November 19, 2007

Start the Timer!

I just moved the Thanksgiving Turkey into the refrigerator to thaw. I meant to do that last night or at least this morning but completely forgot. The packaging said to allow for four hours' thaw time per pound. Hopefully that 16.73 lb. bird will be thawed on Thursday morning. I'll probably wind up doing the cold water quick thaw method again like last year. I hope this year's meal is better than last. I think my cooking skills have improved.

It's time to get geared up for holiday baking and shopping, and I couldn't be happier about it. I spend way too much time these days browsing recipes online and in cookbooks. Cooking is really the only hobby I'm keeping up with these days. Football watching has definitely fallen by the wayside. Imagine! The A&M, UT, and Oklahoma games passed without comment from me. I didn't even watch the UT game last week, usually the biggest game of the year for me, choosing instead to make a chocolate cake. After starting off the season with such faithful attendance, I missed the last football game of Scott's life. I haven't made time for piano practice. I haven't read a book cover to cover in months. Instead, my reading lately has been restricted to blog trolling and cursing those that don't offer a full RSS feed.

Classic TrifleMy kitchen was an absolute disaster after making a trifle for last Friday night's dessert. The trifle has layers of sponge cake, raspberry puree, custard, almond cookies, with a lemon whipped cream and more raspberries and cookies as a garnish. You can probably imagine the scene. It was a dark and stormy night. Mixing bowls and measuring cups were littered about the kitchen. Parchment paper was strewn across the table. Baking sheets and dishes sat on the kitchen chairs. The stand mixer and Cuisinart hummed in tandem. The smell of sponge cake wafted through the air. A raspberry thumb print and scattered bits of lemon zest and crumbled cookies sullied the counter top, and sugar dust glistened on the floor. As I reached into the spice cupboard above the stove for some nutmeg, a container of paprika fairly leapt out, spilling its bright red contents on the stove and counter. You see the kind of drama that I had to clean up after last Saturday.

Luckily, I thought the trifles turned out very well and I would make them again. I made individual servings inside glasses, rather than layering the dessert in a trifle bowl. They looked very pretty with the red raspberries and puree alongside the sponge cake and lemon whipped cream.

I'm sans piano lessons tonight, so it's a great excuse to do some baking and some much needed cleaning in the kitchen. I do have a homework assignment due tonight, which is another good reason to hide in the kitchen. Tonight in the oven it's pecans spiced with cumin, cayenne, and paprika. Depending on how the homework is looking, maybe later it'll be some dark chocolate cupcakes. I have some leftover coconut buttercream frosting to use from the latest edition of the Chocolate Blackout Cake. Much like last weekend my kitchen looked like a war zone, this time where a coconut bomb had exploded.

The Thanksgiving menu isn't set in stone yet. I have plans to do some major grocery shopping tomorrow, though. Thanksgiving is really the ultimate foodie holiday. I can't wait. Back to the homework...

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