Mushrooms stuffed with balsamic-onion jam and some undetectable Brie.
That ubiquitous rosemary flatbread-stuff that is actually a giant cracker -- these are tasty but they break so unpredictably that I will never comprehend why we don't use the far more efficient cracker format -- spread with a thin layer of cream cheese and a cherry-jalapeno jam.
Fried mozzarella-basil wontons. I cannot speak to the marinara dipping sauce, as that is made of poison, but these were pretty good. They cooled quickly, though; one of the advantages of breading on cheese sticks, or of jalapeno poppers, is that the cheese is more insulated and stays melty better. I don't think there's a materials solution to the tradeoff of keeping it warm vs. napalm-like pockets of molten doom in a freshly fried food, though.Drinks
Pumpkin-pie-infused vodka, which we tried to come up with ways to use effectively. Bailey's was lackluster in combination. I suggested spiked vanilla milkshakes, but we didn't wind up trying it.
I made a drink that was mandarin-orange-flavored vodka and cranberry bitters with soda and lime, which my mom said tasted like nothing. "Is that what you like?" It is not my fault you have lost your taste buds to age, lady.Dinner
Turkey! I love turkey. And gravy, not particularly remarkable gravy but it doesn't need to be.
Smoked fowl. Cornish game hens? Chickens? I heard them called both, and they were of intermediate size. Pink and yummy. I only had a little, since one person can't have turkey and I didn't like to deprive him.
Mashed potatoes. Dairy-enabled this year due to Wim absence.
Sweet potatoes. Thank goodness no marshmallows. This was both delicious and weird, though: brown sugar and pecan topping, but also bananas mashed in. Unless you tasted after them specifically, you didn't know what that extra flavor was, but the bananas were strong and strange.
Brussels-sprout faceoff. Two people in my family like these things, and they've recently taken to trying to outdo each other in making them edible. I don't hate them, but I like almost any other vegetable better, so it was kind of impressive that I enjoyed both of the treatments pretty well. One was a breadcrumb and parmesan thing, and the one I liked better used balsamic vinegar and cranberries to almost entirely kill the sulfur flavor.
Some people eat dressing or stuffing. I do not, though we had both.
Cranberry sauce, topic of the great cousin schism. Although we're all on the same page about jellied vs. whole berry -- obviously jellied is correct -- we have an ongoing theatrical fight about scooping vs. slicing to serve. I am pretty sure I started it one year when someone had presliced the whole can, I mean, what was that bullshit?
(Interlude to visit my dad, who was collapsed in bed feeling terrible. He said he would eat a small plate of food if we got him one, so I made sure Mom took it to him later.)Dessert
Little cheesecakes with caramel and bits of candy bar on top. I was a fool to eat one without a plate under it, as the crusts were fucking crumbly. Some candy bars were Snickers and some were Twix. It was hard to argue with these.
Boozy Chai Pumpkin Pie, made from the very pumpkin that had infused the aforementioned vodka. No flavor accrued from the vodka, as one would expect, but the chai spice was excellent. Dense filling wasn't even really custard any more, too solid. Dark caramelized crust.
Ridiculous pumpkin tart that my mom had been talking about for a month. This was out of control. Springform pan, regular-tasting pie crust but it might have been supposed to have bourbon in, fairly standard filling, thick layer of salted caramel on top of the filling (!), candied pumpkin seeds on top of the caramel (!!). She didn't make the bourbon whipped cream, but there was already too much going on, so that was okay. Delicious but bewildering.This entry was originally posted at http://jinian.dreamwidth.org/609143.html. Respond wherever you like.