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Friday, November 28, 2008

28 Nov 2008: Where Our Food 'come' From: the Turkey Day Blog

Thanksgiving used to be a 2 day process. But this year I took Weds thru Sunday off so I could chill and take my time. In the end it ended up being more exhausting than a 1 day process but it was worth it.

2 nights before I told Julian we're gonna keep it simple so I made Chicken and Korean Beef Fried Rice...Tasty deliscious and using some of the stuff we had barbecued with our friends JR and Bree a few days prior's the base of a lot of what I cook. I don't buy it cut or chopped or minced or even peeled. I think it just has a better scent and flavor when you chop it from bulbs...

At the core of thanksgiving always seems to be bellpeppers, carrots, onions and celery plus a variety of dried herbs. But this year the vegetables seemed exceptionally festive and bright.

Here is a Gratuitous Fridge Shot for GYA. I've decided since G-Fly took a video of my fridge and freezer I'mma take pics of peoples fridges to add to her collection. Here's mine before thanksgiving after choppin' up bellpepper stuff.

Asparagus. Deliscious and amazingly a lot of our people love it. Lucky for everyone I found 4 stalks that I felt were decent. They were a bit dry for my taste. When it's dry like that you put a small grab of sugar in a waterbowl and stand the stalks up to drink up the water. They freshen up right off the bat.

Side 1: Asparagus with lemon butter and toasted Pecans

Sweet Rolls from Ranch Market. But no one even touched them. The only rolls anyone was grabbing were mine as they hugged me.

I kept some instant Miso and Pomelo's around to keep the hunger at bay.

Side 2: Cornbread Stuffing

The day before I start baking a 7 times batch of cornbread. Dang Right. But it smells so good

I also picked up a dozen tamales...half beef and half chicken. Like I said before Thanksgiving Dinner I try to keep everyones meals simple. But my brother, boyfriend, godbrother, sister were more than happy with Fried Rice and tamales. I must say this lady almost didn't offer me any until i asked,"de que clase" or what kind...She laughed and told me in Spanish, pork in green chile, beef and I tried one and bought a dozen. I'm glad I did. Why did the lady seem so tickled and surprised to find me in the Ranch Market parking lot. This is not to be confused with 99 Ranch Market. Ranch Market is a Mexican grocery store that is humongous and the produce is off the hook and a ton of the butchers are ladies.

Cornbreads is smelling right

Saute and Warm those flavors all together...

Add the chicken stock and let it simmer then add the second batch of veggies and cornbread...rack it in a pan and set aside.

Time to make the crusts for the Pumpkin Tarts and the Lemon Tarts...All it is, is real butter, all purpose flour, powdered sugar and a pinch of salt! Pulse it together and press it into pans. Prebake then yank out and while it's still hot put the pumpkin/and lemon mixes respectively.

I love these jokers. I love pumpkin tarts...better than pumpkin pies coz no matter how good someone makes it, it is either soggy or dry. The whole tart is more like a bit of pumpkin flavor on a shortbread cookie. Deliscious.

This is my favourite tartlet pan...I picked it up in the warehouse district in the Philippines. I only wish I would have got 4 of them!

My sister Keyla has to have her own special tartlets. And don't get in her secret hiding place in the fridge and eat them. Although this year I did forget to give Wendy her 33% cut of the hidden goods. LOL. I'll bring them back to Tempe with me, and just call her in.

This is the glorious lemon tart that everyone wants to fight over. Bwaa hahha. I love you all and how you fight for the things that come from my hands out the oven! PS) I'm makin' chocolate chip cookies tonight for anyone who wants to drive by and grab a dozen.

The regular fridge was too full. So we had to bust out the "backup" fridge and set it to 39 degrees. Erm...who has a backup fridge just for produce? Hahhahah I guess we do.

Side 3: Parmesan Pasta

Some people make mac and cheese. We make herb orrechiete with red bellpepper and 2 kinds of parmesan

Side 4: Cheesy Tatoes

Boil up 10 pounds of potatoes...and let the magic begin.

Add some butter, pepper, salt, milk and a bit of cream cheese. Voila!

Side 5: Glazed Yams

Yam Yam Yummy. All I know is that I bought like 3 bags of these jokers coz they seemed so fresh. Plus the fact that this year they were only 5lbs for 99 cents. Hahahha. I dunno why people say stuff is unaffordable...maybe they just go to places they can't afford?

Peel them, wash them, chop them.

Season them and drizzle with olive oil and throw them so they don't toughen.

Then deep fry them in a fryer and deglaze before serving. Oh yeah. These got eaten all day before they even hit the table or got glazed. hahahhah.

THE ribs. Julian had been opening the freezer since Sunday and doin' this dance. Like Ribs - oh ribs - my ribs..and he'd do this little hip swagger. I would just laugh and laugh and laugh.

I tell you what my butcher hooked it up @ $1.49 a lb and only the choicest cut. Plus the chicken was only $1.45 a lb (boneless skinless breastussest) and the turkey came up 39 cents a lb. Bwaa hahhaha.

