Friday, November 26, 2010

Post Turkey

The best part of having Thanksgiving dinner at your house is eating the leftovers for the next week or for however long they last.  This year we were just family with my daughter’s boyfriend.
My contribution to the cooking was minimal since everyone likes to cook.  I did the grocery shopping, making sure we had enough of the essentials -- things like turkey, eggs, butter, onions, pumpkin.  Here was the menu:
Ginger-carrot soup -- Dan
Turkey -- David
Dressing (homemade challah with and without pork sausage) -- Barbara
Sauteed Brussel sprouts -- Rachel & Scott
Peppery sweet potatoes -- David
Garlicky mashed potatoes -- Rachel & Scott
Two types of cranberry relish -- Barbara
Pumpkin flan -- Dan
Pumpkin pie -- Rachel & Scott
There were lots of fireworks in the days leading up to this feast day.  But by the time we sat down to eat, everyone was getting along.  It was one of those times to enjoy the present moment, looking neither forward or back.
After filling our bellies to beyond capacity, we watched “The Kids are Alright,” a poignant movie about coming of age in a lesbian family, as the two children find their biological father.  
Today is a quiet day.  Dan has departed for SF once again.  Rachel and Scott are off enjoying the free museums of DC.  Jake is in mourning for the departure of his best friend Dan.
I’m feeling a little drained after the emotional roller coaster of the past week or so.  I am convinced my family members love one another, but sometimes we struggle to hold onto that love.
Here’s the recipe for my latest cranberry relish, courtesy of NPR’s Susan Stamberg:
Garlicky Cranberry Chutney
1-inch piece fresh ginger
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-pound can cranberry sauce with berries
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
Cut ginger into paper-thin slices, stack them together, and cut into really thin slivers.
Combine ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and cayenne in a small pot.  Bring to a simmer, simmer on medium flame about 15 minutes or until there are about 4 tablespoons of liquid left.
Add can of cranberry sauce, salt, and pepper.  Mix and bring to a simmer.  Lumps are OK.  Simmer on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes.
Cool, store, and refrigerate.


Blogger Terry said...

I love that Susan Stamberg cranberry relish, but no one else in my family was crazy about it, so we are back to a more standard relish. How were the peppery sweet potatoes? I tried a recipe with chili powder and garlic, which was OK, but didn't knock my socks off. I am still looking for one that isn't sweet. Is the recipe available for the peppery dish?

6:39 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Terry -- We universally liked this version of

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

3 pounds sweet potatoes
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
Salt to taste

Lightly oil the skins of the sweet potatoes and roast them at 350 degrees F. for 90 minutes, until the flesh is very soft.

Heat the cream with the milk until hot.

Cut the sweet potatoes in half and scoop the flesh out into a food processor. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, and chipotle chili powder. Puree in the food processor and add the hot cream and milk until you get the desired consistency. Add salt to taste.

Couldn't be easier! It's a pleasant change from the marshmallow version...

6:47 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

I offered the usual cranberry sauces, but made one that was easy peesy:

One 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
One bottle of POM pomegranate juice
3/4 to 1 cup sugar.

Cook on medium flame 15-30 minutes.

The receipe called for 15 minutes. I felt it responded better to 30.

The receipe called for 3/4 sugar. I had to add another 1/4 cup to offset the tartness.

1:09 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Yum! I've been enjoying the leftovers since Thursday. I am glad you had time with the family, roller coaster and all.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Cube -- Cranberry sauce doesn't need to be difficult to be good, that's for sure! I'll try yours next year.

Gary -- Yum, yes?

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How great that everyone participated in the kitchen -- makes it so much more fun! I love non-sweet mashed sweet potatoes -- made them this year, too. Dressing, a simple cranberry relish, and turkey are the core dishes I make no matter what else....


11:16 AM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

That sounds like a delicious feast. I'm going to have to try that sweet potato recipe.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Oh yum! I was away and didn't cook dinner this year so am missing leftovers! I will make a T-day dinner again on the weekend and will have all the leftovers I want then! Glad you had a good holiday :)

4:09 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Sounds absolutely perfect... My mouth is now watering.

7:46 PM  
Blogger e said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Thanksgiving. Mine was spent in PJ's eating Chinese food.

3:19 PM  

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