Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thanksgiving Post (Finally)

I’ve been trying to catch up on these pictures I have back-logged, so I’m just now getting to my Thanksgiving dinner, which was incredibly traditional. This was my first Thanksgiving spent with family in 7 years! And, boy, dinners with family are pretty different from those with friends. Especially if that family is a traditional Mexican-American family in central Texas, and the friends a misfit and lovable bunch of ex-hippies, ex-goths, and ex-ravers in Portland, Oregon. I love them both, but it’s really like night and day, these Thanksgiving suppers. For example, both holiday settings have good food and end with a full tummy, though I end up painfully (and happily) stuffed when celebrating with friends. Eating with the fam, I was restrained and sober, which translates here to very much not stuffed. Here's an incredibly unattractive picture of my plate:

I really just couldn’t eat so much with my family because so much of the food had a meat or dairy substance. I did indulge and have some mashed potatoes and turkey. Other than that I had a bit of my mediocre vegan contribution of lasagna. More people ate it than I thought, and I got some compliments, but I was not impressed. I’ve made it a couple of times and this dish was not nearly as nice as others before. I tried to make it gluten-free and messed up the noodles.

I know what I could have done differently, so I’m going to try this recipe again sometime when I have money to burn on good ingredients. I guess I didn’t soak the noodles enough. It’s lame, because I remember when I was cooking all of the various parts of the lasagna filling I was super excited because each individual element was so freaking delicious. I made an AMAZING stir-fry with Gimmee Lean sausage (NOT gluten-free at all, heh) and hella spices and veggies. That alone would have been a hit. Also, I made, for the first time without any help from the recipe creator, my own vegan ricotta, which was also AMAZING. I was dipping my finger in there for an awful lot of tastes, it was so good. I had a good store-bought sauce, a decent vegan cheese topping, everything seemed in control. But the effin’ noodles. I popped (heh, accidently typed “poop” at first there) the lasagna into the oven an hour or so before we had to head out and up to the last minute the noodles still didn’t look done. Yeah, not soaked enough. Oh well, a lot of people actually complimented me on the dish, because I guess the lasagna was pretty decent if you had managed to avoid the way too al dente top layer. Uck.

My big success was the pie. Seriously, I have been making this pie nonstop since Thanksgiving, still. In fact I’m making it AGAIN tonight. It’s so ridiculously easy, and maybe the best pumpkin pie I have had. You’ll find the recipe here, at Karina's Kitchen, an awesome gluten-free blog, and let me tell you, this recipe does not play. And if you add even more spices than the recipe calls for, it would officially fail P.E., because this pie DOES NOT PLAY. MMMM!

I have had food on the brain so much these days. Maybe it’s starting the blog…maybe it’s just getting hired (finally! I am employed!) in a natural food store…maybe it’s talking food with buds. Either way, it’s pretty neat.

I’m obnoxiously happy these days.

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