new normal . . .
So, today, I was in Whole Foods and noticed that beside the very expensive brined organic turkeys, were rows of Bell and Evans fresh duckling. Since it’s the two of us this year, I thought, well, why not have duckling instead? Peking Duck, to be exact. A simple meal with roasted duckling, carved with crispy pieces of golden brown skin, scallions, hoisin sauce smeared on homemade wrappers. When I brought up the idea with G., his face lit up and he nodded in agreement. And then he suggested the perfect thing to go with the meal–Chinese rice porridge made with stock, a smooth gruel easy to digest and a tasty complement to the duckling main course.
That’s it. I’ve been wanting to simplify (the wrappers need to be made but not until we’re just ready to eat; and it’s a lot less preparation than all the food that went into the turkey-lurkey meal above.) In fact, I think I’m done with making chestnut stuffing altogether. Time to move on from the torture of roasting and peeling chestnuts night after night in order to get the amount needed for the dressing. So here’s a salutary photo of chestnut dressing–long may we fondly remember it!
I’m kind of excited with this new normal. Not that Peking Duck will be the repast to have every Thanksgiving from now on either. But to give ourselves more latitude, (especially me, who does the cooking and the shopping) to be flexible, and to decide what to have when we see something appetizing and appealing. And to keep it simple. Less work. Less heavy. Less fat. Just less.
Along those lines, I will also be christening a 7″ springform pan to make a smaller dessert. Or, I might simplify even more by making panna cotta in small white ironstone cups and serve with lingonberry preserves on top. Small is good.
Way to go! It’s just my son and me for T-day, as R has gone to Texas to see his dad. I am on travel restriction and could not go, and went shopping today to stock the pantry and freezer so I don’t have to go back until after Thursday. With only two of us, I decided to forego the usual as well. I am going to decide which of the nontraditional meals to prepare that morning, based on my choices of pork tenderloin, turkey cutlets, and halibut steaks. Last night was tilapia in white wine sauce, carrots, and rice noodles lightly sautéed and served with a peanut/soy sauce. Tonight was beef teriyaki stir fry.
While in DC last week, I had a pan-seared duck breast and duck confit with plums. I am now a convert, so can’t wait to see how the Peking Duck will turn out!
PS: Sweet potato bread pudding for dessert, regardless of what I prepare. It is my once a year splurge!
Several years ago I did a pork tenderloin with the beloved gratin potatoes that my family loves. Having something different was welcomed by all family members, especially the ones that have to make several family meal stops! Change/variety is good!
Wow, you cook a lot! All sounds delicious–esp. the sweet potato bread pudding for dessert! Enjoy the week, and the Day! I’ll be thinking of you.
Yes, isn’t it interesting that when we decide to do something different that it’s a welcome change for everyone? enjoy the Day with your family!