Tonight's dinner event was a fantastic success, some of the best food I've ever prepared, some of the most fun I've had in quite a while:-)
To recap, I made:
A brined and butterflied turkey, baked at a high temp on a bed of homemade challah bread stuffing: the turkey was moist and flavorful, the stuffing hands down the BEST I've ever put in my mouth.
Praline sweet potatoes (of which I made waaaaay too many. There'll be leftovers for manymany days to come)
Kobucha squash (a bit overkill in the squash department, but it was a savory complement to the sweeter stuff)
Mashed potatoes and gravy: the gravy was *delectable*. Honestly, it was tasty enough to eat plain with a spoon, which was good considering it took about 3 hours to make.
Roasted brussell sprouts with brown butter and hazelnuts: excellent, truly. And well worth the hour I took to crack 80 gazillion hazelnuts 'cause no store in boonieland had shelled hazelnuts. Ow! My poor, sore crackin' hand:-(
Homemade cranberry orange sauce
I made the other cookies, too, that I listed previously, but man! What a waste of time and valuable cream cheese... the cocoa nut (?) and phyllo cookies were just plain gross, flavorless, nasty. The date nut balls more than made up for the yuckkiness, but what to do with all the other cookies??? (can chickens eat chocolate? I guess we're about to find out...maybe it'll inspire the little leakers to give me more than an egg every few days, those naughty girls.) I also made waaaay too many of those maple nut cups, hope the ladies at work are hungry tomorrow...
And to top it off, I made the bittersweet chocolate roulade cake, which was okay. Perhaps a little too much on the *bitter*sweet side, and very, very rich. Gorgeous, tho, and a lovely presentation.
It frightens me how well I can cook.
Yesterday, I baked from 10 am to just about 10 pm, sometimes prepping 3-4 dishes at the same time. I was cool as a cucumber, incredibly focused as I switched from one dish to the next, all the ingredients lined up, all the tools in order, the recipes on all the counters around me. I felt a bit like a conductor in the midst of my concoctions, tweaking flavors, enhancing this, blending that, putting it all together into a fantastic medley that was really incredible today, better than I could have ever imagined (altho with almost 20 hours of prep work and cooking, what else could it have been?).
Good, good stuff!
Note to self: the Heath dinnerware was handy, so so glad I was able to pick up about $3000 worth of it for $50 at the local resale shop, yippie yahooey! The serving pieces were perfect for all the side dishes, and we had more than enough place settings. We just need to pick up some glassware, pretty napkins, and more stemware, a few items I noticed we were lacking as Jake was pulling out the McDonald's commemorative Disney glasses (ack! My dirty little secret... those suckers NEVER break, and as such are some of the only glasses we own right now).
And finally, for all the work and effort, it was the most fun ever to have people over, having folks talking, eating, having a good time. Jacob was kindof frazzled to have to entertain little kids, but it's good for him, a bit like the little brothers I didn't provide for him;-)