Sunday, December 12, 2010


Normally, I am crap at cooking big fancy dinners. In theory, I love to do it, but really what I like is the impressing-the-hell-out-of-people part and not so much the actual execution of it. This year, however, I made the same Thanksgiving meal for the third year in a row and, I must admit, it went swimmingly. I actually planned ahead, cooked things in advance, and stuck to a schedule. Yes, I forgot to make the cornbread until the last possible second, but otherwise I count this year's Thanksgiving a tremendous success.

I tweeted the steps as I completed them, which was fun for me, if not necessarily for everyone who had to read my incessant, smug tweets. It kept me focused and entertained. I had every intention of writing a for-reals blog post about the meal, but the tweets were pretty sufficient, I thought. Hence, I'm going to plead lazy and overworked, and I'm just going to post them below with pictorial accompaniment. Naysayers, this is all I can muster up right now, so tell yourself it's better than nothing.

Oh, and by the way, my entire menu comes from the greatest Gourmet menu of all time. You can get all the recipes (and see the shit I was too lazy to make) at

1/50: Groceries purchased, sorted, and minimally prepped.

2/50: 10 poblanos have been roasted, peeled, seeded, and made into rajas.

3/50: rum and nutmeg custard base for ice cream.

4/50: Chiles guajillo, ancho, New Mexico, chipotle, and de arbol toasted and soaking in boiling water.

5/50: Adobo red chile rub for turkey pureed and in the fridge.

6/50: Onions caramelized and joining yesterday's poblano strips in the rajas bin.

7-10/50: Dishes washed, dried, put away; plastic containers for leftovers washed, dried, and stacked.

11-12/50: roasted pineapple and onion for cranberry salsa; made salsa.

13-14/50: Roasted squash; mixed with coconut milk and brown sugar; pureed.

15-16/50: Rum ice cream frozen; cornbread for stuffing baked.

17/50: Turkey rubbed with red chile adobo; marinates for 24 hrs.

18-21/50: Potatoes peeled, sliced, and fashioned into gratin strewn w/ poblano and onion rajas; gratin baked.

22-24/50: Cooked veggies, chorizo for stuffing; browned giblets, neck; simmering w/ veg and broth for turkey stock.

25-29/50: Toasted cornbread; baked stuffing; made piloncillo syrup; prepared apples/syrup, poured into pie shell.

30/50: Took break to make pumpkin-butter filled pancakes for my family. Haven't fed them properly in three days.

31-33/50: Apple-pilocillo pie baked; pomegranate, mango ready for guac; scraped caramel from pie off bottom of oven.

34/50: Made emergency pumpkin pie. Well, actually, my 5-year-old made it. Read the recipe and everything. LOVE him.

35/50: Pomegranate-mango guacamole done.

36-40/50: Dishes.

41/50: Round of Pomegranate Kir Royales made, toasted, and working its way into our bellies. Ahhhh.

42/50: Green beans blanched and sauteed w/ lemon, garlic, thyme.

43-47/50: Red-chile roux made; gravy simmering; sides reheated; turkey resting.

48/50: Emergency #2--gratin is still cold, but everything else is ready. Fail. Jack up oven temp to 450.

49/50: Turkey sliced. Possibly by beavers, from the looks of it. 

50/50: And...done. Everything superb. Standouts: poblano gratin, cran-pineapple salsa, mango-pom guac, caramel apple pie.