The holiday actually started in its current form over a dozen years or so ago, now, actually. It wasn't uncommon among my friends in Texas to be from some form of broken home: divorced parents, estrangement, a lack of speaking terms, or just plain too far away to drive and too broke to fly. One of my friends, herself from Circumstances, decided at one point that, for all of her friends who had no place to go for a "traditional family dinner," they now could come over to her place. Now, at the time, I actually had a pretty good home life, but I ended up with a standing invitation, and I enjoyed cooking enough that it was always worth it to me to make a point of going over at some point to add to the potluck.
When I moved out onto my own, I took with me the idea of opening up my home during Thanksgiving for people who needed or wanted some place to be, and subsequently it evolved into a standing part of Lapinian tradition. In its time, it's hosted a half-dozen up to fifteen people, nowhere near the thirty that I would see in Texas but still more than I would normally host at once. It's been successful enough as a plan that I hear there's now a version of it starting up in Portland, and the Boston crowd has hosted one of its own for a while now.
In deference to some of the people who'll be attending who're vegetarian, I've decided to for the first time try my hand at poaching a goodly portion of rock cod in an orange spice tea, which I've been told should work rather well. I've got my directions, and I'm fairly sure I won't screw it up too badly. There will also be a small mound of succotash, a perennial favorite of mine that I'll even prepare when it's not the holiday season. My mother's cornbread stuffing will be in evidence, in two varieties: one with sautéed vegetables and one made with bacon grease in the cornbread. Finally, there will be mashed potatoes.
I'm sure those of you keeping tally will have noticed one of the traditional mainstays of the American Thanksgiving tableau that is missing. That would be correct. I'm not providing a turkey this year; I'm making an Abomination.
At least, this is what Jessie called it.
In years past, the turkey has always been the one part of the meal over which I've had the least success. Either I've overcooked it and it's come out dry, or I've undercooked it and it's been inedible. Last year, I tried brining the turkey, which worked out okay, but this year, thanks to something Zander showed me, I'm going with something... new.
A bacon-wrapped-chicken-stuffed-bacon-wrapped turkey. That is, a turkey which has been stuffed with bacon-wrapped chicken, which is then wrapped in bacon.
Photo evidence has been collected. The following pictures may disturb you.
- The criminal and her implements
- The victim, exposed
- Behold the first indignity
- The victim, engorged
- The encasement begins
- The criminal and her victim, mummified
- The victim, wrapped for preservation
Tomorrow, we'll decant this mythic beast and bake it. Tonight, though, I rest well knowing that I'll have something truly horrifying with which to confront my guests this year. Hopefully everyone who isn't a vegetarian will at least consider the option after this. The rest, may Dobbs have mercy on their digestive tracts.