Saturday, November 25, 2006


This year, I have so much to be thankful for... its hard to even put it into words. If I'm able to sort out my thoughts, I'll post on my "musings" blog. In the meantime, lets talk turkey! Dear daughter and I had too many invitations to choose from, so we decided to spend a quiet day at home with a simple meal. We could have gone home to Boston, of course, and that was our first choice, but my checkbook didn't think that was too good an idea. Then my cousin Jan in Tampa invited us for the weekend. It was very tempting, but again, the checkbook, along with the prospects of a long drive each way helped us to decide against it. We had invites from two church families, my former boss and dear, dear friends Billy and Melvin, and my dear I Cantori friend, Carla. All these invitations were deeply, deeply appreciated and having family and friends like this are part of what makes my heart so full right now.

Once we decided to stay home, suddenly I got very excited about cooking Thanksgiving dinner! For the first time, we could cook anything we wanted, without meeting anyone else's ideas of what a Thanksgiving dinner should include, except (of course!) for the turkey breast which dear daughter is addicted to. She eats turkey year round - its one of her most favorite foods. So, I bought a turkey breast for her and roasted it in the countertop roaster. It didn't get crispy, but it was absolutely the most moist and juicy turkey breast I've ever eaten! In fact, it was hardly defrosted at all and I threw it in anyway. 9 hours later, it was perfect. Very, very yummy! I highly recommend this method.

DD isn't very big on green veggies, but she adores brussels sprouts, so that's what we ate, along with maple glazed sweet potatoes, Mexican style roasted new potatoes and cornbread dressing. For us, cornbread dressing is pretty exotic - I never even tasted such a thing until I moved to California. Its pretty hard for this Italian girl to imagine a dressing without ricotta, parmesan, Italian sausage and raisins, but I have found that I like cornbread stuffing made with wine, cheese, lots of onion and garlic, chopped apple and nuts. DD likes it ok, but in general, she is not a dressing kind of girl - she thinks its a waste of good bread! We didn't make gravy since there wasn't a lot of drippings in the pan and the turkey was so moist that it didn't need it. For dessert (and there was only ONE dessert) we decided that we wanted pumpkin pie but we didn't want the crust, so I adapted my panna cotta recipe and made a pumpkin hazlenut panna cotta. It was spectacular!

We weren't total hermits, though. On Wednesday night, we served the Akathist, Glory to God for All Things at church, and Divine Liturgy on Thanksgiving morning. From liturgy, we went to Carla's for some company and some breakfast (pie and coffee). Then we went home and hunkered down, only emerging from our cocoon to call home to Boston. I hope you and yours had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as we did.