I always did like the side dishes better. Potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberries. These are a lot of my favorite things. I wouldn’t want them all the time, but if you’re going to do it, do it big, right? Maybe that’s just me.
So Jeff took pictures of me periodically from about 1 pm when I started until about 6:30 when it ended. Yes. I cooked for 5.5 hours. And it was SO MUCH FUN. This was about 2 pm when I was chopping butternut squash.
It was a Food Network meal. I made Emerilized Green Bean Casserole (the kind where you use fresh green beans from Jennifer’s garden) and make your own french onions and wild mushroom mushroom soup. Except I used Alton’s baked onion rings from his casserole instead of Emeril’s fried ones. This is me about 3:30 chopping the last of the veggies – garlic. The squash had finished roasting.
Then I made Roasted Butternut Squah & Maple Soup, also from Emeril, with tarragon oil – fabulous, by the way. Plus I made Michael Chiarello’s Definitive Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, which are TOTALLY OMG AWESOME. I also made a Celebration Roast (veggie roast) with butternut squash, mushroom and apple stuffing, which I think is better than tofurkey. Oh, and gravy! This was around 5 pm and the food prep was done and things were cooking. Jennifer was pureeing garlic for the potatoes. I had gained an apron. This was Intense Cooking Time.
Did I mention there are two pies? Oh dear, I don’t know how I’m going to eat them. I’m writing this in a lull between food eating and pie. The goal is to stay awake. Seriously. You know what I mean. Don’t lie. This is about 5:30 pm, and Jennifer and I are surprised here by Jeff. The soups are done, the potatoes cooked, the green beans blanched. I’ve used four dutch ovens to cook dinner and 7 bowls, and 3 saucepans, not to mention two baking dishes.
The day was not without injury. I sliced off a bit of my left index finger and grabbed a hot pan. Burns are normal for me, but slicing not so much. Luckily, the finger slice didn’t hurt. I lost feeling in my thumb and first two fingers of my left hand when I had spinal surgery, so it just bled and I went on. You see Wesley is interested in what’s going on. This is around 6:30 pm. There are things in the oven now, and everything’s nearly complete. This is me and MIL in her kitchen.
7 pm. Wrapping up, cleaning up. I’m cooking the garlic puree to put in the potatoes. The soup’s warming. The green bean casserole’s cooking. The herbs that have been in the foreground all day are finally in the pots. The baked onions are out on the right.
FINALLY DINNER. TASTY.
Hope y’all had a lovely, food-stuffed time with your loved ones. TTFN. I’m going to go have pie.