Monday, November 23, 2009
HERE WE GO AGAIN
To bring you up to date - all the guests have been invited - and all have accepted. Too bad I only have room for twelve at my table. As long as I'm cooking - what's the difference if I cook for twelve or twenty. But twelve it is.
I did all the marketing today - except for the turkey which has been ordered and can only be picked up on Thursday morning. And some of the preparing has actually been done. The tseer (broth, stock) for the gravy was made weeks ago and is in the freezer. The mushrooms and onions and celery have been chopped and satueed and are in the freezer, too, waiting for their chance to become part of the stuffing.
The bread is getting stale - waiting to be cubed and toasted in the oven - to become the basis of the stuffing - along with the chestnuts and vegetables. It will smell like Thanksgiving when the stuffing is in the oven and the smell of sage wafts through the house.
Tomorrow - although it will only be Tuesday - I'll open the table - iron the cloth - and set the table. I hate to have to iron the cloth at the last minute - I know I'm a bit anal - but I can't stand a table cloth with "closet folds" in it - so who's perfect? I suppose there are worse things to be than neurotic about creases. So that gets the table out of the way.
I'll also make the cranberry sauce and cranberry relish tomorrow. My friend, Riva, is the star of this year's dinner. Just as I was comforting myself that it wasn't really so bad to serve tinned cranberry sauce - and that no one would really mind, anyway - TA DA! Riva announced that she had to go Canada for a week - and asked if I wanted her to bring me back fresh cranberries. You mean you didn't hear me shriek? With joy? (It takes so little to make me happy these days.) And true to her word - she brought me fresh cranberries.
On Thursday Myra will perform her "usual" Thanksgiving chore - which she volunteers to do you must understand - I do not force her into this terrible job. Myra will show up early on the morning of Thanksgiving - just after I've gotten home with the turkey(s) - and pluck the bird(s) clean. This is not North America - our poultry does not arrive at the market absolutely denuded and featherless. Actually, I've learned to think of the feathers as just a bit more protein - but even I have limits.
The reason for "turkey(s)" - is that I won't know until Thursday if I will get one turkey or two. ( And you thought life here was easy?) There is no such thing as a "normal" North American-type turkey of 18 or 20 or 24 pounds. So - I'll either have one 8 kilo bird (17.6 pounds) or two 5 kilo birds (each bird weighing 11 pounds) Not to worry - I have an enormous oven which holds two small turkeys side by side. In either case there will be enough food. I always worry in case there isn't enough food - if there's not food left over then there wasn't enough!
Besides - I already have orders for "Care Packages" - you know - little packages of food from the dinner to take home - there's nothing like leftovers from Thanksgiving. A turkey sandwich the next day - there's nothing better.