Mayonnaise

IMG_8786The ubiquitous mayonnaise is used in so many ways, from fresh to grilling to oven baking. It is one of the simplest emulsions, using five ingredients. Taught to make it by whisking vigorously, I was more than happy to start using my immersion blender to do the work for me. This is really incredibly easy, and will make you question why you buy mayonnaise. I make it in pint jars, so no bowl or cup to clean out, just a measuring cup to put in the top of the dishwasher along with the working end of the blender. It is so nice knowing exactly what is in this oft-used spread. Continue reading

Cranberry Orange Sauce

IMG_8621From the time we were first married, and living in a 40’ trailer on our 50-acre piece of raw land, our family has gathered at our table for holiday repasts. We would move the table so that it ran from the tiny trailer kitchen through the living area. The trailer was just 9’ wide, so it was all about the table!

We’d cook the turkey in the tiny, but wonderful oven, heating the whole of the trailer in the process, while pots simmered on the cooktop. Even though our space was so tiny, it was so much fun.

We moved into our freshly built new house in early October one year. I was so excited to hold our first Thanksgiving here. With room to spare, we invited a tableful of guests, still needing to extend the table into the living room. A bigger table but extended all the same. Counting noses for this Thanksgiving, we’ll also need to add another table. Always I am thankful for those who share our table with us.

Here’s the recipe for the cranberry sauce that I’ve been making most of my life, and has been at most of these events. Continue reading

Poultry Gravy (do ahead, or for when you just want some)

IMG_8597Sometimes it’s just way easier to do something ahead of time.

Every “gather-round-the-table” celebration is more enjoyable if the tasks are shared between several, and it isn’t all done “just before”. When a turkey is pulled from the oven, and set to rest on its cutting board, there are usually other pots simmering, and people talking & visiting. So here’s a tip.

Make your gravy ahead of time. Any juices from your bird can be set in the fridge for the next day or two, making it easy to remove any fat. Then the juices can be frozen, ready for the next time you want gravy. The only downside to this is that you need to have kept those juices for that time.

Here’s a do-ahead gravy that is started from scratch, using some bits of poultry like wings, neck, or even chopped up legs. You can make as much as you want on a day that you pick.

For this year’s Thanksgiving feast, the turkey, stuffing, and three side dishes will be brought by others, leaving me to do a couple of pies, cranberry sauce, potatoes & gravy. As ours truly is the “home-that-gathers”, I am looking forward to the happy chatter and laughter that I am so very thankful for.IMG_8594

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