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Catching Up

December 20, 2008

Thanksgiving Table

Whew. I’m finally done with the semester, and back from my very important job interview, and for the first time in months am looking at a weekend with no obligations. It’s wonderful. It’s snowing like crazy here in Boston, and I’m cozy in the house, and finally, yes finally, I have time to write a little update here, for all of you, my faithful readers.

It has been so long since I’ve had time to cook a proper meal, and I have all these pictures from Thanksgiving and the days immediately following, but honestly, I hardly even remember what all this stuff is. It’s a shame. I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time this year, and I have to say I’m really quite proud of all the lovely food I managed to cook. It was a small gathering, just Mr X. and the housemate Christa and me. And of course I cooked enough food to feed two or three times that number of people, and had leftovers for days and days. I cooked my first turkey, and am amazed that, though I can’t properly roast a chicken to save my life, the turkey turned out wonderfully.

My first turkey

I made stuffing with chestnuts, sausage, and sourdough bread, and cooked some in the turkey and some out. And decided that I’m definitely a stuffing in the turkey kinda girl. I made killer mashed potatoes with just a bit of cheddar cheese, green bean casserole with homemade cream of mushroom soup, and Mr. X made perfect brussels sprouts with bacon.

Mr. X's Brussels Sprouts

Everything was so wonderful I’m kind of wishing I could do it all over again. I guess that’s what Christmas dinner is for. When I was growing up, Christmas dinner tended to look a lot like Thanksgiving. I think the only difference was that we had ham instead of turkey, but the mashed potatoes, the green bean casserole, the cranberry sauce, the sweet potatoes, that was all there. At least as far as I remember. If I’m mis-remembering someone in my family should pipe up and correct me.

I think we really should have turkey, though, if only because making turkey pot pie with the leftovers was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had.

Turkey Pot Pie

This was perhaps the best pie crust I’ve ever made: very, very flaky and buttery, and I think it’s because I kept the butter in bigger pieces than usual while mixing up the dough, and because the flour was also extremely cold (it had been stored in the freezer for awhile), so the butter didn’t melt until it was in the oven.

The filling was very basic: potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and turkey. I threw a little leftover gravy in the mix, and used turkey stock I’d made from the turkey bones.

Filling for turkey pot pie

I used a recipe from Simply Recipes, which comes from the Marshall Field’s cookbook, as the basis for the filling, and the the pie crust recipe from Bon Appetit that has definitely become my go-to pie crust recipe. It never fails. And I think I’ll be chilling the flour in the freezer prior to making pies in the future, as it seemed to be the one extra thing that made a huge difference in the flakiness of my crust this time around.

Turkey Pot Pie

I baked my pot pie in a nine-inch pie pan, because I don’t have individual ramekins. I think I need to get some individual ramekins, though I have sworn not to buy myself any new kitchen gear until after I move. It seemed to be just fine in the large pie pan, anyway.

This made me so incredibly happy, I’d forgotten how much I love pot pies. I think they’re going to have to be part of my life more often.

Turkey Pot Pie

I did a few other great things with leftovers in the week following the big day: I made white chili which was spectacular and I’ll definitely share soon, and I made shepherd’s pie with leftover mashed potatoes. That was also spectacular, but sadly, I don’t have any pictures. I loved it, though, and suspect I’ll make it again this winter, so I’ll try to be better about the pictures next time around.

And I’ve been making cookies lately, as it is that time of year. I’ll be making more this coming week, so keep your eyes peeled for some new cookie recipes to come. Now that I’m done with school until late January, I’ll be spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and I’ll be sharing as much of it as I can with you. And I’ll try not to leave you hungry for so long again.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. kim e. permalink
    December 20, 2008 2:57 pm

    oh my, your Thanksgiving looks incredibly appetizing! I’m so happy that you have some time to finally unwind and can’t wait to hear how the interview went, appendages still crossed!

    BTW, your pizza dough link to Smitten Kitchen was fantastic, we have finally been able to make yummy pizza!

    heart you and now it’s time to “try” to get into the holiday spirit!

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