Back to my Happy Place

Now that I have exorcised the demons (are you thinking “this house is clear”…I am lol), I am ready to get back to being me :).

I know I get a little bit ahead of myself, but I just can’t stop thinking about Thanksgiving. The thought of all that cooking makes me giddy…the clean-up, not so much (but I believe you’ve heard my theory on that!). So, let’s focus on the positive–the cooking…the baking…the eating! We are having quite a crowd by my preliminary count…so far 20ish. The challenge is going to be delegation. I love cooking all of the Thanksgiving standards, so how do I choose which I want to ‘farm out’?

I guess I should prioritize by my favorites. The pies–my signature Thanksgiving standard. I love baking the Big 3…Pumpkin, Pecan, & Apple (too bad that’s not a ‘P’ word…the 3 P’s would be more fun to say). I love making the crusts out of tiny pastry leaves–so pretty! Next is the Turkey…it just isn’t Thanksgiving Dinner without this guy (or girl)…beautifully browned, moist & tender. I have to credit one of my college roomies with my turkey talents. Tanya gave me a booklet called “Talking Turkey” when I was cooking my first Thanksgiving Feast as head ‘chef’. I was cooking for all of my friends who weren’t heading home for the holiday. This little booklet should be called the “Turkey Bible”, it tells you everything you need to know…buying, thawing, stuffing (which I DON’T do), and roasting. Next is the dressing (some may call this stuffing, but here in the South we call it dressin’). You simply cannot have a Southern Thanksgiving without cornbread dressing. I have recently converted over to my mother-in-law’s recipe (passed down through her family)…it is simply divine. You know it has got to be good for me to choose it over my family’s recipe. Okay, the last I will cover is the Sweet Potato SoufflĂ©…I personally can’t imagine Thanksgiving without it! It is like a dessert disguised as a veggie…YUM!

Cranberry sauce (I use Martha’s recipe), green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, fluffy rolls…I just don’t know what to do! The good news for me is that all of the ladies coming to celebrate are fabulous cooks, so no worries about whether their dishes will meet my expectations. Sorry if that sounds a little snooty, but we all have expectations about what something as classic as Thanksgiving Dinner is supposed to taste like.

Today’s Secret revealed is a cooking tip I got from my cousin, her husband is a chef in Charleston: bake your sweet potatoes for the soufflĂ© (I was taught to boil them)…think of the difference in taste between a regular potato baked vs. boiled…your palate will thank you!

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