Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Thanksgiving Trifecta

It wasn't supposed to happen like this, our Thanksgiving weekend had been planned out in advance with the anticipation of the Grands arriving Saturday morning. The weekend would entail a dinner out to celebrate published author's birthday (the Grands to babysit) on Saturday, family dinner at home on Sunday and then extended family dinner on Monday at the R's.

Best laid plans unraveled when Grandma got the call for her long awaited elective surgery, trip cancelled. I then completely forgot that no Grands meant no child care for Saturday night and thus dinner out cancelled, so lunch on Friday was hastily turned into "birthday luncheon". All was fine but we were now out of dinner plans for Saturday/Sunday nights and my palate was primed for Prime Rib, which was originally scheduled for Sunday.

Neighbours to the rescue, Dr. H suggested we have a "house dinner" on Saturday night - with Prime Rib, an idea I fully supported. Knowing that the prime rib was set for Saturday and Monday would bring gigantic Turkey I opted for Sunday Ham to complete the festive foods circle.

Saturday was a communal effort of the finest kind, Dr. H took care of beet salad, yorkshire pudding, potatoes and (most importantly) pumpkin pie, from homegrown pumpkins. I took care of the roast and veg (broccoli and cauliflower in cheese sauce).

The 2 bone, four pound roast was rubbed with garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, dijon and rosemary and left to sit for three hours before going into a 450 degree oven for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes at high heat the oven temperature was reduced to 325 for an hour then the roast was removed to rest. While the beast rested I added a half cup of beef stock and quarter cup of red wine to the mirepois veg and scraped the roasting pan, then all this was strained into a saucepan, and a knob of butter and an ounce of port were added, then reduced by half to create a jus. The resulting meal was superb, the roast medium rare on the outside and rare in the middle and was accompanied by a killer bottle of 2000 Regusci Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley's Stag's Leap region.

Sunday was baked Irish cured ham, from Armando's, for the three of us along with roasted fingerling potatoes and acorn squash in brown sugar (finished with Tobasco) and a lovely bottle of Bergerac, Chateau Haut Pethus 2004 - $13.95 CSPC#303081. Monday was dinner for 14 at Casa R with mountains of turkey, stuffing, Swedish potatoes, multiple veg/salads, myriad pot luck wines and a finishing touch of homemade pumpkin cheesecake.

All in all, except for the missing Grands, it was a perfect Holiday weekend - so good that I didn't even mind going back to work on Tuesday.

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