I was lucky enough to cook a full Thanksgiving meal this year (which also means, unfortunately, that I didn't get to spend the day with siblings or parents or my sister's pumpkin cheesecake creation, but we're focusing on the positive here). All the usual suspects were on the table: turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, rolls, green beans, cranberry sauce (my first attempt!), apple pie... what am I forgetting?
Here's the scene in my kitchen, circa 2 PM Thanksgiving day:
Which somehow transformed into this, circa 4 PM:
The unusual plates are part of my Christmas present from The Professor; he's been going to a co-workers ceramics studio and making me dishes! There are more to come, but I couldn't resist using them for dinner. The Beloved Stepson was a little hesitant - I believe his exact quote was "Are you sure they're safe to eat off of?".
You can also identify The Professor's plate by the spreading of cranberry sauce - it's his favorite dish, and he started serving before everything was ready. :)
Dinner was a smashing success, and I think I have finally conquered my fear of homemade gravy. It seems that butter really DOES cure all ills, because that's how I've started the last few attempts and they've all gone well. This time, I kept it pretty simple:
Melt 1/2 stick butter in a large skillet.
Add 1/2 cup flour and whisk to form a roux.
Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it turns a medium brown.
Add your pan drippings, or as much stock as you like - this time, there was about 1 1/2 cups drippings from the turkey - and whisk constantly until it's simmering.
Add 1/2-3/4 cup skim milk and whisk until it's a uniform color and simmering merrily (but not boiling).
Voila! Gravy - after much whisking - is born!