Well, we made it. I feel a bit as if I’ve just emerged from a food-coma-induced cloud, only to discover that someone filled my fridge with delicious leftovers.
Since this is my third annual Biggest Little Thanksgiving, I thought I had this down. I thought that making a ton of food was making a ton of food; because it is, isn’t it? I failed to take into account two important factors: 1) the size/quantity of the bird(s), and 2) people, and therefore time.
My grandmother used to make my sister and I “sandwiches” of cream cheese and apple butter on what our friend Laura called “tissue bread” – wonder bread. Not only was it wonder bread, but she cut off the crusts for us – how decadent! I’m not big on wonder bread, but I did love those sammiches (they’re one of my fondest memories of my grandmother), so I have a serious soft spot for apple butter.
When I had the overabundance of apples recently, I decided that along with applesauce and apple crisp, I should probably try making apple butter. I didn’t have a go-to recipe, because I’ve never made it before, but I thought I’d try out an old reliable – Joy of Cooking. (In retrospect, this was a mistake. I love cookbooks, but sometimes a recipe with comments and ratings is more reliable. But how was I to know?) **Please see the note with the recipe – this might not have been such a mistake if I’d actually read the recipe correctly… I’m going to put this one down to half Purple-fail and half Joy-of-Cooking formatting fail.
I was scrolling through my recipe books last weekend when I found some copied pages out of the Mount Dessert Island Cookbook. We’re always looking for new chicken recipes, so I filed this one away for memory after writing down a few random ingredients (chunky peanut butter, cilantro) to get at the store. (Oddly, I didn’t write them all down. Just a few. Which is why we didn’t have peanut oil or garlic – see notes on the recipe.) Then I forgot about it. A few days ago, I found the cilantro in the fridge and remembered that there was something I meant to make with it. But I didn’t remember what, so I had to go trolling through my recipe books again. It took two passes by this recipe to catch on that it was the right one, but I’m glad I finally got it!
This chicken, by experiment standards, was fast and easy. Despite my half-hearted efforts, I didn’t have all the ingredients, so I faked it (as usual), and it still turned out remarkably well. And we got to eat dinner before 7:00, which puts this solidly in the “try this again” recipe category. (more…)
Calin’s mom and stepdad came over for round two of Calin’s birthday dinners. Charlotte brought chicken and salad fixings, but I offered to try out another of my new experimental recipes to go with it, since I already had the squash on hand. The recipe was up in the air, but when I realized that the chicken was in a ginger sauce, I realized I had to go ahead with the real recipe in the cookbook – maple syrup, soy sauce, and fresh grated ginger.
Mustard has long been my mother’s Christmas gift of choice, especially for family. I’ve been an appreciator, but never a participant in the process. But suddenly, this year, I found myself in the middle of holiday chaos – New family! Extra gifts needed! So much to do and so little time and money! And my mother said “Why don’t you make mustard with me?” And a new tradition was born.