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Mad Cooking - Qualified Perceptions
Mad Cooking
I don't do much Regular Dinner Cooking (except when parents are visiting and I'm trying to pretend I'm a normal grownup). I cook casseroles and stews to generate leftovers to eat for days at a time, and I cook Mad Food Plans, most notably Thanksgiving and the sporadic anti-potluck for my birthday.

I'm not amazingly fond of turkey myself, but ilhander is, and made sad eyes at last year's ham, so this year the plan is to try the brined turkey recipe that merastra posted. The full plan:

  • Turkey
  • Sausage and chestnut stuffing. I can't seem to get the hang of roasting chestnuts - the gap between finger-burning hot and unpeelably cold is a short one, and I always end up with bits of chestnut shell under my fingernails. Still, they're tasty.
  • Savory corn pudding. This is about halfway between a bread pudding and a quiche. It's also one of my common Casserole Leftover dishes - and anything with bacon in it can't be bad!
  • Sweet Potato and Turnip gratin. I'm skipping the mashed potatoes this year - I really like mashed potatoes, but I find them unreasonably pesky to make. Between the water not boiling when it ought, and mis-estimating whether they're done, they thwart me terribly when I'm in a hurry.
  • Crazy Mushroom Salad. The part of morels will be played by wood ears and crimini mushrooms. (This dish made in honor of Bri from Conflux, who has an inexplicable obsession with mushrooms).
  • Garlic and Ginger Green Beans, because justom told me I had to.
  • Creamed spinach, because everyone says it's a comfort food and there's a recipe for it in the Olives cookbook! I find the instructions for béchamel sauce pretty amusing; you put the onion in, you take the onion out... you put the onion in and you shake it all about!
  • Spiced Cranberry sauce (cardamom and five-spice powder). I am always dis-satisfied with the cranberry sauce recipes I try, and thus alternate back and forth between canned and made. If this one disappoints, I'll try the merastra one, if I remember until next year, which I imagine I won't actually.
  • Roasted pear and arugula salad. I forget why this one; I think it was that I had "some sort of salad" on the list, and while spinach salad is traditional, there was the creamed spinach experiment already.
  • Rolls. Okay, I'm cheating and using those explosive biscuits that I hate opening because they always make me jump even when I know it's coming. Maybe I can declare opening biscuits, like squashing centipedes, to be a Guy Thing and make tirinian do it.
  • And the usual assortment of nuts and olives and pickles and things to be foisted on people in the afternoon, which is an odd family tradition of mine. Putting black olives on all my fingers and waggling them about is something I am sad I cannot do any longer, as my fingers will no longer fit. Maybe if I got those extra-huge green olives, but it just wouldn't be the same.
  • Pie from rifmeister and lovely wife.

    Current Mood: thankful thankful

    9 comments or Leave a comment
    desireearmfeldt From: desireearmfeldt Date: November 22nd, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Permission to bring Secret Dessert?

    (Not because this isn't a ridiculous amount of food to begin with, but because I have a Dessert Plan looking for a home...and for amusement value. :) )
    firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 22nd, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Ooh, amusing secret things are always good. :)
    twe From: twe Date: November 22nd, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I'm sure tirinian would greatly enjoy exploding the biscuits for you.

    My family does olives and pickles too. (And now I find myself wondering how many of my fingers I could get black olives on. Definitely my pinkie; definitely not my thumb. Probably not the others...)
    rifmeister From: rifmeister Date: November 22nd, 2006 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Actually, my lovely wife gets pretty much all the credit for the pies. My contribution to piemaking will be to hang out in the dining room and read funny qotes from the Interweb while she bakes. MY contribution to Thanksgiving dinner will be to provide an eating machine of uncommon power. Plus possibly anecdotes if any come to mind.
    firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 22nd, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
    That's one of the great things about being married - no matter who cooks the thing you bring, both of you get credit for it. :) (harrock certainly takes full advantage of that too!)
    merastra From: merastra Date: November 23rd, 2006 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)
    Oh that looks like a *lovely* yet very mad and overscheduled list! :-) Creamed spinach, exploding rolls (I *love* popping those open), mushroom salad, savory corn pudding, sausage and chestnum stuffing... Yum... I hope you get help with the cooking!

    If you like citrusy-cinnamony-spicey stuff you really gotta try the Maggie's Cranberry Sauce. It's not just for Thanksgiving!

    What kind of olives? I rather like the Lindsay brand even though they're not super fancy. They're just the perfect blend of richness and saltiness.
    firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 23rd, 2006 12:35 am (UTC) (Link)
    Huh. Black olives are one of those things that I have never really considered the brand of. They're, um. Medium. (Okay, I just checked, and they are Musco Family Black Pearls.)

    The whole point of the mad cooking plans is to not have cooking help (unlike chenoameg's mad cooking plans, I am very poor at delegation), though I do sometimes dragoon harrock into "turn dirty dishes into clean dishes as a background process." The doing-it-myself does mean that I started yesterday, though (since tonight has a run). :)
    kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: November 23rd, 2006 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
    If you get the extra jumbo olives, perhaps those will fit on your fingers?
    kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: November 23rd, 2006 08:24 am (UTC) (Link)
    This sounds like a Complicated version of creamed spinach. The one I usually use is "chop onions small; saute onions until bored; add spinach; season with nutmeg, basil, salt, and pepper; cook until mostly done; add cream; adjust seasonings."

    There is this book on Sauces sitting on the shelf looking sad and lonely because I find it intimidating, though. Perhaps I should ask it about bechamel.
    9 comments or Leave a comment