Cellar Soup,Thanksgiving Mishaps,and a $50 Wal-Mart Giveaway

by Courtney on November 16, 2012

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It’s hard to believe our national day of thanks is next week. I chuckle when hear people stressing about, what to me is , a day of cooking for pure love and joy. And truth be told,  I prefer a cozy lazy holiday with just Certain Someone and I to indulge in good food, with no drama or timeline pressures. Not everyone has that luxury. This post is about mishaps on the big day. I can’t say I’ve had a serious mishap on Thanksgiving , but I’ve had them when entertaining for large crowds.The most recent ones have occurred over this past summer with the new  gas grill. We had two dinners planned for very important clients and colleagues of Certain Someone’s.  No one except the repair man on the adjacent property will ever know how my special juniper  cured pork belly were burnt to a crisp black ash.  I mistakenly left the temp on high on one direct burner as I rushed downstairs several floors below, to prep the other courses. The poor repairman kept knocking on the terrace door believing it was an one level apartment and I couldn’t hear him. By the time I came up to check on my supposedly slow grilled bellies, they were a lump of black coal and the man was smoked out while trying to do bis job on the  terrace next door. He didn’t even turn the knob to cut it off. I panicked for a second, and went to plan B, taking a frozen belly out , cleaning the grill, and starting over. The party and the food went well. Lesson to this is font sweat the small stuff and just carry on. It wasn’t the first time it happened. Imagine a similar scenario a month before with my hand made sausages.No matter how much you plan and stress, mistakes happen.
We chefs and cooks  take our successes and failures personally, because we put so much into what we do. But the key is to learn from the mistakes and move forward. Also, to be open to learning and  receiving tips from others. One Thanksgiving I roasted a gorgeous  crispy goose. I like to change it up from traditional turkey. Everyone was curious about my offering and how it would turn out. An older aunt called me the next day and asked me for the goose fat. I was perplexed as to why she would.want all that fat. This was years ago, and while I was  a good cook, not where I am now.She was quite upset that I discarded all that precious golden goose fat. Seems old southern folk lore  has uses such things as remedies, and not to mention cooking other great dishes . Goose or duck fat potatoes anyone? I learned a few things  from that incident . So listen to the wisdom.of your older elders, don’t stress, pay attention to details, pour a glass of wine and relax.Remember that scene from the movie Eat Pray Love when she prepares  a Thanksgiving for her Italian  friends . They cut into the eagerly awaited turkey and it’s frozen inside? No worries. They all chilled, put the bird back into the oven,drank, talked, and woke up to a marvelous turkey breakfast. That’s the spirit.

Tell me about your mishaps or approaches to holiday cooking. I will draw a winner for a $50 giftcard from Wal-Mart to help you with your holiday preparations. You have until the 21st of November to enter. Help spread the word. Who couldn’t use $50 with these high food costs?

If you want to read about some more Thanksgiving mishaps, check here. Wal- Mart has put together a great page of mishaps, interesting tidbits, and tips.

So now on to the cooking…
Here is a lovely restorative soup to serve at the big celebration. I call it Cellar soup, as it uses all sorts of root vegetables and apple’s to create a creamy rich soup.  I made this , froze it and gave quarts away to friends and family.They looovvvved it. Even Certain Someone who resisted because it sounded too healthy for him, gave it a thumbs up.

Cellar Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A rich creamy soup made from root vegetables.
Ingredients
  • 1 Acorn Squash peeled ,seeded, and chopped
  • 3 small apples peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 3 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and chopped
  • 3 parsnips peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery root peeled and sliced
  • 6 leaves fresh sage
  • 1 branch of rosemary
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons Grape seed oil or olive oil
  • 12 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, toss all the prepped ingredients and spiced with the oil.
  3. Roast until caramelized for approximately 45 minutes or more. Check frequently and adjust heat if necessary.
  4. Remove from oven and set atop stove .
  5. Turn heat to high.
  6. Add the water. Bring to boil.
  7. Reduce heat to simmer.
  8. Remove cinnamon stick.Set aside.
  9. Take an immersion blender and pulse until smooth and pureed.
  10. Add cinnamon stick back to to soup.
  11. Add chicken stock.
  12. Simmer for another 40 minutes until flavors merge, and soup is a nice creamy consistency.

