Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thanksgiving Think-Ahead

Since it's Halloween, it's not too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving.  This year I will be cooking for 11 (including us).  I am not a person who likes to innovate on Thanksgiving.  My motto is "keep it traditional" and to me "traditional" means "what my grandmother served on Thanksgiving when I was a kid."  I have her stuffing recipe in her handwriting.  I make the stuffing INSIDE the turkey.

They were heavy on "creamed" foods when I was a kid, and I won't be going there.  I will not be serving creamed cauliflower or creamed spinach, both of which I remember on the Thanksgiving table of my childhood.  But I will served mashed turnips (rutabagas) despite the fact that I'm the only one who's going to eat it.  It's just not Thanksgiving without it.

Other likely items on the menu:  mashed potatoes, Granma's rolls, gravy (from a can, since I'm no good at making the real thing), cranberry sauce (possibly from a can, but maybe I'll try to make the real thing if I can get my friend's recipe), corn and steamed broccoli or green beans.  I will also have a vegetable platter (carrots, celery, peppers and cucumbers) and plenty of chips and salsa.

Dessert is apple pie, of course, plus a pan of brownies for the kids.  (Not my kids--they love my apple pie--but the visiting kids who are already "iffy" on most of the Thanksgiving menu.)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Syrup II

In my quest to make my own fancy coffee at home, I've been trying various pumpkin-spice syrups.  Here's one that stood up to refrigeration.  It's the spice, not pumpkin, that gives the syrup the signature taste.  That, and the brown sugar.

1 cup water
1 cup dark brown sugar (must be dark brown)
1/4 tsp each cloves and ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

Bring to a boil, then cook over lower heat until the syrup is reduced by half.  This takes 5 to 10 minutes.  Allow to cool completely, then pour into a glass jar and refrigerate.  This makes about 1 cup of syrup.

Menu Plan for September 23-30, 2010

Thurs 23:  Chicken Caroline, rice

Fri 24:  Flounder, hash brown casserole, green beans

Sat 25:  Pot luck dinner after 5:00 Mass.  We hosted.  Our contributions:  meatballs and sauce and beef barley soup.

Sun 26:  Sloppy Joes.

Mon 27:  Ham steak

Tues 28:  Sichuan chicken, rice

Wed 29:  Spaghetti

Thurs 30:  Takeout.  We had a hellish schedule and I gave in to the pressure.

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