Saturday, November 28, 2009

10 Little Indians

My brother had planned a big family Thanksgiving especially for my mother. That was the reason I booked my flight. There were going to be 15 of us. All my mother's great grandchildren and some of her grandkids too. I was going to drive my mother to the feast. Then my mother broke her hip and couldn't leave her premises. 14.

Then just two days before the big day his daughter had to have repair surgery after lots of other surgeries and couldn't move or bend over. 9. Then his daughter in law who's pregnant was rushed to the hospital with a kidney stone and other complications in Boston. His son the great cook was going to help my brother cook. Now we were 6 and the expert had dropped out. My brother had never cooked a full dinner before but was determined to do it.

Dinner was set for 2:00. At ten of 2 my nephew called and said he was just leaving his house. He was an hour plus away. We were fuming and, uh, 3. The turkey was already cooked. I made the spinach salad with goat cheese pine nuts and apple per instrux. I also made the gravy.

It was a magnificent feast. Mussels mirepoix, turkey and gravy, spinach salad, cornbread stuffing, butternut squash with morel cherries, green beans with sauteed almonds, lively cranberry orange vodka relish, sweet potatoes with pecan crunch top, mashed potatoes with gorgonzola cheese... He made all this from SCRATCH without a RECIPE!!!

He wasn't even sure his single oven would work! His girlfriend was about to faint it was so good and so unexpected. Everyone had seconds, some had thirds. How had my brother gone all those years and never cooked a meal?

These are cel phone pictures. I think my the niece in this picture may have put her sticky finger on the phone lens and thus we're all spared wrinkles.

I'll tell about my mother in another post.


stray said...

This sounds great (sorry so many didn't make it). We ate at a restaurant, and the food wasn't very good. So now when we have time off in Dec. I'll cook a turkey et al.

Namowal said...

Lots of talented chefs in your family.
As someone who's recently learned to cook and bake (to an extent), I can appreciate the work that goes into it.
Too bad not everyone was there to enjoy it. Did you save leftovers for them?

Linda said...

I think your brother's been holding out on you. That meal sounds magnificent. A small gathering is always better. Is that your nephew behind you; is your niece on the girlfriend's lap? No, that can't be right. Is your bro taking the photo?

Do tell us about your mom--was she in the frame of mind to ask you all about your bro's dinner / was she able to enjoy hearing about it?

Anonymous said...

reminds me of an Isak Dinesen story.... fable, fabulous, fate....and feast...your brother knew how the food should taste. the kitchen muses were on his side...

booda baby said...

Oh, I DO love digital beautifying - which is only right since it's the digital 10 megapixels that made us need the beautifying in the first place.

I think Anonymous captured the whole episode perfectly. It's a pretty magical story.

stray said...

I like the idea of cooking without recipes...although I would be a little challenged.

Sally said...

wow, such nice comments. It was quite a memorable feast. Afterwards I had to drive solo back to my mother's campus. I turned the wrong way onto the highway. When I saw a sign that said, "Pennsylvania Welcomes You," I thought, "Geez, aren't they jumping the gun a little with this p.r? I mean I'm still in New Jersey." Then thought on that a bit, exited the highway, and thanks to my new phone with GPS I could see what I'd done wrong that had landed me in Pennsylvania.

My palms were still sweaty but at least I could figure out how to get back on the trolley.

Mean Jean said...

Good cooking is in his genes. Love this story.