Friday, November 27, 2009
Okra, who knew?
Yesterday I had another Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat at my friends Ray and Aline's house. They live outside of Austin in what used to be the country, although civilization is encroaching yearly.
My Thanksgiving started the night before when I cooked my own small turkey at home, just for me and the cats. I'd gotten home late from the tree lot, so I ended up popping it in the oven, going out for a drink with my daughter, coming home, going to bed and setting the alarm to get up at midnight and take it out of the oven, debone and destuff it and put the bone in my ongoing pot of chicken broth. I heated that up, turned it off, went back to bed, reset the alarm clock for an hour later, and got up and put that in the fridge. So I had turkey yesterday morning when I got up.
I made gravy and cranberry orange relish and then went and taught my exercise class at the retirement home. I teach there on Thursdays, so I always go on Thanksgiving and a couple members show up and we breathe and make room for turkey! I called family. I packed my car to go to Ray and Aline's: bread pudding and whisky sauce (1/2 a bread pudding recipe, 3 whisky sauce recipes) and an appetizer: cream cheese whipped in a bowl, a hunk of smoked salmon, a little ramekin of habañero jelly and some water crackers. Easy-peasy and yumm. My strategy was to stick with just appetizers and desserts since I had my own turkey at home, and that's pretty much what I did. Cassie, R&A's daughter, had made a wonderful corn, squash and red pepper soup. There were ten adults and five kids sitting down to dinner and it was all good and wonderful.
We did the obligatory things: a blessing holding hands, drinking lots of wine, a walk to the end of the driveway and back between dinner and dessert. A stroll in the overgrown back yard/garden between dessert and The Game. (UT/Aggie for those of you who aren't from Texas.) Their beds are full of Texas winter garden plants: carrots, beets, lettuces, broccoli, arugula, but there is a whole row of still functioning okra. I never realized how beautiful okra plants were.
My friend, Diane, says they're related to hibiscus. I picked this one and brought it home to remind me of the bounty and beauty of Thanksgiving.