Busy Weekend and Food Prep

UPDATE:Please take the time to go to this site Let’s Say Thanks and send a note of thanks to the troops.  It’s free and takes only a few minutes.

Oh my it was a busy weekend end, most of which I cannot discuss publicly. But I will say it was at least spent with very pleasant company 🙂

Saturday evening I grabbed DD and we drove down to IKEA. I had seen the perfect mirror and glass shelf for the new bathroom that I wanted to pick up as well as grab a few things for the house.

I got the mirror and shelf installed on Sunday morning and they are perfect. Only things left are the new toilet installation and the tile grouting which is currently scheduled for next Tuesday. Keep your fingers crossed. Friday I picked out the grout color (natural grey) and picked it up as well, so there can be no last minute mix-up hopefully.

While I was at IKEA, I longingly looked at the new beds that I want ,and the mattresses that I desperately need to replace. But funds are short right now, with the holidays fast approaching. I did go ahead and buy one of their mattress topper pads, hoping that it might help my horrible mattress, and surprise! It feels like a new bed. I may be able to postpone a new mattress purchase indefinitely.

This coming Tuesday my niece (Ms. K) turns 17! Yikes where has the time gone? Mom and Dad came up and we went over to my sisters, to give Ms. K her birthday presents. She recently started knitting in earnest. She’s knitting her first sweater out of Malabrigio (NICE!), so for her present I got her a beautiful Lantern Moon knitting bag. Ms. K also loves all things oriental and Japanese, so she really liked her bag.

We also took this time to discuss who was bringing what to Thanksgiving dinner, which will be at Mom and Dad’s this year.

My sister and brother-in-law (who happens to make the most outrageously sinful pecan pie!) are bringing the pies (pecan, pumpkin and apple), and Ms. K is baking some bread. These are the bakers in the family, but this doesn’t explain why they are also the thinner side of the family.

Afterward we had our lists made, I headed over to my all time favorite fruit and veggie stand, Idylwilde to pick up some of the stuff for turkey day. This really isn’t a fruit and veggie stand anymore, they turned it into more of a gourmet grocery store, but the fruits and veggies are always worth the ride and the money.

I am bringing the Waldorf salad, a tradition that was started by my Grandma Bess, and that I continue to this day. I’ll even share this recipe with you. The measurements are just approximations to taste, so feel free to add more or less to your taste.

Ingredients:

Apples (4 -6 of them), I pick gala apples because they are naturally sweet and firm – perfect for this salad. A nice bunch of big, juicy, sweet red grapes (seedless if you can find them, if not you just seed them as you cut them up). celery, plump raisins, walnuts, real mayonnaise (don’t skimp it’s the holidays!), and freshly whipped and sweetened heavy cream, and one lemon.

Note: that this salad doesn’t keep more than a day or two in the fridge but you do want some leftover for the next day. If you do have leftovers, add some shredded leftover turkey for lunch the next day, yummo.

Wash and cut grapes into halves or quarters depending on the size (1-2 cups)

Dice (large dice) 1-2 stalks of celery (2/3 cup)

1/2 cup of roughly chopped walnuts

1/2 cup of raisins

Wash and core and peel 3-4 cups of the apples, and cut into large bite-sized chunks, squeeze fresh lemon juice from half of a lemon over them to keep them from turning brown, and toss the ingredients together.

Dressing:

Equal portions of mayonnaise and whipped cream. Start with 1/2 cup of each. Mix together well before adding to the salad.

Toss everything together with the dressing making sure everything is well coated.

Refrigerate until served. Note this is best if served the same day it is made.

This will make about 6 servings, but it’s easy to double or triple the recipe.

I’m also making the cranberry relish, and the gravy.

Now you may ask how can I bring the gravy without cooking the bird? Well, Dad always complains that there is never enough gravy, and he was planning on purchasing gravy. But I talked him out of it, having just watch Tyler on the Food Channel, show us the secret to making lots of gravy.

I purchased some fresh turkey wings and legs, seasoned them with salt, pepper, fresh rosemary, sage and thyme, drizzled with olive oil and roasted in a pan @ 325F. When they were done, I dumped the entire contents of the roasting pan into my stock pot and added enough water to cover, tossed in a couple of roughly chopped celery stalks, carrots, an onion and simmered for about an hour or more. I then removed all the bits, and strained the stock through a fine sieve.

I will use the stock with a butter and flour roux to make all the gravy you can possibly want. If I had thought ahead a little I would have made a lot more stock to make turkey soup on Friday.

Other than the bird, we also will be having, mashed potatoes, squash, green beans and of course stuffing.

I cannot wait to stuff myself then spend the afternoon on the couch knitting and napping.

I’m pushing through the knitting of cousin Jen’s shawl, it just seems to be taking a long time but it’s a bit more interesting than the sweater I also started for myself.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I started THIS for myself. It’s almost all stockinette on US2’s and US4’s. What WAS I thinking? I’m doing it in Cascade, Bollicine Dolly, Extra Fine Merino, in M4 or a medium grey color. This yarn is really soft and lovely, but can tend to split so I kind of have to pay attention to what I am doing. I actually got about 6 inches done on the back.

I also have to knit my NETA afghan square soon. I’m hoping to get that done over the upcoming holiday weekend. The assembly party isn’t until January so I still have some time to get that done.

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