Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving 1993 Revisited

Okay, not really. But I did reach for a dusty old 1993 November issue of Bon Appetit (yes, it's nearly an antique) and cracked open the gravy stuck pages to find my favorite cranberry relish recipe on Thursday. Alas, I did not have all of the ingredients for the Triple Cranberry Sauce. I did happen to have fresh ginger in the house (a rare event) and stumbled on another cranberry relish that is now our new favorite recipe...

Behold, the fabulous Cranberry Ginger Relish:

Combine 1 12-oz bag fresh cranberries, 1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (I also happened to have just enough oranges on hand to accomplish this although those Texas oranges are not nearly as juicy as the California ones and my wrist was worn out by the time I finished squeezing six oranges for this's always the little unexpected detours that they don't show you on those food network channel that cause a 30-minute dish to take 2 hours and 30 minutes in real life to prepare...but anyway...), 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat until sugar dissolves, then reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently and smashing a few cranberries in the process. Refrigerate. This relish is absolutely delicious!

I was not really planning to cook much for Thanksgiving, but after the relish was in the refrigerator, I spent the next 7 hours cooking, deciding on each recipe as I went along. Since I wasn't really planning anything in particular and nobody was expecting dinner at a particular time, it was quite relaxing and fun. Our only guest was our 18-year old daughter who decided to bless us with her presence for the holiday. It was a quiet but meaningful Thanksgiving for us.

We gave the turkeys a break this year and instead pulled a rack of lamb ribs out of the freezer (the victim of a brutal massacre last Spring). Combined with the GMA stuffing (which is every bit as good in real life as it looked on television), garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato/carrot puree, green beans sauteed in bacon and onions, and red wine sauce, we ate like kings...or very hungry Pilgrims no longer in need of a king. We finished off with Bourbon Pecan Pie smothered in Reddi-Whip (God's gift to pie). Mmmm.

Groan...who else took a nap on the floor after dinner? There are starving children in Africa, you know. Ahem.

We finished off the evening with a movie. As did everyone else in the Greater Metropolitan Kansas City area. I had been wanting to see No Country for Old Men ever since I read the book, and finally, we found a theatre in town that was showing it. Yikes. It is every bit as brutal on screen as the book, and then some. Bloody visuals aside (and I did have to look aside a few times), this was a wonderfully done movie. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a movie as much as the book. Reading the book first normally ruins the movie for me, and I've learned to set my expectations very low, but still, I do think this one was better than most. The Coen Brothers clearly "got" McCarthy's story and took it to the next level, adding their own layers of emotional wreckage and symbolism. It followed the complicated plot lines of the book very well and in some cases, helped shed more light on the gruesome story (trying to keep track of the many interests in this drug deal gone bad..."bad" may be a huge understatement...was challenging in both the dead tree and big screen versions). The casting was absolutely splendid! The main characters were brilliantly played, utterly believable and completely wacked (except for Tommy Lee Jones who was simply brilliant and believable). I loved the ending, but you could hear some groans in the audience when they realized it was the book, the ending wrapped it all up for me, but on its surface, it leaves the viewer hanging. If you can stomach the blood and guts, go see this movie. References to the Bible and Greek mythology abound. The West Texas imagery is beautifully shot. This is much more than your typical Crime Thriller/Western/or Suspense film.

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At 7:00 PM, November 25, 2007, Blogger Janie said...

Your meal sounds scrumptious and I'm glad y'all had good family time!
Hopefully, that movie will get here soon!

At 7:56 AM, November 26, 2007, Blogger Jen said...

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!!!

At 1:37 PM, November 27, 2007, Blogger DarkoV said...

Great post about "No Country.." Can't wait to see it as I'm a real Coen nut. Seems like they're going back to the "Blood Simple" days.

At 6:19 PM, November 27, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Darko, I'll be surprised if you don't like this movie. I can't say I'm a true Coen nut, but I definitely liked this one.

Janie, you'll probably recognize some of the scenes as places you've actually been!

Thanks, Jen! :-)


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