream was available for dolloping on top. In the interest of good nutrition (you may laugh now) we didn't include ice cream as an option this year.

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[User Picture]From: amm_me
2010-11-27 03:55 am (UTC)
I'll have to try that brownie pie, as I am of the persuasion that chocolate is one of the basic food groups. Thanks.

I didn't make pie because I was experimenting with cake. I need to take a dessert to the beekeepers' club Christmas dinner, so I thought I would try making my staple, my grandmother's pound cake, substituting half the sugar with honey. Well. I did not think it was possible to improve my grandmother's pound cake. I was wrong. The taste is great, and the texture, at least on this first try, is extraordinary, wonderful and moist but not gummy. And I made it in my fancy "cathedrals" bundt pan and it came out perfectly. We'll see if it works as well next month. Or maybe I will decide that it is only prudent to make one more trial in the interim ;-)
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-11-27 04:54 am (UTC)
That sounds...amazingly good. What kind of honey? And how did you figure the amount? (My old pound cake recipe is a pound of eggs, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, a pound of butter and a bit of vanilla.)

I think you need to make another trial in the meantime, just to be sure. I'm sure someone could be persuaded to test it....
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[User Picture]From: masgramondou
2010-11-27 06:06 pm (UTC)
When my mother substituted excess honey (father being a bee keeper some years we had veritable surfeits of honey) for sugar she simply replaced the weight of one with the weight of the other. Or volume if she was replacing treacle/molasses or similar. Its slightly less sweet that way but it isn't usually a problem because there are all the other flavors in there instead.

We used whatever honey was around which was usually from oilseed rape (canola) because that was the one that most often produced the surfeit but not always and never exclusively that anyway because the bees don't know they are supposed to stick to one source of nectar at a time
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[User Picture]From: amm_me
2010-11-27 10:45 pm (UTC)
Your pound cake is a real pound-of-everything. Mine has been messed with somewhere in its history. 2 c sugar (1#), 2 sticks butter (.5#), 1 tsp lemon extract, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 6 eggs (1# +- depending on size), 2 c flour (less than a pound I think). The key to making it work is to add the eggs one at a time to the creamed butter/sugar/flavorings, beating each egg a whole minute before adding the next, to create the air spaces to rise. The times I made it without access to an electric beater, I added a bit of baking powder as insurance.

I substituted about 7/8 cup honey for 1 cup sugar, doubled the nutmeg 'cause I thought the stronger flavor could stand it, and a bit of soda since honey is acid. Baked it about an hour and a quarter to be sure it would turn out of the bundt pan; I think it could have been shorter. It worked perfectly.

My grandmother contributed two or three cakes to the craft fair our tiny Unitarian Fellowship held as a fundraiser in 1959, a marked concession I believe as she didn't hold with this newfangled free-thinking group her daughter had gotten mixed up with. Sales were a bit slowish, and the people running the fair sliced one of the cakes to sell it by the more affordable slice. One of them, or maybe a customer, pointed out, "Mrs. Mount, there are weevils in the cake." Grandmother drew herself up in considerable dudgeon and said, "It's the NUTMEG!"

I don't know if she ever again contributed anything. But it did become a family saying, if nutmeg were to be added to anything, to "Remember to add the weevils."
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[User Picture]From: made_of_paradox
2010-11-27 10:36 pm (UTC)
Choices are good. The dessert choices you list there are wonderful, and I think Daughter would have liked the chocolate pie. I should try that sometime, it being dead easy. :)

I'm not sure ice cream was available where we had Thanksgiving dinner. If it had been and Daughter had known, she might have asked for it after discovering that she didn't actually like pumpkin pie. I think we still have vanilla ice cream here from my October birthday gathering where someone recommended we have the equivalent of a gallon of ice cream, and maybe half of it was consumed.

