Stating the Obvious: I am NOT Martha

November 19, 2007 in baking, cookbook, cooking, holiday

Pie dreams

No disrespect to Martha and those who aspire to her homemaking pinnacles

I just have to be honest about this – my act doesn’t include perfect house cleanliness nor coordinated napkin rings.

Our table is more likely to be set with Ball canning jars and mis-matched plastic plates (antique ones marked on the back from some hospital cafeteria lord knows where!) than the china that Martha got handed down to her from her great-grandma. I just do not have that sort of family. I have nothing handed down. And, more importantly to us, we tend to spend the money we DO have on the food versus the plates it goes on.

I make do with what I have.

So with that sort of off my chest (it will climb back on soon, no doubt), I thought I would share what I am doing to try to attain some semblance of a turkey day dinner for us and the visitors on that day.

Its here where I stray into Dilbert territory and swerve away from the pink lacey recipe card get-ups that one might find in a Martha-fied kitchen. No, instead, I have been Mind Mapping our thanksgiving meal with the hopes that some project management might help the day go off well. I am demo’ing NovaMind so this is what you will see.

My preliminary mind map is pasted below.

thanksgiving mind map

Why so many veggies? Because our garden is in it’s last vestiges of existence and I want to use what is out there on Thanksgiving. If not then, when! I will likely reduce the amount of vegetables depending on what the quality of each turns out to be on that day. Food miles here – about 50 paces.

The Big Big Thing: (drum roll please) – There will be no grand turkey carcass on our table

Why, you ask?

Its a human rights issue. If I eat turkey two days in a row, and I am not exaggerating here, I get horrific hallucinations and violently ill (upper and lower GI) for hours. So, to spare me and my family this ignoble Thanksgiving tradition, I am going to make a turkey dish that will have NO leftovers and which I hope will be a nice change of pace.

What is this dish I speak of?

I am going to make a turkey breast mousseline en croute.

You may wonder what ungodly and fresh hell this is, I do not blame you.

Its essentially a turkey wellington of sorts. (Also think filet de boeuf en croute) A turkey mousse (egg white, rosemary, and cream) studded with turkey meat chunks and cranberries will be wrapped with puffed pastry. A savory layer of crimini mushroom puree will coat the inner side of the puff pastry.

Once done, you slice it as thick as you wish. My goal is to make this in a way that doesn’t yield a grainy or overly firm or overly gelatinous mousse interior. Will let you know how that goes!

For further inspiration, I am engulfing the opulent and delicious “Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining” that I received recently to review. I will be doing a thorough review of this cookbook later but for now, its all eye candy. I can not recommend it enough!

Checking it twice

So the list, an organic and variable thing, is growing and evolving up to the last moment.

What grand plans do you have?

Do share, I adore hearing about what other people will do for their turkey day meal.

I guess its sorta voyeuristic but only in the best sort of way.