And so we come to the last day of November, and the last post. I will probably not get one of the prizes given out, but I will reward myself by not posting again until I actually have an internet connection at home. Your email inboxes and RSS readers have 11 months to recover before I commence next year’s assault (assuming I do this again next year). I have earned the right to add another one of these to some place on my blog. I’m not 100% certain I got a sense of satisfaction out of it, perhaps more of a sense of relief at this stage.
Instead of posting for a while, I’m going to work on doing some actual crafting, putting my house together, finally unpacking items that have been packed since October of last year, and moving into my new crafting space as well. This weekend I’m going to join my cousins and go pick out a tree on a farm, and get some Christmas going around here.
Thanksgiving Dinner: By the way, last Friday I did make Thanksgiving dinner (you didn’t think I’d let that pass, did you?). There weren’t any pictures, but I did make seven items:
- a Field Roast (this is too easy, does this even count?)
- stuffing with sourdough, apples, caramelized onions, chopped walnuts and fried sage (fried sage is totally gratuitous, but yummy)
- mashed taters with roasted garlic
- butternut squash risotto
- green bean casserole with homemade sweet & wild mushroom soup
- cranberry-orange-ginger chutney (a 1/4 cup of ginger = very spicy!)
- Alton Brown’s pumpkin yogurt pie (my very favoritest pie)
Sweet & Wild Green Bean Casserole: Most of these items are things I consider easy, and are on my usual round of dinner fixins. The one that isn’t usual is the green bean casserole. I love this stuff, but a few years ago I got tired of it being the Same Old Too Salty Boring Thing. I tried using garlic mushroom soup, but last year I finally realized I should just start making it from scratch – fresh beans, fresh mushrooms, my own fried onions. Last year I used the Emerilized Green Bean Casserole and Alton Brown’s baked onions. This year I made my own recipe, and since my brother was there for dinner so I made the cream of mushroom soup with almond milk instead. MUCH simpler than Emeril’s version, and tasty!
- Saute wild mushroom mix in butter (my holiday treat to myself) and a dash or so or balsamic vinegar.
- The real trick: I used a technique of steeping the milk with spices/herbs. I chose whole nutmeg, a cinnamon stick, caraway seeds, whole allspice and whole peppercorns. Let it simmer at a very low temperature for a while (15 minutes or so? I wasn’t timing it) and then strain it to remove the spices. After a while you stir in your flour after making a slurry with a bit of the milk and bring to a boil to thicken.
- Mix the mushrooms into the thickened cream base.
- Mix the soup in with fresh green beans and homemade fried onions. Or French’s onions. I’d be happy either way.
The taste is different, almost sweet, and it was lovely!
Oh, and cooking in my new kitchen. WONDERFUL. I LOVE IT. SEVEN DISHES NO PROBLEM. Three things baking at a time! After such a long time of having no counter space and cramped spaces, it’s just heavenly. Then when I was done, there was a dishwasher (not me!). Ah well. After my year of crazy tiny kitchens, I’m now a dab hand at cooking in awkward situations while camping, I’ll tell you that.
Thanks, and toodles: I’m going to go be one with my new apartment and ‘hood now. Thank you to everyone who came by for reading my silliness all through this November. You’re all lovely, even if most of you don’t stop by to say hello in the comments. Which you should.