Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Day In The Kitchen. Mostly

Well, I've definitely had a constructive day.
I decided to do as much cooking today as I could and that's what I did. Although the first thing that happened was that I called my compounding pharmacy to see if my hormones were ready and was informed that the doctor had never gotten back to them as to a refill. This has never been a problem before and I said, "Oh hell."
The woman at the pharmacy told me she'd call and fax again and that I should probably call too, which I did. I left a message begging them to please send over the refill order because "when I run out of my hormones it is NOT pretty."
Within an hour I got a call informing me that my prescription was ready for pick-up.
What a relief.
In other medical news Mr. Moon finally got ahold of Mayo and they did send off his blood to one of the two places in the world that does testing for this one syndrome that they think may be the problem with him but for reasons involving insurance (of course!) they had not tested the blood and hadn't bothered to tell anyone and so now Mr. Moon is going to go back to Mayo just to get his blood drawn and try again. AND the test takes four to six weeks to run.
My man was not happy. I'm not either, to be honest.

But. Back to cooking. First thing I did was drive to Monticello to buy my greens because grocery store greens ain't fittin'. And my own greens would make about enough for a tiny mouse and her little family. I bought my greens, brought them home, cut out the stems and cut up the beautiful leaves and washed them twice.

I made two pots of the collards. One my regular vegetarian way and one an Auto Immune Protocol batch so that Jessie can eat them. And then I basically simmered them all afternoon long. 

On to the cranberries! 
I also made two versions of those. One my standard cranberry/orange/apple/pecan relish and one an AIP cranberry sauce.

It too had apples and orange in it but no nuts and it is honey-sweetened. It's delicious. 

Then on to the pies! I made up three of the most beautiful pie shells I think I've ever made. I made the pastry in the food processor with the recipe that came with the machine. And for once, I think it worked. 

I realized when I started making the fillings that I have no corn syrup which is just about the main ingredient in pecan pies. However, instead of getting back in the car and driving to a store I decided to substitute honey and maple syrup for the traditional and frowned-upon Karo syrup. I have no idea how that's going to turn out but they look okay except for the chocolate pecan and that's because when I moved the pie in the oven some of the filling spilled over and because my racks aren't even, it sort of baked in a most imperfect way. Oh well. 
For the third pie, I decide to do a lemon chess pie. I have a whole bunch of lemons and Jessie has a lemon tree filled with the fruit so why not? Have you ever had chess pie? I think it's a southern thing. The basic chess pie has eggs, butter, sugar, a little bit of cornmeal and some vinegar in it. The lemon version that I made also had lemon juice and corn starch which seems like a cheat to me but I did it anyway. It was a King Arthur recipe and I do trust their kitchens. 
So we'll see. 
In the middle of making the fillings for the pies, my power went out. Of course. But with a song in my heart and optimism in my brain, I went ahead and filled those shells and soon enough, the lights came back on and my oven looked like this. 

Here's what the finished chess pie looks like. 

I hope it's good. 

So. That is all done. The only thing I have left to do is to make the cornbread for the stuffing and then the actual stuffing and turkey. And gravy. I'm not making the bread this year which is an absolute first. We bought Hawaiian rolls and some Sister Schubert rolls at Costco. I feel like I'm probably going to hell for that but Lily's oven is just not very big and there are so many things that need heating up at the last minute that baking angel biscuits right before the feast is always difficult. 
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 
And I just did some calculations and realized that this will be the first time in forty-three years that I haven't made rolls of one sort of another which also reminds me of the year that I was in full hippie mode and made the rolls for a Thanksgiving dinner at my mother's house with whole wheat flour and they came out like the proverbial hockey pucks. My dear, old, sweet grandmother whom we'd sprung from the nursing home for the feast gnawed and gnawed at one and finally said, "What IS this?"
When my mother said, "It's a roll, Mother," my grandma replied, "Must I eat it?"
I've told this story before. Whatever. It's a good story and a true one. 

