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.
Calin loves ham rolls. Mostly he loves ham, but he does usually want to eat it on something, and ham rolls are the ideal. At the grocery store this weekend, I bought a rotisserie chicken that came with a free 4-pack of hawaiian rolls. I generally consider hawaiian rolls the best possible (store-bought) roll for ham rolls, and we happened to have some leftover Virginia ham from Yoder’s Country Market (best ham ever for ham roll purposes). It was all a set-up.
Hubby decided one stormy morning that what he wanted for dinner that night was ham rolls. But the hawaiian rolls were only a 4-pack, like I said, and they’re small enough that that’s not really enough for dinner. So I said I’d make rolls, and we could have home-made ham rolls to supplement the hawaiian rolls. I underestimated the appeal of fresh-from-the-oven rolls, clearly. The hawaiian rolls are still sitting in their package on the counter, and these honey challah rolls are gone.
They were almost gone instantly, actually. I made us stop while there were still enough left to pack some for lunch the next day. It was an intervention.
A closer look at mom’s apple pie:
And a brief look at our delicious ham rolls:
Our wonderful friend (and my surrogate daughter) Jill gave us a crêpe pan as a wedding plan. Until last week, I have loved it from a distance, too intimidated to use it. Thanksgiving, however, is (at least in my family) all about trying new and possibly incredibly difficult and irrational things, so I figured this was my best shot. Besides, you need a good solid breakfast if you’re going to be cooking and eating all day. (Ahem.)
The recipe was surprisingly easy. I found it in How To Cook Everything, which is tied for my favorite cookbook. (Tied with The New Best Recipes, which equally surprisingly did not have a crêpe recipe.) Anyway, Mark Bittman provided incredibly simple instructions for how to make the perfect crêpe, minus the fact that he shows you how to roll them instead of how to fold them like the French crêpe stands do. Fortunately, I’ve been to France often enough and recently enough that I could handle that part on my own. (more…)
Breakfast is one of three meals that I struggle with on a daily basis. I am never awake enough to be creative, and I never get up early enough to make something interesting and complex. Usually we have cereal, or bagels or English muffins with some variation in butter or cream cheese. On the exciting mornings, I might use jam as well. In cold weather I sometimes make grits.
Breakfast excitement usually comes on weekends, when Calin cooks for me. Then we usually have more time, and we get up later so we’re awake enough to have something nicer. He makes me the most delicious little breakfast sandwiches with egg and turkey bacon and cheese… But this weekend, something terrible happened. On Sunday morning, we did not have any eggs! The horror! And without eggs, what is the point of making bacon for egg and bacon and cheese sandwiches?!? It was this situation that lead to my epiphany: We had English muffins. We had cheese. And we had lunch meat! I can make something with this!
Because we almost always have English muffins, or bagels, which would work just as well. (I buy them in bulk whenever they go on sale and freeze them). And we always have cheese. (The day we run out of cheese will be the day I give up on life. Or run screaming to the grocery store.) And we generally have lunch meat because that’s part of my lazy way of dealing with the second meal that I struggle with on a daily basis.
Here’s the best part: when you put these incredibly simple, always-on-hand ingredients together, you end up with something that looks almost gourmet. It looks classy! You have these adorable little open-face sandwiches that look like they cost $8 at the local brunch restaurant. Especially since I’ve actually had gourmet cheese on hand, left over from Birthday Mac & Cheese. And I can make these every morning, in about 3 minutes – give or take how long I decide to leave them in the toaster oven on broil, which is in constant flux based on the ratio of hungry to want-the-cheese-as-crispy-and-bubbly-as-possible.