A Rainy and Smokey Thanksgiving Day 11/23/06

It was a rainy and chilly Thanksgiving Day that greeted me as I ambled downstairs around nine am after rolling out of bed.

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I had turkey to cook, so couldn't start that without some coffee. Unfortunately, my cream had gone bad and I had to run out to the local Store 24 for a replacement.

That accomplished, I sat down and watched the Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV while picking away at some editing on a manuscript I am working on.

Marissa got up around 11:30 and kibitzed for awhile as I began the ordeal. I used James Haller's recipe; it's the best ever. He was the chef and owner of the world famous Blue Strawberry restaurant in Portsmouth, NH. I have a lot of fond memories of him and of the Blue Strawberry every time I fix either his turkey or the rock Cornish game hens.

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Well, the directions call for an open pan 525 degree searing in of the juices for forty-five minutes and that just sends rolling clouds of smoke through my condo so we had to open up several of the windows to create a draft to get the smoke out so it wouldn't set off the fire alarms. Very exciting wondering if they would go off for that period of time...

As I was waiting for the turkey to singe up, I watched the first half or so of the Miami Dolphins vs. Detroit Lions game - shown in the background of one of the pictures - and enjoyed the rest of my coffee.

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I took a picture of one of the bouquets of flowers that I bought for the occassion. Even through the wonderful aroma of the cooking turkey, if you got close enough you could still smell these flowers; it was just great. And the rain, well it just kept up all day. Sometimes just a heavy mist, but at other times it poured pretty good. But we were cozy in our little world! And while the turkey cooked away on its own, I was able to get quite a bit of editing on my manuscript done, so that was enjoyable and relaxing for me as well.

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I had the game up loud enough that I could tell when there was a crisis so I'd jump up and go in to see what was going on and get the scoop from Marissa who decided to park on the sofa and relax.

I only watch football three times a year: Thanksgiving, New Years, and the Super Bowl so this was a mandatory event. I'm not really a fan; it's just traditional background effect for me. But I'm serious about it to the extent that the game stays on until the last player is off the field. Go figure...

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Anyway, the turkey came out so tender it almost fell off onto the plate by itself. I fixed up a bag of Maine potatoes so we had mashed potatoes, some butternut squash, and a very pleasant Merlot to wash it all down.

I cooked from about 11:30 to 6:00 but it only took us a half hour to stuff ourselves to the point of surrender. And I've got to say that it was pretty damn good for a city boy on his own.

After we finished, I went into a cleaning frenzy for about an hour or so and wore myself out. And I felt it only just that I finish the bottle of Merlot because... well, how can you leave wine in the bottle any more so than not drawing blood after unsheathing your sword? It's just something you have to do, right? Well, I didn't really drink that much because quite a bit of that bottle went into basting the turkey and in the gravey. Besides, I just sipped it over a period of about five hours. Marvelous!

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