Happy Thanksgiving from the D'Costas! Back in 2011, I experimented with sharing my Thanksgiving with you, Readers, and I thought it might be time for a resurrection, so welcome to our kitchen and table. This year we're not hosting, but we're still cooking! Instead of the traditional late dinner tomorrow that we usually prepare, we're heading to my in-laws. But we're doing a small lunch for ourselves and a few other people because it's important to us that we celebrate some of the holiday in our home.
Thanksgiving means that S spends two days in the kitchen whipping up all sorts of culinary delights. We've had some kitchen equipment challenges over the years, but he still always manages to prevail. So once more, he's Head Chef, and I am Official Taster, Dish Washer, and Line Cook. I hope you'll cook with us and share your stories in the comments below and on on Twitter (@krystaldcosta) as we get ready for the big day tomorrow.
Nov. 27, 10:30 PM
Sorry for the delayed silence. My duties picked up today as we pulled lunch, dinner, and clean-up together, so it left little time for updates, but it all turned out amazingly—as I hope your meal did too.
After my last update, I turned in for the night, but S stayed up to complete the desserts. He rolled into bed around 4:00 AM after finishing a flourless chocolate cake and a chocolate pumpkin cheesecake. Sadly, I did not get pictures of these before they were devoured at their respective meals, so you'll have to take it from me that they were amazing.
How did Gus turn out? Amazing!
And here's a look at the table we set for lunch:
Of course, the best part of today was seeing the people we love and spending time with them—and all of their craziness. These shared meals allow us to reaffirm the connections we have with each other, but there's also something to be said for preparing the meal together. S and I make as many memories in the kitchen as we do around the table later in the day. And that for us represents the best of the holiday.
Nov. 26, 10:30 PM: M is for Muffins
I've washed 3 pots, and a bunch of mixing utensils. That's not a bad deal for the Chief Dish Washer, and it's really a testament to how laid back things are this year. The latest clean-up yielded cranberry corn muffins.
Here's a video of the finished product: Rise, Muffins! Rise!
I ate two. What's happening in your home?
Nov. 26, 9:00 PM: Just a Few Berries
What would Thanksgiving be without cranberry sauce? Well, it would probably still be Thanksgiving since it's unlikely that the Pilgrims were boiling these tart little treats. For one thing, they didn't have any sugar—any stocks on the Mayflower were allegedly depleted by 1621.
Still, fresh cranberry sauce is one of my favorite things, and around here we make it from scratch.
Nov. 26, 7:30 PM: Everything's Gravy
That delicious broth S had brewing on the stove? It filled the house with some amazing smells. I kept hovering for a taste but he chased me out of the kitchen, so I settled in on the couch for a Law and Order marathon, and before I knew it the gravy was going into the separator:
This contraption allows liquid fat to rise to the surface of the liquid. Since S uses a bit of roast turkey in his gravy, there's some excess that he likes to get rid of. He's able to pour the non-fatty liquid goodness out of the pitcher easily, which then brings us to ...
The final product! He added some shitake mushrooms and finally let me have a taste.
Nov. 26, 4:34 PM: Meet Gus
I almost forgot to introduce you to Gustavo—the turkey of course! Gus is sitting in a brine (as is relatively common today). S would only tell me "things" when I asked what went into his brine, so he's not giving up any secrets just yet.
Nov. 26, 5:34 PM: On the Stove
S has some things going!
We've got vegetables that he'll incorporate into meatloaf. S likes to make a mix of some basics like peppers and onions, cook them down and work them into the mix for the meatloaf. It's a favorite on the table and it's requested every year.
All the basil he had me strip was added to the
gravy meatloaf. I didn't get a picture of that, but quite honestly, uncooked loaves of meat aren't that photogenic. The grave is on the stove now, and that's sort of an interesting view. S likes to make his gravy the night before so it has time to set and come together.
Sorry the images are cloudy—as you can see, we're moving ahead with a lot of steam!
Nov. 26, 4:34 PM: Ready to Cook
I made it home from work to find the kitchen in a state of prep. S sent me down to the basement to look for our roasting pan—and I had a moment of panic because I couldn't find it where I had left it. I found it in a storage bin, so we're okay. S put me to work stripping some basil leaves off of the stems, but I'm ready to assume my role as official taster.