Saturday, November 29, 2008

Quite simple, really.

The best way -- these days, anyway -- to get a half-decent blog entry out of me if for me to have ample time to sit down and type flailingly until something coherent emerges compose a post.

The best way -- these days, anyway -- to get that sort of time is for my insomnia to act up. So, check the time stamp.

As usual, and as reported previously, the Thanksgiving food was a treat. I discovered a weak link in my menu planning, though. I'm not really sure how to fix it, but mayhaps some kind soul will chime in with usefulness and advice. Basically, every year I (and NOS and, briefly, NTS) cook for a brigade of people. (This year, for reasons which were not adequately explained, the mob was down to +/-40 people.) Anyway, when it comes to making side dishes I make enough for the estimated population. But then, not everyone will have 1/40th of every side dish, if you see my meaning and there are other side dishes* besides mine. Plus, the crowd being 95% Iberic, people bring assorted tapas -- do not let the cultural incongruity rattle you -- with garlic shrimp, assorted interesting cuts of cured porcine goodness, at least 6 different cheeses I have never seen before including one I strongly suspect of having arrived here without Customs being properly aware of it, although by the scent that seems impossible to believe.

So I wind up with drums of leftovers.

As we speak, I am trying to see what I do about 2 gallons of superfluous soup.

Anyway, to me, there is nothing more enjoyable than the afterglow of having cooked yourself moribund and enjoying the accolades and then settling down with your plate and, more importantly, a large glass of red Zinfandel. It feels illegally good...and unlike the afterglow of, er, other** things, it lasts to such an extent one isn't tempted to cook for a 2nd round.

There were some weak points, alas; NTS came down with some sort of throat thing and was in a fevered state. This slightly hampered his ability -- and greatly hampered his desire -- to help in the kitchen. So, not only were we one man down, but we also had to cater to that one man down. The last thing he wanted to do (and I agree with him fully here) was to array the outer man in finery and sit at table with 39 other people. So, NTS, being NTS, did what comes naturally to him. He quietly waited for a lull, and then disappeared. In fact, he was feeling so bad he even skipped dessert*** and was found in the TV room, snoozing merrily to Wall-E.

(Which is the only way to watch Wall-E, if'n you ask me...an insufferably preachy, tedious and undelightful film if there ever was one; the only real dud in the Pixar canon. Looks great on BluRay, though.)

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for a number of reasons which likely do not meet any criterion of reasonableness. There IS the "giving thanks" aspect, which is key. As a rule, people who are grateful for the blessings they have are not absolute bastids. Then there is the fact I get to spend the whole day cooking for family, and even better, it's my wife's family and not mine. Plus there is all the dopamine, endorphin and ethanol. The food is better than any other holiday. Um...what else?

Our plans were to drive up to WDW at a ridiculous hour of the morning (i.e., now) and spend an overlong day, and then drive back absolutely spent. Seeing as how NTS is absolutely spent as it is, we'll have to reschedule. Which is a shame, since due to the global cooling phenomenon we've been having the coolest November in 13 years and touring WDW when it's not sauna-like (nor teeming with peak-season crowds) is a particular treat.

But I digress.

Perhaps this day will be spent putting up Christmas lights and stuff. Some people have done this since +/- Halloween and it drives me MENTAL.

Now you know.

-J.

P.S. Suckitude-wise, it looks as though there may be "a break in the clouds," so those of you chanting, praying, etc. do NOT stop, as it's working.

* Some were even VERY good. There was a broccoli/cheese thing that I really enjoyed.
** You know what I mean, but this is a family blog.
*** Pity, as there was ice cream, which would have helped his "thwoat."

Posted by Joke at 3:15 AM

6 Comments

  • Blogger Stomper Girl posted at 4:59 AM, November 29, 2008  
    See, the doing of the cooking seems to be your reward, whereas I would view the mountains of leftovers as mine. But clearly I don't entertain on anywhere near the ssme scale as you. Leftovers mean you don't have to cook the next night and in my world that can only be a good thing.
  • Blogger kim at allconsuming posted at 7:24 AM, November 29, 2008  
    And here I was thinking I was the only one who thought Wall-E was a load of preachy pollyanna-erish holier-than-thou bull shit.
  • Blogger blackbird posted at 8:15 AM, November 29, 2008  
    Some of my boys watched Wall-E yesterday. One of my boys pronounced it worthless after about 4 minutes.
    Leftovers are the very best part of Thanksgiving - alas, once again, we did not cook.
  • Blogger Badger posted at 11:27 AM, November 29, 2008  
    Wait, what was the question? How not to have so much leftover soup? Um, DON'T MAKE SO MUCH SOUP.

    Seriously, I find that most people are overwhelmed when given too many choices (maybe not you Iberic tapas types, but MOST people). Pare the menu down to those items you simply MUST cook/consume, make more of THAT, and scrap the dishes that aren't absolutely essential to your enjoyment of the holiday. You'll have a few inevitable whiners wondering what happened to the chestnut/mushroom/oyster casserole, but if they're hungry, they'll eat what's there.

    Works for me, anyway. But then I am all autocratic and sh*t when it comes to the kitchen, as you know.

    (Oh and P.S. Get well soon, NTS!)
  • Blogger Poppy Buxom posted at 12:33 PM, November 29, 2008  
    Soup? We're talking about soup?

    Should I just mention that in addition to all the Thanksgiving food we cooked for dinner, for lunch, That Stud Muffin I Married made a huge vat of vegetarian (there's one in every crowd) black bean soup? And that until the turkey managed to overcome it, the house was, at lunchtime and long afterward, reeking of garlic, onion, and hot peppers? There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

    So yeah, we have leftover soup, too.

    I'm planning on freezing as much as possible. Will your soup freeze?
  • Blogger Joke posted at 2:03 PM, November 29, 2008  
    Kim - Your review is closer to my way of thinking than I was able to express. Feel free to say "My friend Joke, in America, agrees wholly." (I'm guessing bb will let you include her.)

    Poppy - I reduced it down to a concentrate and froze that. We'll find out if it'll freeze.

    Badge - Part of the problem is that the people who brought the disposable soup bowls brought the small ones (¼ cup!) and that didn't help. Also people trying to do a human foie gras experiment with the tapas, didn't help. (Can you tell the crowd descended directly from Romans?)

    SG - Besides the barrel of soup and some pie, the leftover count was actually pretty low.

    -J.
  • Post a Comment

    « Home