Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Ready for The Turkey
It is a little after 8, and I am in the kitchen staring out at the Miles River while the dogs go through their morning rituals. A glass enclosed gas fire is kicked up next to me, and it just became hot enough to excite the small fan which propels its goodness outward. I slept in this morning, until just a few minutes ago really, after bedding down at 9:30. A solid effort on my part.

In about two and a half hours, the cooking will begin. The Kitten has planned a gluttonous repast to celebrate this day of Thanksgiving, and we and the Kittens will be joined by an additional six family members living closeby. This year, we have the added treat of hosting The Kitten's mother-in-law, who is also grandmother to the Kittens and mother to The Kitten's late husband. She is a delightful woman, and she has made me welcome in her world from the moment I entered it. We share a great interest in news events, and the two of us can sometimes bore the rest of the house with our chatter.

The Kittens are both here, and it is renewing to hear the laughter that comes from their scheming upstairs. Not that they are scheming right now; it is far too early for that. This is the 10th Thanksgiving that we have celebrated together--as I woke this morning I gave The Kitten a little squeeze as I rendered thanks for the three of them--properly named Catherine, Hope, and Hannah--for having allowed me into this wonderful family.

The Kitten has a well-thought-out plan, complete with timetables and forethought into how to manage the use of the oven, five cooktop elements, and the grill. Here is today's menu:

Roast Turkey
Grilled Local Duck Wapped in Bacon with a Blackberry and Balsamic Sauce
The Kitten's Famous Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Sauce
Sweet Potatoes
Oyster Casserole
The Kitten's Famous Dressing (or Stuffing)
Brussel Sprout/Broccoli Medly Drizzled with Light Sauce of Balsamic and Honey
Dinner Rolls
Pumpkin Cheese Cake Pie
Pumpkin Pudding Pie
Pumkin Pie
Vanilla Ice Cream

We have a great, well-equipped kitchen, but an undertaking of this magnitude requires forethought into how all the tools are managed, and The Kitten has it down to a science. My contributions include, all things turkey, gravy, and duck. Also, the Brussel sprout dish and the peeling of the numerous potatoes that go into her decadent mashed potatoes. I remember an early Thanksgiving, together, when the little Kittens chatted about their mother's mashed potatoes with reverance. I dismissed it of course, as the hero worship of children for their mother--but when I tasted them, they were confirmed.

We are shooting for Supper at 1700 hrs, which means the long lead item (Turkey) gets started at about 1100 (out of the oven at 1615, in at around 1145). I have a 23 pound fresh Butterball, which I will cook breast side down (as is my recent custom). Doing so results in a bird that is not as pretty as a breast up version, but the breast meet comes out perfect. After the Turkey goes in, I turn to the mind-numbing job of potato peeling, before heading out to the grill to cook the duck, which is then refrigerated until the guests arrive, and is used as an appetizer. In the past, we have had several more appetizers, but this year we concluded that while they were delicious, they made us (me) full before the meal even started.

The house is quiet as I wrap up this post. The dogs have concluded their morning hyperactivity and have settled down for naps. I hear the hot water heater, so someone in the house is up and about besides me. Soon, breakfasters will be all around, and the television will be turned on to the Macy's Parade. Not much TV football watching goes on in this house on Thanksgiving, so I sneak out to the ManCave for quick nips at the games.

To conclude, I want to wish anyone who reads this a Happy Thanksgiving, and I'll share what is rolling around in my mind as the general theme for this evening's Grace with you as a way to extend its blessings.  Be well, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Dear Lord,
We thank you for this day, and for our lives.
We ask that you be with us this evening as we enjoy our family's love and this bountiful meal.
We know that there are many across this country today who do not share in the bounty, and who
are suffering in body, or in spirit.
We ask that you be with them this day, and all days.
We ask that you be with those whose jobs keep them away from home, and to return them to their loved ones safely.
And we ask that we be worthy of all of your blessings each and every day.


Dear ol' Dad said...

Nice write up Bryan and have a great Thanksgiving Day to all.

Odyssey Woman said...

Happy Thanksgiving you, Catherine, Hannah and Hope. The menu sounds delicious, and your blessing is lovely.



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