 

I’ve been counting my enormous blessings this season, and want you readers to know how thankful I am for your support and encouragement, especially during these years of  change.

Thank You.
Disclosure. Wal-Mart is sponsoring this post with $50 gift card provision’s for myself and the selected winner. My opinions are my own.

Comments Closed

{ 11 comments }

Kelly D November 17, 2012 at 7:01 am

Our Thanksgiving mishap is when the Rotisserie on our grill broke & we had to bring the Turkey inside to cook it in the oven -this delaying Thanksgiving dinner by several hours.

Regina November 17, 2012 at 6:29 pm

My mishap was when I cooked the turkey with the bag of “extras” still inside the turkey…we just laughed about it. My father in law gave me a hard time…BUT a couple years ago, he did the exact same thing…so funny.
tarter95 at hotmail dot com

Jessie C. November 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Forgot to defrost the bird in advance, had to serve deli turkey breast to guests.

Stefanie Gladden November 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm

The first time I ever made Thanksgiving for my family, I completely forgot about desserts! my dad loves pumpkin pie for thanksgiving, he was so upset he didn’t get any! i felt so bad, but I was prepared the next year!

Nicole Larsen November 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

My biggest mishap was not having all the food done at the same time. So now, I do as much preparation that I possibly can the night before and I also have everything (cans, bowls, etc) set out for the next day!

Beth November 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Two years ago I spent hours and hours making homemade pies for Thanksgiving, which I love to do. I made three different kinds – pumpkin, apple, and chocolate cream. My boyfriend and I packed up the car to travel the 2 hour distance to his parents house. I was meeting them for the first time. I put my foil-covered pies on the floor in the back seat of the car and climbed in to the passenger seat. Without even thinking, I tossed my gigantic purse onto the floor behind me, or onto the tops of the apple and chocolate cream pies to be more exact! My once-beautiful pies were crushed into oblivion, but luckily they still tasted fantastic. I’m a little more careful now when loading the car!

the caked crusader November 19, 2012 at 2:41 am

Hi there – long time no see! Thanks for stopping by.
Hope you and your nearest and dearest are all well – and enjoy your festivities this coming week

tracey November 19, 2012 at 7:19 am

the first year that I let my son cook the bird for the first time,he got all of the inside parts out,and went to move the bird to the roasting pan,well a turkey can be very slippery,and that bird flew straight out of his hands halfway across the kitchen,the look of complete shock and horror,followed by both of us laughing uncontrollably was priceless,we gathered up the turkey washed it off and my son seasoned it up wonderfully,that was a great memory that him and I only shared(well until now)he was nine and is now thirteen and does the turkey every year,sometimes we just see the turkey and laugh.Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,share a few laughs,I know we will.;-)

Noelle (@singerinkitchen) November 19, 2012 at 7:56 am

I do not know about mishaps but last year was our first Thanksgiving not having family around and having a 3 week old baby. It was SUPER strange fixing all the food and not having anyone but your hubby to share it with which is better than nothing but this year we have my sister and her husband so that is awesome!

Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) November 19, 2012 at 8:16 am

My Thanksgiving mishap unfortunately doesn’t exist yet. That’s because my entire family always spends the holiday in Mississippi with my grandmother. I am nervous about attempting a full holiday dinner one day and am sure it will be filled with mishaps. As of right now, I am usually in charge of the desserts which is my comfort zone. I have promised myself that this year, I am going to learn how to make my grandmother’s rolls and my aunt’s dressing so I can begin the process of transition.

Archana Doshi November 21, 2012 at 3:40 am

Recipe sounds delicious. Will give it a try soon. Love the idea of apple into it. By the way, saw you in the kitchen daily curator network and thought I stop by to say hi – Archana :)

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