Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Turkey Compromises

My favorite line in Scott Bakula's first movie, Sibling Rivalry, was said by Jamie Gertz: "I don't cook. I reheat." That should tell you something about my attitude toward cooking.

John does most of the cooking these days, and that reluctantly. If money were not an issue, every dinner would involve takeout, a restaurant, or stuff from a grocery store deli department. But John's recent joblessness has put the brakes on our eating out. Now John finds different ways to bake chicken breasts, salmon and shrimp, with varying results. I'm not fond of white meat chicken to start with, much less for the third time in a week, much less marinated in oil and vinegar (yuck). John likes that. I don't.

MS clipartNevertheless, once a year I do the whole holiday turkey thing. It used to be twice a year, at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but John hates the mess. So each year I have to pick which holiday will involve cooking, and which will involve Boston Market or eating out. When I do cook the bird, I pretty much always insist on turkey, even though John grew up with capon. Selfish me, but I'm the one who's doing the work, and I'm the one with the biggest hangup about it.

This year, Thanksgiving gets the nod, and the bird is an "all natural" turkey from Sunflower. Last year we ate out at the DoubleTree on Alvernon, mostly to avoid memories of the horror show with Mom the year before. I loved their holiday spread, but John felt it wasn't worth the exhorbitant cost. When Christmas comes around this year, we may eat out (on a reduced budget), or cook a turkey roll, or get ham from Boston Market. I suppose it will depend on how Thanksgiving goes, whether John gets a job by then (doubtful, I'm thinking), and how our finances are holding up.

Don't fear the rutabaga!But tomorrow I will personally cook a turkey, rutabaga, and sweet potatoes, among other things. The rutabaga is a tradition from my childhood, which probably originated from my dad's side of the family. We used to call them turnips, but the fact is that I don't like turnips. I like rutabagas. That's what we always had when I was growing up. I cook them the same way my mom did: peel, boil, and mash  them with a little milk, just like potatoes.  The best part is mixing the leftover mashed rutabagas with mashed potatoes for Friday's dinner, but I'm not doing mashed potatoes this year. Oh, well.  John grew up with sweet potatoes or yams, so I do a healthier version of that, without the brown sugar or marshmallows.

more MS clip artWhat's different this year is that I'm trying to make the meal healthier and lower in carbohydrates. I can't stand to do Thanksgiving without the rutabagas, so I bought just one of them this time. John wanted yams, but sweet potatoes seem less sweet to me, and therefore probably lower in carbs. No mashed potatoes, no stuffing, no flour or starch in the gravy. We have a can of cranberry sauce, at least two years old. I doubt that we'll open it, but I may buy a little cranberry relish if I get the chance.

Still more MS clipartBut what do I do with the cavities that are supposed to hold the stuffing? I normally put sausage stuffing with raisins at one end for me, and without raisins at the other end for John. This year, no stuffing. So I picked up a booklet at the check-out line about low carb holiday cooking. None of the options for turkey quite worked for me, so I'm improvising, based on a combination of receipes. I bought one orange to sort of glaze the outside of the turkey, and green onions, baby carrots, fresh sage and fresh parsley to put inside it, along with leftover celery. Will it work out? I have no idea.

I'll let you know.



alphawoman1 said...

Happy Thanksgiving. Good luck with the diet!

sakishler said...

Happy thanksgiving!

ryanagi said...

Not reading ahead yet...wondering how dinner turned out. LOL