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Saturday 20th Jan 2018

If you stumble into this space from time-to-time you know I like to cook. And, actually, I am pretty good at it.

I always do the heavy Thanksgiving lifting, and that is usually at our Soda Springs house with Diane, Cathy's family, and all of our dogs (which total five including Eric and Jill's pups Bailey and Shadow, along with our Jazzmine, Mahi, and Pavlov).

That means movies all Thanksgiving afternoon, and games, but no football save tracking on the Internet. But, as I have noted so often, I don't mind being away from the TV and even streaming on the Net just like I don't mind my cell phone not really working. In fact that is part of why we go there.

But, my mother-in-law Edie took a bit of a tumble a couple of weeks ago and though she is feeling pretty spry, she did not really want to go up to the mountains this year. For, it had indeed snowed a lot in Tahoe the last couple of weeks, so she asked if we minded just staying home this year.

Well, we love going up, but staying home means no preparation or time on the road. It means I can cook in my own kitchen, and it means I can have football on pretty much all day.

So as I made Jill her birthday cake (the actual day was last week, but we always do her presents and cake on Thanksgiving) the terrific Detroit/Houston shootout was transpiring. Which meant I would throw butter in the mixer to cream and then run back out into the living room and watch Matthew Stafford go at it.

I got most of the third quarter as the cake was in the oven, but as the fourth quarter started it was time to rub the turkey (I use soy sauce, orange marmalade, garlic, fennel, a half-cup of brown sugar, and a half-teaspoon of Korean chili paste) although I got the bird in the oven right around noon, as planned, and then made it back onto the couch for a bit.

Now, I did turn the volume up as I went back into the kitchen to chop the cornbread I made to bake with dates and onions, and then peeled sweet potatoes when Eric, Jill, Edie, and my nieces Kelly and Lindsay arrived, so Eric tracked the game for me till I finished peeling sweet potatoes (Peel and cut into chunks, steaming with star anise: when soft drain and whip with heavy cream. Add orange zest, and finely chopped blend of rosemary, cranberries, and walnuts, and spoon into a baking dish. Top with marshmallows: I used vanilla flavored ones).

I was back in time to watch Robert Griffin III go at it against the Cowboys dominating the first half in a satisfactory way. But, then I had to glaze Jill's cake (Frangellica, unsweetened cocoa powder, milk, and crushed toffee on a marble bundt cake) and start steaming the potatoes for mashing (Again, I just peel, cut into chunks, and steam for about 20 minutes, then whip with part heavy cream and part buttermilk. For this batch I also squirted a tablespoon of wasabi paste along with fresh ground pepper and salt).

But then I tossed the meat loaf I made for Eric (kind of a tradition, as he is not a big turkey fan and then we all get meat loaf sandwiches for a few days with the leftovers) into the oven, and then we put all the stuffing and green bean casserole (Jill brought that bad boy, along with white bread stuffing), my sweet potatoes and stuffing for 30 minutes at 350 while the turkey cooled.

I went back out to see the end of the first half with RGIII in serious control, but since we had company, the volume of the TV went down. But, it was halftime so I went back into the kitchen to make gravy (2 TBS of turkey drippings to 2 TBS of flour; let the rue cook and add almost a cup of flour and a chicken bullion cube. As it thickens pour just a little heavy cream in and add a little salt and pepper) but by the time I got the gravy into the boat, it was time to hit the table.

Eric and I looked at one another when it seemed like there was a score, and Eric even suggested that Dallas had come with 14 points, although I sort of laughed what, "52-38 Washington?" But, the TV is out of view of the dining room and we were busy talking and eating anyway. In fact I am sure this is somewhat familiar to you?

Diane and Jill cleared off the table and we went back to football, but just as the first period finished up Diane had made tea and it was time to give Jill her gifts and eat the cake (and the pumpkin pie Jill brought).

And, somewhere in there the Patriots scored 35-points, including, I am told, 21 in 53 seconds.

That would have been fun to watch, but somehow I don't feel like I missed out on anything.

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