When I went to pick up my cuts...the day before I had gone in with Julian to pick up pancit noodles and panda cookies for the kids, that day the butcher came up and said preciosa!!! como estas! I said oh, i'm fine long day at work...He went to grab my cuts and leaned in to whisper - Oh I am very jealous of your lucky husband! Bwaa hahahhahha!

Defrost these jokers and leave them at room for about 2 hours .

Drain. rinse and season. Cover and Rest for another 30 minutes

Slow roast for over 4 hours. Sauce them then warm for 1 hour.

Defrost in the fridge for 2 hours...

Soak in a Brine with Wild Thyme, Red Chili Flakes, a splash of soy and lemon.

Bake at 360 until it pops. Brined ones take about 3 hours for 18 lbs.

Even Rommel said, "This is Good...and I don't even like Turkey"

I didn't think we could kill an 18 pound turkey but we managed.

Side 6: Green Beans Dressed to the 9's

Al Dente. Crunchy Crispy beautiful greens. Don't overcook them that's gross, and if you are gonna feed people make it worth the experience. Don't play it like you overcooked it on accident. However I dressed mine to the 9's this year.

Some of my friends don't like swine, that's cool...but thankfully most people who come to dinner don't mind. Actually I cooked extra of the chopped up stuff is because everyone picks it all day while I'm cooking.

My Bebe is funny. Here is a conversation:

Him: I don't really like pork (eyeing the pork chops in the fridge)

Me: Oh really

Him: Really I don't.

Me: Uh Huh.

foward to 2 days later:

Him: Yuummm (chewing noises picking at the bacon pieces)

Me: You don't like pork huh.

Him: No

Me: But Bacon and Salami are good right?

Him: Yup (walks to the ps3 without a clue) still chewing.

Bwaa hahahhahha.

So Yummy yummy and oh so funny funny

Side 7: Greens, not the kind you smoke

I dont' even need to talk about how hard it is to cook this many. But worth it.

Again, the produce was fantastic.

It was a whole sinkful. Bonkers.

I had to shrink it down in the industrial pan coz of the volume and then move it to the oval and slow cook it.

Side 8: Broccoli Casserole: it gets ATE!

The holiday favourite! Crunchy and melty, salty and broccolli sweet.

Notice a half pck of soba, peach gummies and 2 kinds of hot sauce lurking behind the 8 bunches of Broccoli I had to cut.

I don't even measure anymore...

I just throw it together...eyeball it and do it up.

Top it and bake it.

Kibby plays poker stars while the cooking finalizes.

We even made a video for City Momma.

Rommel sliced those ribs up like yeah.

I'm so exhausted and shiny and ready to sit and eat. But I'm happy to be sittin' with the family.

Kibby didn't even wanna pose with his he just wanted to eat.

Benjo loves the BBQ Ribs...

Rommel & Keyla...ready to throw down!

I told Wendy...with yo' plate with yo' plate...

But...she couldn't keep her eyes off the plate

And then there is the Grimey One...Lookin' like a lean, mean muay thai - grindin' machine....But just like I always know...he will always put a good plate down plus dessert! The story of the gold sushi is my favourite! I forgot to get a pic of Lee and Steven...but I'm sure they'll be to dinner again.

Yeah my friends pack to go packs...and...

And write as you thought dinner was over...Because we were having coffee and wine and tarts...My sister gets up and starts making pecan spice cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes - bwaahahhahha

Wendy,"NOOOOO LADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY" Keyla just laughed and laughed and then started bakin' and makin our favourite Cream Cheese Frosting - Yuuuuum.

Wendy just couldn't stand it and gave me bear hugs!

Then Keyla said,"try it Wendy..." ooooooooh

Cool it an 80's song...Cool it down...

Kzo and Kibby...still digestin' dinner

Kzo-Wlee-Kibby...together again. Kzo had asked,"How many get togethers did I miss?" Wendy and I laughed and told him We got together and ate gelato during a power outtage while Kibby slept before we left for NYC and Gya left for the BK. Then Gya came back shortly and we had girl bomblettes. And he missed the Easter get together when City Momma met Country Momma and GodMomma. That's all.

"We may need your services next year..." I said what - a wedding! Fantastic. I love my Kzo...and I'm glad he met a great year that keeps him lookin' right and takin' care of himself and lookin' to the future! I told her great job girl -- just being yourself and makin' our homie happier! She smiled modestly and just said Thank You! I dig her because she is comfortable being herself...I said,"Hey are you two shacked up!" They laughed and I said,"us too...coz my brother evicted us ALL" Bwaa hahahhah. Kibby said,"Oh thanks for letting me know Bebe."

Bwaa hahhahha

Kibby went back to Tempe shortly after everyone else because he had to be at work at 6am today. I didn't let him leave without first makin him a turkey sandwhich with tomato and spinach and a bit of cheese plus a side of broccolli casserole. Packed lunch is crucial. I was ready to knock out and knew I'd see him the next day coz we had some work to put in on Grand Theft Auto IV.

Nighty night.

Another hit, another year, another bunch of full bellies...great dinner conversation and our own family kickin' it together and everyone cheering us on to have Kibblets! LOL. Maybe next year we'll have a booster seat at the table.