Monday, November 23, 2009

The Opposite of Turkey

So, Thanksgiving is Thursday. I am traditionally the person to host the day as we have a turkey fryer (and long tongs, fireproof gloves, and a fire extinguisher).

So, in honor of the fact that we'll be eating turkey for a week after (since we cook two turkeys, one fried, one roasted), this weekend I wanted to fix food that was the opposite of turkey. Saturday, I used up the last of a bottle of red wine and made tortellini with fruits de mer red sauce. Scallops, shrimp, chunks of lobster, calamari. On Sunday, I thought again, "What is the opposite of turkey?" And I came up with....drum roll....ham soup. I know it doesn't sound appetizing but it was so good. Mr. Long-Suffering and I each had three bowls. Chuckles was unimpressed but Bobo ate all my vegetables. So, what is ham soup?

One quart of frozen cherry tomatoes from my garden
5 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
Two stalks celery (with leaves)
half a vidalia onion
1 T cumin
1 can vegetable broth and half a can of water
some lemon juice
4 bay leaves
some fresh ground pepper
(I did not use garlic, but you should...i just forgot)
about a pound of smoked, sprial sliced ham leftover from last Christmas cut into pieces
a can of beans (like garbanzo or navy or kidney or fava or cannelini)
5-8 ounces frozen leaf spinach

Add everything (except ham and spinach) into a large pot and cook for a few hours on super-low. Then an hour before you're ready to serve, add the ham (stil frozen is fine). Once it thaws, you can remove it, chunk it up, and then return to the pot. 15 minutes before dinner time, crank heat up to meadium and add the frozen spinach. Stir. Keep heating for the 15 minutes. Then turn heat off and serve with crusty bread (and butter).

And the menu for Thanksgiving (for 19, several of whom are small people) is:
A veggie tray with dip
One 15-pound fresh turkey, injected with creole butter and slathered with Cajun spice, fried in peanut oil
One frozen 11.6-pound pre-brined, injected turkey, open pan roasted with celery, carrot, onion, and garlic in the cavity, drippings retained for...
Cresent rolls from the can
salad (from a bag)
mashed potatoes (with garlic, butter, and whole milk)
stuffing, two kinds. My MIL is making one from the organs, and I am making one with breakfast sausage. Neither of which will actually stuff the bird.
corn (because some kids said they wanted corn)
sweet potatoes, candied
sweet potatoes, plain boiled for the youngin'
green bean casserole with the French's onions, which were on Aisle 6 bottom shelf, by the green beans
Broccoli-Cream corn souffle with bacon on top...a total aside, but I saw they are making something called tur-bac-hen now and it's a chicken wrapped in bacon stuffed in a turkey. mmm, bacon.
Spinach-noodle ring with parmesan (but I am seving it in a casserole dish not a ring mold because I never get that to work and it tastes the same, regardless)
A cabbage and bread casserole that is an old family favorite. You make a roux and use cabbage water, and well, it doesn't sound good but it is. Oh yes, it is.
cranberry chutney
cranberry and fruit jello
Ocean Spray cranberry from the can turned out in a pretty dish with can marks still clearly visible
Two pumpkin pies with whipped cream (you have to make them's the law)
A sweet potato pie (if I am so inclined and find a recipe)
A pecan pie (first time!) with rum

Did I forget to invite 90 more people over to eat the food?


  1. I was at a babies r us in the south suburbs yesterday. Someone kept calling a little boy Bobo and I thought of you.

    Your dishes sound amazing! Especially the broccoli/bacon thing. MMMM

  2. So based on your spread, I'm guessing that lotto ticket you bought was a winner. It all sounds soooo good.

  3. tee hee that made me laugh: the Ocean Spray cranberry turned out onto a pretty dish with the can marks still visible. My family did that too. It was like we all knew grandma killed herself cooking everything from scratch that she wasn't going to be bothered trying to disguise the fact that the c. sauce was canned.

    Your dinner sounds deelish!! Have a great Thanksgiving!