Wednesday, November 27, 2013

TP-D3: And Now We Drink Verdejo

You know, dear readers, that I love what I'm doing, right?  That I love four afternoons and nights this week of chopping, stirring, baking, mixing, puréeing, boiling, melting, squeezing, zesting, brining, whisking, and combining for tomorrow's Thanksgiving Feast?


Tomorrow will begin early, only because of the turkey, but otherwise, I will be quite at my leisure.  My parents are arriving at 10 a.m., with their huge 12-cup capacity coffeemaker.  My in-laws (parents, two brothers, sister, and three small children) will arrive around 11, and the first courses will begin at 12.

And I will be ready.

Again, I've loved every minute of the prep process.  I've looked forward to coming home, getting out my knives, doing my mise en place, and working my mojo. 

Things are winding down.  For example, today's task list consisted of.

1. Wash all plates and serving dishes and utensils. Dust ceiling fans.  Vacuum.  Sweep.  Mop.  We may live like savages around here for 364 days out of a year, but that 365th day will be as clean and presentable as possible, savvy?

2. Brine the turkey.  Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving more than trapping a naked, whole poultry in a plastic, salty, spicy funhouse.  Good thing s/he's dead.  (To those offended, no apologies.)  We brined our turkey last year, and it worked so well, we did it again.

3. Assembling and baking the Lemon-Cranberry Pie Bars.  This was a first-time recipe, so I ran it the day case things weren't as they seemed (because I am constantly amazed at the amount of recipes published that don't work as the author wrote).  Note to Reader But Mostly To Self: Do not move bars until they are totally, completely, and utterly cool. Like, not until the next day.  They will crack in unseemly ways, otherwise.

4.  Make and chill the Butternut Squash Bisque.  Remember the squash I'd roasted yesterday?  Today, I sautéed some mirepoix and Granny Smith apples with some chiffonaded sage leaves, which I then tossed with the squash and broth before pureeing it up further in my Ninja.  Tomorrow, it will go in my crockpot to warm, and at that time I will add the cream.  And hey, did you know that it is very likely that squash was a dish at the First Thanksgiving?  That's what NPR Radio told me this morning on my morning commute, anyway.  But, I already had squash on the I tried not to be too self-congratulatory.

Puréed squash is so so so so pretty.
5.  Make the cornbread.  This is actually the cornbread for the stuffing, and I used the recipe straight from the Pioneer Woman's website (you'll have to go here).  Surprisingly easily this recipe is, but it calls for 1.) buttermilk and 2.) a cast-iron skillet...which may turn several would-be cornbread bakers away.  I do own a cast-iron skillet (Christmas '12) and I purchased buttermilk, knowing Ma Marcella (this is my mom) is coming to my house tomorrow and she loves the stuff. 

As I began tonight's blog post, I realized I forgot to get a photo of the above cornbread.  Silly me, I must have lost my head.

However, I did not forget to get a picture of this:

Verdejo grape - Grown near Segovia, Spain - I've been there

6.  Drink wine in celebration of finished prep list.  Huzzzah!

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