Yesterday, of course, was mostly about preparation for today. I was up early and at Walmart doing the last of my shopping. Jasper made some excellent breakfast when I returned.
I am suffering from a distressing dilemma. Tuesday night Lucy accidentally knocked down and broke a couple of mugs, and one of them was my one remaining special mug that I used multiple times every day. What was special about it? Well, I have rather strict requirements for mugs. I rarely use small mugs because I rarely want a small amount of tea. So, I like large ceramic mugs. When I say large, I mean in the neighborhood of 20 ounces. And I like them to be tall and narrow rather than large and squat. Furthermore, they must be thin, especially at the rim, and the handle must be large to accommodate my arthritic hand.
So after lunch yesterday, I took Mary and Lucy to Starbucks with very definite ulterior motive. I’ve noticed that Starbucks often sells tall, large mugs, and I was desperate enough to darken their doors in order to get one. Alas, Starbucks let me down. They did have tall large mugs, but they weren’t ceramic. The largest ceramic ones were Christmas-themed and not big enough and they had a big Starbucks logo on them. *sigh* The search continues.
Mary made a gluten free coconut pie and we also made an apple pie and of course a pumpkin pie. Then after supper we went to church for prayer meeting and a pie social. Flynn was able to join us before the pie was all gone, after driving over from Dallas.
I was up very late last night because of my determination to have green bean casserole today. Green bean casserole is normally very easy to make. You have beans. You dump in some cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, seasonings, and French fried onions, sprinkle more onions on top, and pop it in the oven.
The problem is that both store-bought cream of mushroom soup and French fried onions contain gluten. So making gluten free green bean casserole is a whole lot more trouble. First you have to make the fried onions. This involved peeling and slicing an onion into rings, which had to be separated. Then you soak them in buttermilk for hours. Then (and I am not making this up) you take each individual onion ring out of the buttermilk and carefully peel away the membrane that lines the inside of the ring. This is very tedious, time-consuming, and messy. The point of it is that the coating sticks to the onion rings a lot better if you remove the membrane. So anyway, the de-membraned rings go back into the buttermilk bath while you go make the gluten-free flour coating.
Each ring must be removed from the buttermilk, dredged in the flour, and put on a rack to dry while you go heat up the oil in your skillet. Then you deep fry a few at a time until they are crispy. This is what I was doing after midnight last night. I will say that the onions tasted fabulous when I tested them, but it was still an awful lot of work to go to for one side dish.
Today I still had to make the mushroom soup from scratch and then assemble the casserole. And yes, it was pretty tasty. But I think if I’m going to do the gluten-free version again, I’ll make it a month ahead and freeze it!
Today I was up early putting the turkey in the oven (after wrestling with it for several minutes), and also our classic holiday brunch casserole. We had a great breakfast around the table and then I was actually able to get a brief rest in between cooking tasks. Mary was such a huge help, despite the fact that she is now sick too. In fact, the sickie list now includes Spencer (who brought the evil illness to our house), me, Lucy, Walter, and Mary.
Mary had the brilliant idea of using our whiteboard for doing our annual Thanksgiving poster. The whiteboard is on the sliding door that goes across the end of the dining room. We used our motley collection of dry erase markers to draw and write things that we are thankful for. We have so much to be thankful for!
Most of our menu was gluten free. We did have two versions of a few items–biscuits, corn pudding, and stuffing. I was pleasantly surprised by the GF stuffing. I’m sure I will make it again.
We had a lovely dinner, followed by a phone conversation with Lina in Zambia. Then Kat came over and we all had pie before tackling our annual Thanksgiving paper airplane competition. Jordan was the overall winner after several heats. It was a beautiful chilly but sunny afternoon and I enjoyed being outdoors for a few minutes.
We don’t have supper on Thanksgiving. We had tea and chips and dip (hot cheese & sausage dip and hot spinach & artichoke dip) while we watched Muppet Christmas Carol and Mary and Jordan set up our Christmas tree, in hopes of getting the lights put on it tomorrow.
Kat and Spencer returned empty handed from their “Black Friday” jaunt. Kat had wanted to buy a television but it turned out that Walmart only had 11 of them and there were hundreds of people wanting them! (I am a staunch Black Friday boycotter. I refuse to interrupt the counting of my blessings in order to celebrate unbridled greed.)
We finished off the evening by watching Pacific Rim, because Flynn and I had agreed to watch it together after we heard it was about giant robots fighting giant aliens. It was exactly what we hoped it would be–a predictable plot with lots of giant robots fighting giant aliens. Sometimes that’s all you want out of a movie.
So, great Thanksgiving. Hope you had a great one too!