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Thanksgiving 2015 and cookie season

We got back to Madison on a rainy Thanksgiving Day, and I started prepping for dinner on Black Friday. I did the pies – pumpkin chiffon, apple with cider caramel sauce and crumble top, and the most raved about cooking mag dessert from Bitten Word, the grapefruit cornmeal cake from November 2015 Food and Wine. Except grapefruit’s not really in season yet, so I made it with lemon and lime. I also pickled carrots, made two kind of cranberry sauce, and cubed up the bread for the stuffing, and crumbled and toasted the cornbread. By 11:00 when I knocked off I was feeling tired and cranky and like nothing was really coming out right – the cornmeal cake sank in the middle, the apple pie seemed a little too dark, as was the graham crust for the pumpkin, I accidentally used part white vinegar, because that’s what I grabbed first, instead of cider vinegar for the carrots, the pesto-cream cheese-ricotta cheese log seemed too bland…. And I never baked any cookies. But it all seemed fine in the morning, when I did bake some cookies. And of course that’s all I photographed, cookies and desserts, and the raw turkey in the sink.

The pumpkin pie was nice and fluffy. Seems like the Moravian ginger thins are better than last year, maybe because I used regular Crisco. The co-op stopped carrying the vegan shortening I’ve been using, Earth Balance in sticks. Instead of the shortening, they’re now carrying about 6 more flavors of the vegan margarine, in tubs (yuck) – Earth Balance has started making spreads and culinary spreads. At about 5:00 PM I realized that I was not going to make the Brussels sprouts. So all the vegetables were casserole dish types, except the mashed potatoes. When I told John & Megan and Belinda & Stephen that apologetically, Stephen joked, “well, I was told there’d be Brussels sprouts”. John and I decided that sounded like a PS Mueller cartoon – Pete would know what that guy would look like, the one who showed up at Thanksgiving dinner saying “I was told there’d be Brussels sprouts”. The casserole dish vegetables were corn pudding, glazed sweet potatoes, and creamed greens with pepper jack cheese, and crumbs on top.

On Saturday, I went out and finished the cookie ingredient shopping. Costco, Willy West, and Woodmans. I made the springerle, and set them to dry. I think I got them right this year, but we’ll see if they get spotty like last year. Mark and I went to see Brooklyn. We wanted to see it at TIFF but it only showed twice and we couldn’t get in. We both read the book and thought Nick Hornby did a good job of compressing the story into the moving, without leaving too much out. I guess Colm Toibin thought so, too. We stopped at Sentry and Whole Foods to get a few cookie things I forgot – although the quest for pistachios was unsuccessful (I bought 6 tiny bags at the co-op on Monday, along with cream and waxed paper – more stuff I forgot). We ate giant turkey sandwiches for post movie dinner, and I don’t think I did any other cookies for the day. Oh, that’s right, I worked. And sent out the party invites.

On Sunday morning I baked the springerle before brunch, which was cinnamon chip scones made with the leftover whipped cream, and potato cakes made with the leftover mashed potatoes. I made the fruit nut balls, and recorded lectures for both classes, and marinated the dried fruit for the baby fruit cakes. That I baked and glazed on Monday. I mixed up the dough for the Pfeffernuse. Oh and I made the turkey broth – 4 quarts, from our 15-pound bird carcass, a lot easier to handle than the double that amount I got from last years 18 pounder.

Tuesday was broiled tofu, finally. I had tried freezing it, as recommended by a tofu bahn mi recipe, then I put it in marinade on the Monday before Thanksgiving, thinking we’d have it in our Primanti Bros sandwiches. Which never got made, so the tofu just sat in the fridge over the holiday. And I steamed some of the also-neglected Brussels sprouts to go with – hey, it’s not turkey.

I should be frosting the ginger creams, but I think I’m going to bed and do it in the A.M. Five cookie kinds done, six if you count the UN-frosted ginger creams, 12 days until packing & shipping, 18 days until party. Not all photographed yet, but it’s too dark anyways, so sure, I can go to bed.

Photo key:

  1. Turkey in the sink, cardinal in the bush
  2. cider caramel apple pie
  3. pumpkin chiffon pie
  4. pumpkin chiffon pie
  5.  Ginger snaps made from leftover Moravian Ginger Thin dough
  6. Moravian Ginger Thins
  7. Moravian Ginger Thins
  8. Springerle in a bucket
  9. Springerle in a bucket aon the window sill
  10. Baby fruit cakes
  11. Baby fruit cakes
  12. Fruit Nut Balls
  13. Fruit Nut Balls
  14. Brussels sprouts & Broiled tofu – Tuesday dinner
  15. Pine nut macaroons
  16. & 17. Frosted ginger creams, 2 views
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