Saturday, November 27, 2010

yesterday's meal

1. turkey breast tenderloin (when you're cooking for only two people, there's no reason to buy the entire bird) with gravy (store-bought, alas... a consequence of not having an entire turkey to produce drippings and crumbly bits for gravy)

2. homemade stuffing: rather humble Stove Top boxed kit, with a broth made of water, gravy, and beef-flavored Korean dashida; also added mild pork sausage with peeled, diced apples (both cooked on the side and partially drained before incorporation into the stuffing); turned out great

3. homemade cranberry sauce: cranberries boiled the standard way (i.e., in simple syrup), with a tiny drop of lemon essence and some pumpkin pie spices; came out great

4. homemade mashed potatoes: peeled and boiled potatoes mashed with butter, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic and onion powder; forgot to add the Gruyère, but it didn't matter

5. homemade sweet potatoes: along with #6 below, probably my best hit of the evening. Peeled and boiled sweet potatoes, mashed along with brown sugar, molasses, pumpkin pie spices, and heavy cream; candied walnuts (I candied them in molasses and brown sugar) were added; the whole thing was placed in a baking dish with marshmallows on top; 350 degrees for a few minutes to brown the marshmallows... perfect

6. Kevin-style choucroute alsacienne: (placed atop the mashed potatoes) ham, bacon, bratwurst, mild pork sausage, pork tenderloin, sauerkraut, cloves, and BEER (Heineken); forgot the mustard, but the thing was so damn good it didn't matter

7. peas: came frozen; boiled and buttered, salted and peppered

8. baby carrots: fresh; boiled and buttered, salted and peppered, with a touch of onion powder

9. salad: baby spinach, red onion, feta cheese, honey-roasted almonds, crispy bacon crumbles, and a sprinkle of raisins

10. pies: apple and pumpkin (very nice)

The pies were bought at Wegmans by Dr. Steve, who spent the night in my humble, box-filled abode. Steve also brought over wasabi peas (very addictive), some Japanese kiddie snacks (a bit more flavorful than the Korean version), and a British type of ginger ale called Idris Fiery Ginger Beer. The Idris turned out not to be fiery at all, but the drink was quite tasty, and could well become my new addiction.

Steve was a sport about the fact that I haven't had time to set my new place up. It's been a back-breaking couple of weeks for me: the long drives back and forth to Alexandria, the dozens of trips up the stairs as I carried box after box out of my car and into the apartment, and the desperate food shopping the night before Thanksgiving. I did manage to clear out some space in the living room for a table, and got the kitchen organized enough to cook a meal. Instead of putting all the kitchen items in their proper places, I stuffed everything into my many bookshelves (the books themselves remained boxed and were shunted into various closets) so that I could see all my food-related items at a glance. This proved helpful when I finally got around to cooking; the meal prep itself took me several hours, since I hadn't had the time or energy to get a head start the night before.

For his part, Steve put the TV together (a stand had to be mounted), and also assembled the Ikea-bought TV console. We watched "Star Trek" last night, and I have to say that the picture quality is incredible. The meal was huge, and Steve, who's thin as a toothpick, told me "This was the first real meal I'd had in a while." Steve's one of those thin people for whom eating is just an afterthought. Part of me admires this attitude; part of me finds it insane.

I spoke to my brother Sean last night; he was up in Rhode Island. I Skyped with my brother David earlier today; even earlier that that, I had a visit from the Comcast cable guy, and he hooked up my computer and TV. I'm once again plugged into the civilized world.

Steve's gone back to face a massive pile of grading; I'm now alone in my apartment, with a throbbing lower back after all the lifting and stair-climbing I've done. I've still got things to shop for locally, but at this point, I'm pretty much moved in. There also remain a few items on the to-do list for the house in Alexandria, but nothing urgent. As a final courtesy, I may take care of the blanket of fallen leaves in both the front and back yards.

Oh, yeah... about the above-mentioned Heineken (which was an ingredient in the choucroute alsacienne): a six-pack of Heineken was sitting on the front step of the house in Alexandria. I'm pretty sure it came from a neighbor across the street, a Latino contractor who had visited twice to tell me about items that had been stolen from his place-- a ladder, some power tools, etc. It's all been very distressing for him because it impacts his ability to do business effectively; I just happened to be a friendly ear, and I suppose the beer was his way of repaying me for listening. I don't drink beer, of course, but that doesn't mean I can't cook with it.

I've got a list of things to do right here in town, but I may rest a bit first before I get up and do them.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.


1 comment:

Maven said...

Sounds like quite the repast! Happy Thanksgiving to you, my friend!