Dec. 24th, 2014 07:14 pm
tabbiewolf: (The Doctor - Christmas)
So this past weekend we had a Decemberween party, filled with festivity and gaming and a dinner featuring turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, dressing, veggies, etc. It was a LOT of food, enough that me and Spot are still working through it…though I'm pretty sure all the turkey got eaten.

Edit: I was wrong, we're finishing the last bits of the turkey for dinner tonight.

The rotisserie attachment for our grill was an extremely wise investment. Every time we've used it for turkey, it's turned out amazing. Of course, we also brine the turkey the night before. Between smoking it, rotisserie-ing (is that a word?) it, and brining it, I'm not sure WHICH method makes for a tastier turkey, but in all honesty they're all easy steps so why skip one?

We also have ANOTHER turkey which we will be cooking for Christmas. And we won't have to cook anything till next year because 15 pounds of turkey will feed two people for quite a while. AND we still have leftovers from Saturday, meaning I will not need to make dressing or mashed potatoes again, though we did get some more veggies for roasting, AND I'm gonna make gravy tomorrow (I didn't on Saturday) and a cranberry sauce since my mom sent me a recipe that is full of booze and sounds amazing, so it's currently chilling in the fridge and we'll see how it tastes tomorrow.

We've also got turkey stock going in the crock pot, I've got gingerbread cinnamon buns rising in the fridge, and the bread machine has a brioche recipe that is 100% an experiment because who the hell knows how a bread machine will handle such a rich eggy bread. But we figured something for sandwiches would be a good idea, and at worst we can make a different loaf.

There are still cookies left from the cookie exchange, as well as cheesecake & fruitcake. There is so much food in this house right now. Thank goodness we have a second fridge AND a chest freezer, otherwise I'd have no idea what we'd do with it all. Also this means we don't have to spend much more time cooking (outside of tomorrow, and even then it'll be really just the turkey…and the grill does all the work there), meaning I can focus on working on art stuff and convention preparation in the coming week that Spot has off and can help me :)

I wish you all a very merry Christmas Eve, and will have lovely art and a recipe for you tomorrow! If I remember. I might put it up later tonight after church.
tabbiewolf: (arrrrrrt)
Thanksgiving was a success! We brined the turkey this year, using a brine mix I got free from work last year, and it definitely improved the taste of the meat. Thanks to those who gave a thumbs up to the brining method -- even with the free mix, I don't think we would have tried it otherwise! Making a gravy base the night before also vastly improved the gravy, so that's something I highly recommend doing if you're crazy like us and like doing everything from scratch.

Also, as much as I love my family (not being sarcastic there), I do highly appreciate and probably prefer the "Thanksgiving with Friends" thing we've been running for the past two years and it's something I'd like to keep up.

As mentioned, the microwave started sparking on Tuesday. On Black Friday, with help from Frosty and Riismo and Lobst, Spot pulled the microwave down. It was put in…uh…very creatively:

Yes, that's a two-by-four. And yes, it has notches taken out of it so the screws that held up the microwave would fit. And yes, ONE OF THOSE SCREWS WAS MISSING.

The shelving above and next to the microwave appears to have been held on by load-bearing caulk and/or paint. The amount of effort that was put into doing it wrong was probably more than if they'd gotten someone to do it correctly. It was a spectacular failure! Well, not an altogether failure, because I mean the microwave didn't fall down…but dang. It could've.

So currently what's there is this:

Though we took out the vent, because it just lead up into the attic and was clogged with insulation…because it just lead up into the attic. Most microwaves don't really need an exterior vent anyway, and in fact we have acquired a new(er) microwave thanks to Riismo's folks remodeling their kitchen. It's the same model, only newer, so it even fits in the same mounting bracket. So we've got our winter project: rebuilding the shelves around the microwave and putting the new one in.

Speaking of winter projects, the possibility of a much more longterm one has come up. [livejournal.com profile] fenris_lorsrai knows someone who is getting rid of a ginormous printer, and I am seriously pondering the idea of starting my own printing service. More info about the printer can be found here (if you are interested personally, feel free to speak up about it; I can't afford the thing outright). The thing is, I have NO idea how the heck to run a printing service -- generally my idea of running a business is what I do already (please folks by drawing for them in exchange for money; not being a douchebag). Likewise, I have NO idea if it would ever be profitable: the printer would be a major investment, something I'd have to consider getting a small business loan for, and that's a BIG step for someone who has almost no idea what they're doing.

Anyone have any advice on this? [livejournal.com profile] tugrik, I'm looking in your direction, since you do printing professionally :) Likewise, anyone else with small business experience! Printing is something I am passionate about (I blame working at a newspaper), and it's definitely something I could see myself doing for awhile…but money is an issue, and I don't really want to be throwing it away if the odds are slim that I will ever make it back.
tabbiewolf: (johanna - cooking)
Turkey - currently thawing in fridge. Currently looking like we will be brining it tomorrow night, because a lot of folks have told us that brining is basically awesome (and I got some free from my retail job at that fancy cooking store last year).

Gravy - Going to attempt a gravy base this year, using the giblets & neck from the turkey when we take it out to brine it tomorrow. Should give me a thicker, hopefully more flavorful gravy than I got last year (which was more or less roux-based and done on the spot when the turkey came out of the oven).

Rolls - Honey rolls were baked yesterday, currently chilling out in the freezer. Will be heated up and finished in the countertop oven on Thursday. If [livejournal.com profile] chefmongoose brings cornbread, as planned, the rolls may not come out; they were made as backup and can be eaten whenever :)

Dessert - Five pound apple pie with a cheesy crust is go: the filling is awaiting usage in the fridge, as is the crust. We may also make pumpkin pie because I roasted an amazing amount of sugar pumpkins. Also made a batch of cinnamon ice cream, and will probably have freshly whipped cream available.

Green Bean Casserole - Green beans from our CSA were blanched and frozen over the summer, onions & mushrooms are bought, chicken stock is ready. [livejournal.com profile] spotweld is officially in charge of the green bean casserole.

Potatoes - We have a lot of them. Currently trying to decide whether we do mashed potatoes or curly fries. Or possibly both. I have maple cheddar, you see, and the idea of that mixed into mashed potatoes pleases me.

Dressing - Multigrain bread made fresh over the weekend and allowed to sit out and get stale. Will be mixing my own sausage again for it. Going to do it in the crockpot this year to free up stovetop space.

Thanksgiving? We got that :)

In other kitchen-based news, the microwave has decided it does not want to work and is sparking and making weird noises. Fortunately, we have a spare from Spot's old apartment (and outside of melting butter and nuking leftovers or popcorn, we don't use the microwave all that much anyway). We can't really do anything until after Thanksgiving because the microwave has the vent fan built into it (it's above the stovetop) and we'll need that tomorrow and Thursday. Might be time for a trip to Ikea or Sears. On Black Friday weekend. Oh God.

We can survive without a microwave for a bit, I think.


tabbiewolf: (Default)

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