Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gearing up for the Holiday

Knives are chopping, pots are boiling and my kitchen is heating up. Its a mad dash to complete the pre-holiday prep before I leave for CT sometime tomorrow. Normally, I'd be even more crazed on this day, preparing to host 14 to 16 people ... but this year's a bit different. Mama Diva is doing well but not yet ready for travel - so I'm packing up my show and taking it on the road. My bro, my sister in law and I will prepare the feast in Mama Diva's kitchen this year and we're cooking for just the six of us. I can hardly wait!

We'll have a slightly reduced menu, to include:

A Fresh, Herb-Roasted Turkey with Gram Pam's Gravy
Pork Stuffing
Traditional Bread Stuffing/Dressing
Mashed Potatoes with carrots, onion and garlic
Some kind of green veg
Mashed Turnips
Baked Butternut Squash
Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
Cranberry Port Conserve
Assorted Pies for dessert, including my sister in law's famous Sweet Potato Pie
Various Delicious Wines

I'll be spending the afternoon creating much culinary greatness in the form of a couple of loaves of Pumpkin Bread, the mashed turnips, and that magical Cranberry Port Conserve. The recipe is an oldie but a goodie which first appeared in Bon Appetite back in 1996. I've been making it ever since and we adore it. I reduce the amount of sugar, add some warm spices - such as cinnamon, nutmeg, a bit of cardamom and a pinch of salt, but follow the rest of the recipe exactly. Its become a family favorite and I recommend it, highly.

Back to work for me - I have pots to tend! Meanwhile, what's your favorite cranberry sauce? Are you in favor of the canned variety or do you make your own? Hungry Diva wants to know!

Bon appetite!


Deb said...

Alas I'm a canned girl, especailly this year as I have lost my kitchen helper to the bypass. The girls will be over but I am planning on prepping today and tomorrow.

My experiment with new will be a scratch green bean casserole form eatingwell.com that sounds yummy and no canned cream of mushroom soup!

Have a great trip and enjoy your Thanksgiving Diva dear friend.


HektikLyfe said...

Its strictly dinner for two this year for us.


Cranberry sauce isn't really something we have here - it's really more about the gravy and yorkshire puddings! Turkey and stuffing still and must, as is veg and potatoes.... And gateaux!!!

Personally the best bit of an xmas dinner is the graoning feeling you get in your stomach after eating it the pulling of the crackers which always contain crap. Let's be honest!

Scarlet xoxo

The Diva on a Diet said...

Deb - it must be tough to be missing your helper, especially this time of year. I'm glad the girls will be over to help out and I hope your prep is going well today. Mine is!
Have a wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving!

Hektik - there's something nice and cozy about a holiday meal for two. Enjoy it and have a wonderful holiday!

Scarlet - good to see you, girl! You're right, I think the cranberry sauce is a distinctly American thing. I love it - but didn't know I did until I made my own. My family does the Christmas Crackers too - and we all wear our crowns! :)


The Diva on a Diet said...

p.s. - I'm off to check out that green bean casserole. Thanks for the link, Deb!!

pixelgal said...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Sometime JamJarSuperstar will have to give us her recipe for Yorkshire pudding and maybe the gateaux.

Meantime my mouth is watering for some Diva delights and some family time around the table.


Anonymous said...

Gravy & Yorkshire Pud for me too, but I'll try the cranberries, I'm a sucker for anything new to try.

106kgs and rising...

Would you believe the word verification for this post was "cooks" uncanny!