Baltimore, F&F

the turkey,

having brined in cider for a day, is now draining on a rack in the refrigerator. I have discovered, through extensive testing, that it fits in my oven *and* that it is possible to have other dishes on the top rack at the same time. This is my first semi-solo Thanksgiving–friends are bringing sides but I’m doing the turkey–and it is very exciting, to say the least. There is nothing like holding the flexible severed neck of a recently living animal in your hands. Cervical spine, anyone?

Here’s the menu, themed, as I see it, around fennel, cider, and apples:
the Sems heirloom cider-brined turkey recipe, with sage, sage, and lots of sage (and more sage) passed down from Charlotte (with an apple/parsnip stuffing that I’m baking outside the cavity and without the sausages);
fennel/rosemary stuffing;
kale with shallots;
green beans with fennel and more shallots;
regular old potatoes;
inordinately complicated apple/endive salad (M.R. Shulman, use fewer ingredients!);
and cranberry sauce with both fresh & dried berries.
I’m also going to make some pretty straightforward giblets-based gravy in advance. I have a vegetarian mushroom gravy from Whole Foods as well, because one of the guests is vegetarian.

Friends are bringing green beans in puff pastry, another stuffing, a sweet potato dish, and two pies: apple and squash.

I keep wanting to go out and buy more cider. I can’t imagine that we have enough. Also, Eddie’s has brussels sprouts on the stalk! They look fantastic, and as weird as the dinosaur kale. I sort of want to use them as table decorations. But I probably have enough food already. Probably. Never! SPROUTS!

Disasters so far:
– Spilling cider brine all over floor and all the food in the door of the refrigerator. (Luckily, there was plenty left over, and most of the food in the fridge door was plastic-wrapped and could be cleaned.) After mopping floor several times, floor was no longer sticky.
– Leaving ATM card and driver’s license at bank. (Luckily, I was able to retrieve it.)
– Losing phone. (Luckily, it was still inside house.)

Triumphs:
– Borrowing roasting pan from incredibly gourmet friends A & J and getting leftover dinosaur kale and a surprise lunch of absolutely amazing cauliflower soup to go with it.
– As mentioned, discovering the turkey’s willingness to go in the oven in my house.
– Managing to transfer turkey from cider brine onto rack without getting cider brine all over anything again.

So far, the score is Demons of Thanksgiving 3, Dara 3.

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