At our house the debate rages on over Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey or prime rib? Prime rib or turkey? Me, I’m in the turkey camp. You might have known, right? I suppose one could eat, but it doesn’t sound as appetizing, prime rib sandwiches the following morning for breakfast, but I don’t feel it. The best part of cooking all the delicious food on the big day are the leftovers waiting in the refrigerator the day afterwards. Always I make my traditional turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sandwich. Susie’s got to have it.
I use every bit of the turkey. Nothing goes to waste over here. The carcass will be popped into some boiling water with a splash of vegetables to make a rich broth and the meat sealed and frozen to be revived later for soups or whatever strikes my fancy. Stuffing, if there is any to spare, goes in the freezer as well. Delicious inside a pounded chicken breast or in mushrooms with a bit of garlic butter. Spacing out the turkey themed meals is important lest you get turkied out before Christmas in which case the debate would heat up again. The great thing about the big bird is it is such a versatile meat you can creatively tuck it into about any dish.
Rick, obviously, has taken up the prime rib flag. Not a traditionalist and a big fan of beef. The turkeys, feeling the heat, have fallen in line behind his lead carrying signs reading “beef, the new white meat”. In the end being two stubborn beings living beneath the same roof I see it going down like this. Turkey cooked one week and prime rib the next. Coin toss determines who gets the actual day. Win-win.
It seems kind of odd not to be going anywhere nor expecting anyone here. To be honest I’m thankful we aren’t driving this year. There’s something freeing about not having to race around getting packed and organizing as I’ve done so many years in the past. The day will still be filled with great aromas and lots of busy work in the kitchen, however. Macy’s parade will be playing in the background and calls will be coming in from family and friends. Surely I will miss seeing their faces, but they are never very far from my side any day, so this one should be no exception.
One day over the holiday weekend I will drive down to visit my oldest granddaughter, Bre, visiting from Phoenix. Since moving to Arizona she has gotten several tattoos, been baptized at a local church, and become a vegan. Now the first two I can understand, but a vegan, really? I will stop. I respect all people’s right to free choice, no matter how the choices differ from my point of view. For me not being vegetarian or vegan stems directly, I would suspect, from my lifetime pursuit of the perfect burger. A veggie burger could never prove an adequate substitute for a juicy hamburger no matter how deliciously it was prepared for me I don’t believe.
Bre and I email quite regularly. Not a cook, she has had the good sense to chose a mate who is. Chef or not she is still an avid foodie so we have this in common as so many things it would seem. Both of us are scorpios with creative bents. When she was a little girl I painted characters on a white picket fence her mother was going to use to surround the girl’s toy closet. Her girls at the time were Payton, four and Breanna six. The playroom idea was so whimsical, the fence being the focal point around which it was designed. Such a cute idea, but a lot of work to take from conception to reality. Each slat in the fence was to have a different insect character or flower. Worm, rose, butterfly, daisy, etc. Twenty slats in all. They had just moved into their new home so the proposal was I spend a week with them painting the fence and doing other chores to help them settle in. I set up two benches in the room and covered the floor with newspapers. It was summer so the windows were opened for ventilation. Each day Bre would climb up on the bench next to me and watch as I created each character. Conversation was kept to a minimum as I was concentrating. We simply enjoyed each other’s company as the fence came to life. A memory was made over that week both of us will always share. I believe its important to find these moments with your grandchildren, though I must admit with nine all spread about it’s not always easy to forge a tight bond with each one.
I love all my offspring’s offsprings equally, but in this girl perhaps I see the most of myself. Looking at her at this age and remembering myself then, I can see she’s making excellent choices for her life. Being honest at her age I was a hot mess about eighty percent of the time.
As to the vegan issue we will probably never choose the same path so instead agree to disagree. I totally support her choices even if they don’t mirror mine. Life is more interesting in its diversities after all, not it’s similarities. In my view like many animals populating the planet, we eat meat to survive. I suppose the argument is we could eat vegetables to survive as well so I will not take up that argument at this writing. If I did, would we then have to say that said then are we okay with eating plants? Do we know if they have feelings? They are living things. What can I say, I am a carnivore and that is where it lies. For now I will sit on the fence. Ahhhhhhhhh, no pun intended. Or not.
This bread is perfect for the holidays, or any time. I make several loaves and freeze them.
Orange Cranberry Banana Bread with Orange Glaze
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease 9×5 loaf pan.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in mixing bowl.
In large mixing bowl mix melted butter and sugars. Whisk in eggs. Add vanilla. Add bananas, orange zest, and cranberries and mix well.
Add flour mixture in two portions, mixing to just moisten. Pour into prepared dish. Bake for 55-60 mins. until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
Mix together in small bowl until well blended. Immediately pour over bread. Cool.