Thanksgiving this year was a small affair, on account of my being a cripple. I’ll back up but not too much, I got into a mini bike bender with a friend and ended up banging my knee up pretty badly. It’s only in the past few days that I can put some weight on it, but I can still feel it ready to give way at any second. Still awaiting MRI results from my doctor but until then, trying to take it easy and still on crutches (soon to be pimp cane, hopefully). Just hoping it’s nothing serious. In which case, I would’ve paid hundreds of dollars to find out that it was a sprain. Could’ve been worse.
Anyway, I decided to give Ryan the day off on Thanksgiving and this is what we ate:
I made an appetizer of sorts. Brie en croute, which is an entire wheel of brie cheese wrapped in puff pastry and baked in the oven. In my version, I sliced it in half crosswise and filled it with diced dried apricots, almond slivers, and brown sugar. We had this with a Petite Sirah from Madrigal, which we had just received in the mail. Wine clubs are the best present you can gift yourself.
Our spread consisted of a honey baked spiral ham (just heat in the oven!), cranberry sauce (cranberries, water, sugar, orange zest and juice…I simmer/reduce with the orange halves tossed in there also), green bean casserole (with jalapenos, cheddar, Crystal-marinated onions), and pineapple bourbon sweet potato casserole. Also a raw kale salad with a lemony anchovy vinaigrette, topped with Asiago. I made everything from scratch, save for the ham of course.
On Saturday I decided to make a Monte Cristo sandwich with the leftover ham and cheddar. I assembled a dry sandwich and made an egg wash. We have a quart of bacon fat that Ryan has collected from cooking off bacon at work, so I used that to fry it up in. It’s basically like stuffed French toast. I didn’t really know what I was doing or what really went in it, but it’s my dad’s favorite sandwich so I went off his description. I ate it with raspberry preserves. We also had it this morning, for brunch.
For Sunday dinner I wanted something a little lighter. I’d taken all the ham off the bone and saved everything, so we decided to make split pea & ham soup. Ryan got all the ingredients and I got to work on the stock. Basically, one large sweet onion – chopped and sweated/caramelized in bacon fat. Two carrots in half inch “coins.” Threw those into the pot, along with 5-6 cloves of garlic, small handful of white peppercorns, a few pinches of salt. Then I put the ham bone in, and let it sit like that for about 10 minutes, then filled the pot with water. Added a couple of bay leaves. Simmered until it reduced and tasted ham-y, then strained all the solid things out.
Meanwhile I’d been soaking my split peas (about half a pound) in hot water, so they wouldn’t take a long time to cook. I threw those (drained) into the stock and brought it up to a simmer, until the peas were cooked and soft. Immersion blender > diced leftover ham > sour cream. The only thing we needed was some thick country bread and butter.
I kind of can’t believe we’ve been eating ham for 4 days. My body is screaming for salad, and I’ll be glad to lighten up my eating load a little bit.
Very thankful for Ryan who has been awesome these past couple of weeks, taking care of me and helping me get around to and from my doctors’ appointments.