Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Friday, November 04, 2005

It is a sham, but it's a sham with yams. It's a yam sham.


Anya: I love a ritual sacrifice.
Buffy: Not really a one of those.
Anya: To commemorate a past event you kill and eat an animal. A ritual sacrifice... with pie.

(quotes from the wonderful Buffy the Vampire episode, "Pangs")

So, anyone else ready for Thanksgiving? We have our menu planned, and I just found out what my Mom is going to be making this year.

All my life, Thanksgiving...and every other holiday, for that matter...was spent at my grandparent's house. Grammy would prepare a very traditional meal; turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cottage potatoes, rolls, gravy. Some over-cooked vegetable I never actually ate.
My many Aunts, Uncles and cousins would arrive as close to one o'clock as possible, and spend the next six or seven hours eating and talking. There was usually a football game to watch.

There are so many people in my family, eating around the table was never an option. Instead, we'd all load up our plates (mine would be heavy on the turkey, potatoes and gravy...sigh; I miss those days), and find a seat in either the living room, what was long referred to as Great Grammy's room (my Grammy's mother lived there after suffering a stroke), and the playroom. We found seats where we could. And ate. And ate. And ate.

Grammy prepared holiday meals for the entire family for over fifty years. Grampa's gone now, and she's just not that into cooking a big meal nowadays.

So, a few years ago, my Mom decided she'd take over meal prep.

But things were different. Instead of the traditional meal, my parents offered up a much different menu.
She'd make a turkey, sure. But she'd also cook up a ham, and a roast, and some kind of fish.

There'd be a table filled with desserts, consisting of much more than Cool Whipped-topped pumpkin pie.

Of course, Mom waited until I no longer lived in the area to do this!

Anyway, I just found out what my parents are making for this year's dinner, and it sounded so good, I had to share.

Thanksgiving Day Menu


Almond Crusted Shrimp Cakes with Lemon Soy Mayonnaise

Suppli Al Telefono

(Fried Risotto balls)


Lobster Bisque

Assortment of fresh baked breads


Roast Turkey with Prosciutto Nut Crust

The Ultimate Turkey

Roast Beet Ravioli with Poppy Seed Butter

Fig and Rosemary Pork Pot roast

Side Dishes

Boston Brown Bread Stuffing with Bacon and Tarragon

Whipped Potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Carrots with Sweet and Sour Walnuts

Cauliflower Broccoli Flan with Spinach Bechamel

Butternut Squash with Shallots and Sage

Brussels Sprouts with White Beans and Pecorino

And of course, lots of desserts.

We're not making nearly so much food, but then we're only cooking for six!

10 Thoughts for food:

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Rebecca said...

I my Gosh! I dreamof doing a Thanksgiving like that. When I have my own house and get to host, the food will never end!! It will be crazy and different! Slightly unconventional with lots of courses!

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Mom refuses to do 'just turkey', and she's certainly gotten around that, hasn't she?

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait for turkey day. We always deep fry in a hot bubbling pot of rice bran oil(better than peanut and healthier) The turkey comes out deep brown and very juicy. We also make a sweet potato suffle with molasses...yum, I am gaining weight already.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi fritzie!

I can't begin to tell you how much I miss eating turkey. Of all the things I gave up when I became a vegetarian, it's turkey I miss.

In a weird way, I'm lucky, because Matt doesn't really like turkey, so we never have it in the house. I would never give in and eat it, but the smell would drive me crazy!

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I showed this post to my mom, and we shared a good chuckle at the thought of any of these gourmet-sounding courses at our very plain Thanksgiving with all the relatives. :) Sounds fantastic. I'd give plenty of thanks if I were you.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Courtney, all that culinary school training has really worked out for my Mom, huh?

It'd be a lot better if I was actually going to be there, but alas; my husband and I will be making dinner for his parents.

Besides, as a vegetarian, there would be very little on that menu I could actually eat!

At 1:31 AM, Blogger Laura said...

wow, that's impressive

if i tried that I'd be shot in the street (after everyone ate, of course!) last year, I wanted to do assorted meat pies for Christmas and was shot down. *sigh*

but we DO get inventive in some ways, I have to say I don't care for roasted turkey much, so a half slice'll do, but the fixin's are what keeps me fat and happy.

So do you think there are any odds on getting a recipte on the risotto balls or the ravioli?

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Laura!

Personally, I'm totally a traditionalist. If I still ate meat, I'd be perfectly happy with my turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy.

But I've learned to think outside the turkey; we're serving Cornish game hens (and Veat) this year!

I can't promise anything, but I will certainly ask Fort Knox if she'll part with those recipes...!

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephanie, Is she your real mother? Sounds more like step mom:)-
Can anyone fill grandma shoes?
My mother cooks well still we all used to go to grand parents home for our traditonal holidays, when I was growing up.

I am sure your thanksgiving meal turns out more fun. :)-

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Indira...yeah, she's my Mom. We don't have time to get into that!

You're right; Grammy's dishes (and her kitchen) are still my standard!

Well, with our dinner, I know I can eat everything...


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