And, oddly enough, for the calories, some ice cream has more protein than beef breakfast sausage. (I read some nutrition labels when I was pregnant with twins and my mom was pushing breakfast sausage on me. I took to eating ice cream twice a week at breakfast for the next month or so, since "protein" was very high on the list of things to be eaten in great abundance.)
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[User Picture]From: 90sbondgirl
2010-12-03 08:48 pm (UTC)
It was "just us" this year (v. strange, usually have about 10+ at the table!), and since my husband, a Sixth Generation Native Texan, does NOT eat pumpkin, sweet potato, or pecan pie (heresy!), we had Baker's Chocolate No-Bake Pie. It was way delicious, and my 8-year-old did most of the work, by her choice.

But the next day she and I made a pumpkin pie 'cause the rest of us here like it. Although I didn't have any for breakfast (this holiday). ;) And I agree whole-heartedly: Vegetable! Protein! Calcium! (with a bow to Bill Cosby)
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[User Picture]From: made_of_paradox
2010-11-27 03:14 am (UTC)
That is the last time we drag our older son somewhere for Thanksgiving just for the sake of family all being together. One way or another, next year will not be a repeat of this year and last year. He didn't want to go in the front door, was brought around to the back, and sat down at a table set up on the (covered!) back patio. This was a fine arrangement, his immediate family and uncle eating lunch there, and then the cold front arrived before it was time for pie.

His sister did well with staying in her grandma's care after her daddy and I took her brothers home, at least. And one more distant relative was fairly helpful - if I'd made a list that afternoon of people I was thankful for, he would have been on the list.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-11-27 04:52 am (UTC)
The family thing can be difficult. In-laws were not understanding of or helpful with our son...I think they might have wanted to be, but just had no clue and did not come equipped with clue-recognition modules.

What we did, in a way, was start collecting people who were accepting of our son, and they became a family-equivalent for parties & things. So now our son is much more confident and socially adept, both here and elsewhere. He wasn't happy around the in-laws because they weren't happy around him.
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[User Picture]From: made_of_paradox
2010-11-27 10:43 pm (UTC)
Mother-in-law and brother-in-law are good with the older boy. My own mother, not quite as much. Extended family, not terribly well at all; the helpful relative was helping me with the task of trying to prepare plates for myself and my younger son while corralling said younger son in the serving line. (Helpful relative offered to hold the plates and load them up. What happened was, he held plates and did some of the loading while I did some of the rest of the loading and kept one hand on the delightful bundle of energy who then went on to not really eat once we got back to our table. I'm not sure he even drank his water. He fixed himself scrambled eggs for his supper that evening.)

Daughter is relatively easy for folks to deal with, although she still has her moments. (If the light switch you're dealing with is not the sort you're accustomed to and you're not sure how to turn the light on, going to the backpack you packed before coming over and removing a flashlight from it to take your own light into the bathroom isn't the worst response to the situation, but it is odd.)
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[User Picture]From: made_of_paradox
2010-11-27 10:48 pm (UTC)
We've been slowly collecting folks who are accepting, helpful, and loving. Our game plan next year might just be to attend the dinner at the house of one of them. There will be fewer people, and there will be cats to delight and distract the younger siblings, as well.
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[User Picture]From: filkferengi
2010-11-30 11:25 pm (UTC)
As the Pegasus-nominated comedy song affirms, "Chocolate is a vegetable."

http://www.ovff.org/pegasus/songs/chocolate-vegetable.html
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-12-01 02:46 am (UTC)
So, I'm convinced, is pumpkin pie...the pumpkin is basically a squash.

We will politely ignore the sugar, eggs, and condensed milk. Except...protein! Look, vegetable and protein! And...um....calcium! Vegetable, protein, mineral!
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[User Picture]From: filkferengi
2010-12-01 04:20 pm (UTC)
You forgot the ice cream. After all, calcium is essential for us ladies of a certain age, to avoid those unpleasant 'osteo' things.

For the best of both worlds, we found pumpkin pie ice cream [& pumpkin spice cake], to the delight of our Thanksgiving hosts.
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