Food and stories and family to eat the food and tell the stories. That, ideally, is what Thanksgiving is all about. Well, those two things and the traditional giving thanks when it's all over but the leftovers. 
Or maybe that's just me. 

I may or may not post tomorrow. The annual Jerry and David music reunion will be happening and if I can get my agoraphobic ass out of the house we will attend. Wharton will probably show up as well. I remember when I used to host a party every Thanksgiving Eve when all of this happened at my house. I am sort of incredibly happy that I'm no longer responsible for the gathering and sort of eternally grieving that I'm not. 

All will be revealed. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Well... You could always ask for the party back. That would probably cure the grieving pretty quick ;)

    I am inspired to try and make my pie crust look like yours.

    1. Ah- but even if I did ask for the party back (and no one ever asked if I was okay with letting it go) it wouldn't happen. It's now a paying gig. Can't compete with that. Although I will honestly admit that the money really is not why they do it at a "real" venue. They truly do love playing together and the more people who can listen to them, the better.

  2. Your pie shells are outstanding. Thank you for setting aside a vegetarian entree for me. Once in 1970 I was at a huge party of some friends of my brother and he was cooking a turkey in one of those aluminum pans and I took it out of the oven and of course it collapsed in the middle and the turkey shot across the floor. XO

    1. Oh, Rebecca. We have foods for all. Vegetarians, vegans, carnivores, and now AIP foods. May has been a vegetarian since she was twelve or something like that. The all-inclusiveness is probably the most important part of our gathering. And Rachel is making eggplant parmesan! I can't wait to get my teeth into that. When I was a vegetarian, I used to make the sort of stuffing that you'd put in a turkey and bake it in bell peppers. It was delicious! I would NEVER bake a turkey in one of those aluminum pans. Ever. Ugh. It would be an insult to the turkey and yes- an accident waiting to happen.

    2. P.S. Glen wanted to eat the lemon chess pie for his supper tonight. Sadly, I had to tell him no.

  3. My grandma used to make chess pie. That's what she called it, and the recipe was like yours. Maybe it's just what plain old farmers did with eggs and milk and stuff. You have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. It will be delicious, and your day wonderful. And, I hope Jessie's autoimmune spells are subsiding.

  4. We are still responsible for the gathering over here and truthfully, every year I wonder how we pull it off, all that cooking and baking in one galley kitchen with so many bodies in the house and yet the feast somehow gets onto the table and a fine time is usually had by all. We are on our way to the airport now to pick up my niece who is flying in from college in St. Paul, Minnesota, the same niece who was applying to colleges last year over Thanksgiving in our home. Tomorrow I will cook my dishes, and I hope they look half as delicious as yours!

  5. Your pies look great. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. My oh my, you have been a busy girl! The homemade pies look great. When you first used the word "chess", I presumed you meant "cheese". I had never heard of a chess pie before and imagined chess pieces sticking out of the pastry. The wooden bishops, pawns and castles would be too crunchy for me.

  7. all I have to provide is the dressing and cranberry sauce (though it's not as fancy as yours). the bread is getting stale and I made the cornbread this morning. those pies look wonderful.

  8. your pies look very good and those crusts are a thing of beauty! I had best intentions of making a chess pie last year after you posted a photo of your last years pie......haven't done it yet but now am motivated to try my hand at one soon! Sorry to hear about the failed Mayo testing...... yet another delay.
    May you enjoy your day of shared food, friends and your family!
    Susan M

  9. The pies look fabulous and delicious. I've never heard of a chess pie but I looked at the recipe and it sounds good. Making ahead is so much better, you're not so tired by supper time.

    Bloody insurance companies and incompetence. It's not just there though. Miss Katie is on a wait list for blood work to see if they can figure out what's wrong with her, mapping her DNA. There's a three year wait list but I'm not in any hurry. She's already 27.

    I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow and I love the chicken in the plant pot.

  10. Your pies look amazing! I love the roll story.

    I can't believe Mr. Moon has to travel back to Jax AGAIN just for a blood draw. Argh!


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.