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Well, read on, Pilgrim!
I’ve been married for 23 years, and I have cooked 22 Thanksgiving meals pretty much all by myself during that time. My mom was a FABULOUS cook. People at our church vied to get a dinner invitation to our house. But, sadly, my mom passed away 5 months after the Big Bison and I got hitched, and after that, I ended up being the designated hostess for Thanksgiving meals for the rest of my family. So, in those 22 years, I have learned a lot about good cooking. I am a devoted cooking magazine/cookbook reader. I started out with Southern Living magazine, and several of their cookbooks, including the original brown one, and this one, which I use quite frequently: The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook,
graduated to Gourmet magazine, and both their yellow and green cookbooks, Gourmet
when Southern Living Magazine went too “processed/convenience food” oriented for my liking, and then also discovered Cook’s Illustrated
had a lot of great things to teach me. (I love how they try SO many versions of the same recipe, in order to find their “best” recipe, for whatever recipes they provide.) Cooking, as many of you know, is not only an art, but a science as well, and I love the way that Cook’s Illustrated incorporates both aspects: the art, and the science. I also haunt my public library cookbook shelves, and they give you such a great opportunity to “try before you buy”, I think! I have several favorite cooking shows on TV that I Tivo, so that I can keep my imagination fired up. In short, well, I’m a bit of a foodie.
I love to use fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, whenever possible. In the late spring, summer and early fall, I buy from a local organic foods co-op. Because the Big Bison goes hunting, we have a freezer stocked full of venison, elk, and wild turkey, so, I’ve learned to cook game, too. I grind my own wheat berries and popcorn to make whole grain flour and corn meal. My husband roasts our coffee beans from green coffee beans he orders off the internet. Last week he bought a new grill (our old gas grill went belly up) and this time, we have gone back to charcoal (which is good, because I prefer the flavor, anyway). But this grill has an added feature: it’s also a smoker! So, now, he is enjoying experimenting with smoking our meats. Two nights ago it was smoked venison tenderloin, and tonight, it’s a smoked chicken. Isn’t that smoked chicken a gorgeous thing!!!
So now that I’ve presented to you my credentials, for the next few posts, I think I should post some of my very best Thanksgiving recipes. Most of them had a starting point in a recipe I found some place else, but I have altered most recipes along the way to suit my family’s tastes. One major source of recipes that I use regularly, and one that I would like to recommend to you, is epicurious.com
I’ll try to post some good ones for tomorrow, so that you have time to buy groceries before Thursday, OK?
Happy week before Thanksgiving, y’all!!!