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Bobby Flay Saves the Day, and other Random Thanksgiving Day Thoughts

November 28, 2008

081126Bantam

Above: Deconstructing the State Fair in my journal. This sketch from yesterday builds on sketches I made of Bantams at this year's Minnesota State Fair. I am working out some compositions for a series of paintings. Paintings I'd hoped to work on Thursday. I'll continue working on this project over the weekend. Right now it's a random, on-going thought.

Yesterday Dick and I made Thanksgiving Day dinner for his folks and an 85-year-old long-time family friend. It used to be that I did everything and there were many courses. With the annexation of the dining room by the studio and the site move to the folks' where they have ELECTRIC (come on, everyone knows you need gas to cook) the meals have been both more simple and still adventuresome. But they still have to be planned and life has been tightly wound here lately so planning took place Wednesday night before a trip to the coop.

"Dick, you need to watch these 8 minutes of Emeril. I want to make his cauliflower dish. Then you need to watch the entire episode of Boy Meets Grill. I want to make his rub and sauce," I told Dick when he arrived home from work 1 hour and 30 minutes before he was scheduled to go to a basketball game with a friend. (You do the math.)

After deciding to go ahead with these recipes, a salad, some fresh bread, and a cherry cobbler I purchased in a panic that afternoon at Café Latte in St. Paul, we headed out to Seward Co-op with "the list." (I have to say that I don't normally panic about dessert, but Dick had asked me on Saturday to bake a pie, the first in over 10 years! My pies are legendary in the family: whole wheat crusts which are flaky and delicious [I roll them out with an ice-filled glass rolling pin on a marble slab; and I use butter] but I don't have any space in the kitchen right now [at least not to bake bread and do a pie; another long story] so I was looking for a way out of the pie and since I had to go to the cooking supply store nearby to get a new thermometer it seemed a good solution. Besides, I don't like pumpkin pie; I don't like cherry cobbler, which is what I ended up getting, but it was elegant looking and matched the tastes of those I was cooking for. It's not always about chocolate. Frankly fresh bread trumps pie in my book.)

The Co-op was packed with last minute shoppers, some dazed and confused, some wildly hopeful and ambitious. Despite the crowd we got in and out quickly and Dick actually made it back in time to meet his friend for the game.

Today I woke up, took out some dough and made a loaf each of white bread and whole wheat. (I make peasant loaves adapting the style in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day—for more about this book and to read my post click here.)

While the dough rose, I did my exercises which now include an elliptical trainer and riding my bike indoors, but that's the stuff of another post. I want to get to what is really important:

Bobby Flay's recipe for Brined Turkey Breast with Spanish Spice Rub and Sour Orange Sauce. YUM. OK we didn't barbeque, we have a small rotisserie. And I couldn't convince Dick to brine. Oh, and it was a whole turkey (only 10 lbs.), not a breast. And the sauce took a long time to reduce (I was starting with cold chicken broth and I don't think the recipe takes that into account in the hour time they cite). But all of that aside, if you are looking for a delicious alternative to turkey and gravy next year give this a try. Or try it sometime this summer when you are grilling.

OK that's enough random thoughts for today. I won't go into how we somehow got on to talking about the Golden Mean (or Golden Section) which should be easy to explain to one engineer if you have another standing by. And I won't go into the wonderful way elderly folks (our family friend) get forgetful (because I'm going to be elderly soon and I'm already forgetful). And I won't go into the way Dick's dad has a laboriously methodical way of laying slices of dry, old bread in the rotisserie grill pan at clean up, to sop up all the grease so that he can then put the grease drenched bread out for the crows. (He says crows because he knows I love crows, but he really means squirrels, because he loves squirrels.)

Such conversations make clean up pretty fun and quick. You get the idea. It was a good day.

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