Someone just e-mailed me and brought it to my attention that I'd left y'all hanging on how Thanksgiving went. It went really well! Against all odds the turkey came out PERFECT in the countertop roaster (although if I chopped enough fresh front-yard sage, rosemary, and thyme into enough butter and rubbed it on a shoe full of mirepoix then roasted it and basted it half to death it'd probably be edible), and the side-dishes were all fabulous, with the exception of the uncured, nitrite-free, free-range local ham, which smelled like a pig in a hot tub as it cooked (it was SO GROSS) and therefore became Poppy and Bumpus's incredibly expensive Thanksgiving feast...I think next year I'll have to relax my sensibilities on the ham somewhat and just get something pink and toxic but delicious from the grocery store. I'd meant to dig sweet potatoes from the garden, but the turnips intercropped in that bed aren't all ready to harvest, my shoulder was killing me, and I had a bunch of purple sweet potatoes from the Hippie Food Delivery Company in the pantry, and did you know that the water you pour off after boiling those things looks like grape Kool-Aid? Because it does. Those were some mighty tasty sweet potatoes (I refuse to do the marshmallow thing; I think it's gross--instead I mashed them with butter and maple syrup), but they were also a very vivid and unsettling purple! Big Child was the only one who was willing to eat anything besides turkey and dinner rolls (I buy regular gluten-containing white dinner rolls for the kids, because they love them and a local grocery chain makes these incredibly soft and tasty ones that I remember fondly), but he, Hotter, and I (and the dogs, haha) ate like kings (we did the turkey, obvs, the doomed ham, mashed redskin potatoes with front-yard turnip and Daikon radish in, the purple sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing*, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin and pecan pie this year, for the curious) and the other two had five rolls apiece and made turkey sammiches out of them, and you know what? I refuse to fight with children over food on Thanksgiving. If white meat and bleached wheat flour make their holiday a good one? GO RIGHT AHEAD, YES OF COURSE YOU MAY STILL HAVE PIE! I figure I'm strict enough the other 363 days of the year (I also do not fight with children over food on their birthdays--cake for breakfast? ATTABOY YOU WANT SOME ICE CREAM, TOO?) that it won't do them any harm, and anyone, child OR adult, who says that Thanksgiving is a time of good food choices on their part is either a liar or living a very sad existence :)
* Cooked OUTside the bird, as Alton Brown intended, although I refuse to call it dressing. I stuff the bird itself halfway full of mirepoix, shove herb-butter under its skin, and put sprigs of sage, rosemary, and thyme inside the cavity as well, then add chicken broth and salt and use the resulting drippings, strained and boiled, to make gravy and as the liquid I moisten the stale-bread component of the stuffing with, and it is EXCELLENT, with all of the flavor and none of the possible Salmonella. This year I incorporated some roasted and chopped chestnuts along with the more usual celery and onion, which was a first in this house, and we all liked it.