Monday, December 1, 2014

A Thanksgiving Weekend That Couldn't Be Beat

We normally host Thanksgiving, which has involved form as few as 8 to as many as 22 people.

This year we had dinner at my sister-in-law's.  They also recently moved to Chicago (Evanston) and were part of the reason for our move here.

We had dinner there primarily because her house is a little larger and she has TWO ovens (a feature we used to have in Yonkers)  We haven't quite gotten there yet, but I'm guessing that in the next year or so, we might upgrade our oven for a double.  And there were 25 people at Thanksgiving this year!

Just because we weren't hosting, didn't mean we didn't cook.  We made the turkey gravy (my wife is very fond of gravy, and the bird being cooked this year was already in parts, so gravy had to be done separately!)  We also made two different kinds of cranberry sauce (raw, and cooked, my mother-in-law loves raw cranberries!) and the brussel sprouts.

I'm a big believer in Brussel Sprouts.  And when I saw them at Trader Joe's on the stalk, I thought "Thanksgiving, done!"  Except.

  • Although they look cool, you can't serve them on the stalk because you still have to cut them, and it's unwieldy on the table.
  • They cook very unevenly.
  • In our oven, I could cook maybe 2 stalks at a time if I crammed them in.  We needed 100 brussel sprouts, which meant cooking them 4 times.
After a test run of the stalk kind, I went to the local grocery, bought 100 large brussel sprouts and roasted them. Cut them in half, brushed them with maple syrup and olive oil and salted and peppered.   They were a palpable hit!  (And although I was worried about running out, we did have a few leftovers)

The next day, we went to a potluck at a local synagogue, and they were a hit again!

A selection of cured meats and cheeses hand-picked by their chefs from their very 
own cheese and charcuterie cave.
 Accompanied by house made preserves, pickles, and jams.
Saturday we went for Breakfast with some in town cousins at the Sofitel (which was fantastic, and considering it was a high end brunch joint, wasn't terribly expensive (although as it turned out, my wife's cousin insisted on paying, so SCORE!  Thank you Paul!) There I had the Artisanal cheese and meat plate with pickles and jellies  It was very very good.)

My son emulating the conductor at the
symphony.  He's got the look!
On Sunday we went to see the Music of Pixar at the CSO.  It was a great concert!  One of the best things about it was viewing many of those movies again, but through the lense of their sound.  They displayed scenes from the movies, but without dialog, and with the CSO playing, you could really hear (and see) the complexity of the music.

They've got a few more Symphony at the Movies events coming up (2001 a Space Odyssey and Metropolis, both of which would be great for older kids)  

The weekend capped off where I was supposed to drive my mother-in-law to the airport, and SCORE AGAIN, one of the other in-laws agreed to do it.  I lead a charmed life, apparently!

How was your Thanksgiving Weekend?

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