Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Cranberries, pumpkin & the Millenium Falcon
I got a little start on the Thanksgiving cooking this evening with these two easy condiments that I've made the last few years: red wine cranberry sauce and pumpkin marmalade. The cranberry sauce is DELICIOUS and simple -- just say no to canned cranberry sauce! -- and the pumpkin marmalade is good with dark bread and slices of fresh parmesan, or, as I did last year, with mango-ginger stilton from Trader Joe's! Here are those recipes that can be whipped up in a flash:
RED WINE CRANBERRY SAUCE
1 c. dry red wine
1.5 c. sugar
1 lb. fresh cranberries
Combine wine, sugar and 1 c. water in medium saucepan and bring to a boil for 1.5 minutes. Add cranberries and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes, until berries burst.
1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
1 c. orange marmalade
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp lemon juice
In medium saucepan combine pumpkin, marmalade and ginger; bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Cool. Serve with fresh parmesan and dense bread. Also good in turkey sandwiches!
This year we're not hosting Thanksgiving at our house, as we have for a number of years, so I am only responsible for a few dishes, mainly my yam gratin and a fennel-orange salad. Jim is making his annual apple pie and maple-balsamic green beans. If anyone is looking for a new yam recipe, try this: slice yams thin and layer in casserole, sprinkling each layer with grated parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and diced jalapeno (about 2 seeded jalapenos total, for a mild dish). When it's all together, pour in heavy whipping cream to just cover yams, and sprinkle a bit of the parmesan on top. Bake -- I don't remember how long. Steal the time from some other gratin recipe. I've tried substituting the heavy cream partly with milk and it doesn't thicken. This is an evil, evil dish, and I recommend it highly, especially if you're not so into the sweet potatos with brown sugar and all that stuff.
Happy & delicious Thanksgiving to all ye who celebrate it, and if ye don't, I still recommend these recipes!
As for that next holiday, Christmas, something TERRIBLE happened this morning!! Last night online I had ordered Jim's main Christmas present. It's something he really really really really wants but never seriously thought I would get him (Kelly, at least, can guess what that is!). So I told him not to accidentally peek at my email, just in case he might see a confirmation before I could delete it, and I arranged for it to be shipped to my parents' house. So, this morning, we got back from walking the dogs and Jim checked the answer machine, and there it was -- a customer service call from the company I ordered from!!! Jim's face was transformed by shock, and he dove to turn off the machine, too late! And instead of turning it off he deleted the message, so I didn't even know why they had called (turns out it was because they have to check on alternate shipping addresses due to online ordering fraud). There was no way to invent a fib. The cat was out of the bag. The surprise had lasted less than 12 hours. How much does that SUCK? Meanwhile, the less important online orders I've placed for Christmas can't even return emails, much less actually CALL. I mean, who knew that would happen? Ugh -- it's such a big bummer.
It wasn't Jim's fault, but in my irritation I told him I was going to "Millenium Falcon" him, which is a family joke: when my older brother was 7 or 8 he wanted the Millenium Falcon toy (that's Han Solo's spaceship, if you don't know), and my parents got it for him and stashed it in the closet to make its Christmas morning appearance, and some weeks before Christmas my mother noticed that the toy had been taken out of the box, played with, and put back. Badly. She never said a word about it to Alex but quietly returned the toy to the store, and come Christmas morning he kept waiting for it to appear and it never did. That's the official version, but my mom is a softy so I suspect it did make an appearance later, after lessons had been learned.
I love this story because when that same brother was in a group counselling session during high school, surrounded by severely troubled teens with histories of abuse and trauma, the worst thing he could dredge up that had ever happened to him was the Millenium Falcon episode!!
Anyway, sweetie, if you're reading this, I probably won't Millenium Falcon you, but don't be too sure!
And in unrelated cool news, the Blackbringer galleys came today!! Hooraaaaaay! My book is a book! Look! My book is a book!
Posted by Laini Taylor at 7:55 PM