29 Nov 2011, 9:01am
Of Food and Love recipes:
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  • Of Food And Love: Our Time Of Giving Thanks

    This year’s family turn out paled in comparison to last year, which was good and bad all in the same breath.

    Good because that meant less cooking, portion wise, and bad because I WANTED my family here.  My dad showed up for the 3rd year running, which is always nice, but truth be told I was feeling a little down.  Every year since we’ve moved here, at least one of my Cali family members have been here and I definitely felt their absence as I was preparing for our feast.
    I started the day before with peeling and boiling the yams.

    Chopping up red potatoes, mixing up the ingredients for spinach dip and baking banana bread.

    The day of Thanksgiving, I got up nice and early and ran a 5k.  I felt like junk.  HAH.  It’s the truth.  But it was a great time.  The mayor dressed up as a turkey and we all chased him :)   My dad came to support me, he loves doing things like that with me.  He’s always been my own personal cheerleader.  heh.

    Me and the mayor after the race...looking a little worse for wear

    After my run, I started the ham

    and shortly there after, the gravy.  Oh, that gravy.  I made it last year and, do I even need to tell you where I got the recipe from?  yeah, Julia Child.  hah.  

    Prepping the food can be tiring and fattening, but I just smiled knowing how many bellies I was going to make happy.  I love hosting.  And when I’m serving delicious dishes like this…you can’t help but hum and smile.

    What made this Thanksgiving so special was our friends.  The W family.  They just moved up here from Arkansas with their three children and D and I immediately took to them all.  Their family is so sweet.  They surprised us by showing up last minute.  I almost started crying I was so happy to see them.  (sounds a little dramatic, but if you only knew…God smiled on me by having them there to share our Thanksgiving)

    We laughed and ate the night away.

    Our wonderful group of eaters :)

    My dad shot a Mauser, his first time in a long time shooting and he looked like a pro.  hah.

    The poor turkey…it was a beautifully made bird, but I got around to it too late…just trust me when I say that it was good.

    Oh and for those of you who follow on FB…yes, I did serve dinner on Dixie!

    How was your Thanksgiving??  And what are your favorite dishes that you make each year?

    Sauce Brune   From: Mastering The Art Of French Cooking  Julia Child

    [Flour-based Brown Sauce]

    A heavy-bottomed, 2-quart sauce pan

    1/3 cup each: finely diced carrots, onions, and celery

    3 Tb diced boiled ham (or diced lean bacon simmered for 10 minutes in water, rinsed, and drained)

    6 Tb clarified butter, rendered fresh pork fat, or cooking oil  (I will have a photo of how to *clarify* your butter)

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    Cook the vegetables and ham or bacon slowly in the butter, fat or oil for 10 minutes.

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    4 Tb flour

    A wooden spatula or spoon

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    Blend the flour into the vegetables and stir continually over moderately low hear for 8 to 10 minutes, until the flour slowly turns a golden, nut brown

    ________________________________________________________

     

    A wire whip

    6 cups boiling brown stock or canned beef boullion

    2 Tb tomato paste

    A medium herb bouquet: 3 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, and 1/4 tsp thyme tied in cheesecloth

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    Remove from heat.  With a wire whip, immediately blend in all the boiling liquid at once.  Beat in the tomato paste.  Ad the herb bouquet.

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    Simmer slowly, partially covered, for 2 hours or more, skimming off fat and scum as necessary.  Add more liquid if sauce thickens too much.  You should end up with about 4 cups of sauce, thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

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    Correct seasoning.  Strain, pressing juice out of vegetables.  Dregrease thoroughly, and the sauce is ready to use.

    (*) If not used immediately, clean off sides of pan, and float a film of stock over the top of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming.  When cold, cover and refrigerate or freeze.

     

    And here is what it means by clarifying butter.  You heat the butter and as it begins to melt it leaves off its own buttery film.  Skim that film off the top and leave behind the clear, clarified butter.The fuzzy butter stuff you need to skim off

    Annnd, here is what it will look like after

    Your Mayor must be a pretty cool (and fit!) guy to be willing to dress up as a turkey and run a 5k. That costume is pretty ridiculous. Seems like a fun time all around!

    You are so precious, your love for family and friends, your excitement in sharing all you have with them. Misha you are precious in the eyes of Christ, and I love you soooo much!

     

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