Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Day Before (Thanksgiving 2010)

I spent most of yesterday with the rag top down and running errands around town. Between those errands, I veered off task to just enjoy the weather and site see.
Later, a door bell chime sent me to answer the call to find the shrimp guy standing outside. Now, he  isn't called "the shrimp guy" because of his appearance but because of the fresh Gulf Shrimp he hauls in Igloo coolers. These coolers are icing down the shrimp as he drives from house to house. He offers huge shrimp for 3.75 a lb., deheaded and placed in zip lock bags filled with water. I bought 10 lbs, ziplocked and ready to freeze.
One day, they will be thawed, deveined and in an etouffee. Right now it's a turkey and a ham that are capturing my time
Remember that huge iron skillet that I bought in New Orleans at the  French market? The one that sent the hubs hauling it back down the street to the parking lot so we wouldn't have to lug it around all day? He wasn't as impressed with my great find as I was. I had never seen a cast iron skillet that BIG or that HEAVY!
 I mixed up some cornbread and poured it into that 15lb skillet and hefted it into the oven about 30 mins. ago. Cornbread dressing is on the menu and no "box dressing"  for this meal. A small chunk of that cornbread I'll enjoy in a bowl with some milk. It's my standard breakfast on the day before Thanksgiving. I enjoy my cornbread and milk as I remember my grandparents. They both enjoyed a bowl of cornbread and milk often. Cornbread was not reserved for a once a year meal.

Carrie followed me out of bed this morning at 0400 hrs. I tried to slip away but she caught me just as I laid my hand on the doorknob to the bedroom door  and demanded "Where do you think you are going?"
In the dim light of the bedroom, I could see her propped up on the pillows, a scowl on her face. I invited her to come along. I knew escaping without her was not a possibility. After getting her settled on the sofa with a blanket, I dimmed the lights and moved into the kitchen.
Right now, the cornbread is baked, the sweet potatoes are boiled in their jackets and ready to shed those same jackets, and the fresh green beans are bubbling drenched in the fat from the bacon slices I added. I didn't say anything about a healthy meal here did I? More cholesterol will be introduced as the cooking continues. Lots of real margarine for me.
Along with the cornbread dressing will be the traditional rice dressing or "dirty rice" that the locals here are so fond of. I'm a busy lady this morning.

Though I dreaded getting started on this, once in the midst of pots steaming on the stove, pans stacked in the sink for cleaning and last minute trips to the store for those items missed, I begin to enjoy the process of putting together a large meal for family.

If I'm lucky, I will get most of this prep done before Carrie awakens and expect me to be her playmate for the day.
I listen to the A/C unit click on and gaze with wonder at the weather channel reporting the snow on the mountains in the west.
I'm grateful I'm not in an airport waiting to be groped on this day of travel to meet family. I would be happy though to have all my brothers and sisters arriving for this holiday. I miss em!
I'm sure it's time to pay some attention to the stove stuff so I'm closing down and moving on.
Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!

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