Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gobble, Gobble.

Ahhhh...Thanksgiving.  You are my favorite holiday.  I like you too Halloween, but I'm really not a "sweet" lover.  I'm all about the savory.  The youngest spawn once said to me, "Mom, you're not sweet.  You're spicy."  He's a player that one.

I am on the fence about you Christmas.  I love decorating for you...but only AFTER Thanksgiving.  I like giving the people in my life truly thoughtful gifts.  I absolutely despise the greedy, materialistic, maniacal spending spree that you have become.  I won't step foot near a mall anytime after Turkey Day.  I'd rather lay down in the driveway, and you can just back over me.  Something about you Christmas makes otherwise rational, sane people go batshit crazy.  It's like a rabid frenzy.

Anyway, Thanksgiving you are here next week and you make a hypocrite of me.  Let's talk about Green Bean Casserole.  I like mine homemade all the way.  I make my own Cream of Mushroom Soup, use fresh green beans and french fried onions.  Nothing comes from a can because that is nasty.  Hey, if you like the Cambell's Soup recipe, more power to ya'.  It's just not for me.

So, how does this make me a hypocrite?  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce from the can.  I actually get disappointed if I am at someone else's house for Thanksgiving and they have made their own cranberry sauce.  I've also been known to bring my own can when I know that's the case.  I can't help it.  I have a canned cranberry sauce problem.  Stop judging me.  I only ever eat it once a year to celebrate the harvest holiday and the week after when we plow through a mountain of leftovers.

Cream of Mushroom Soup (for you Aly)

Instead of chicken or vegetable broth, I make mushroom broth.  I pretty much just boil down brown button mushrooms and onions with some salt and fresh garlic to make a really earthy broth and strain out the solids.  Then I chop up a variety of mushrooms, anything interesting that is available (hen of the woods are really good if you can get your hands on them, so are lobster mushrooms) and mince a scallion.  I saute this in olive oil until tender, and then I ladle in some mushroom broth (just enough to cover the mushrooms) and let it come to a boil.  I throw in some thyme, a bay leaf, salt and pepper and simmer until the shrooms are really tender.  Then, I add fat free half and half and a little bit of heavy cream and stir until it comes to a light boil.  Dissolve some cornstarch or flour in some of the mushroom broth and add, bring back to a light boil and stir until thickened to the proper consistency.

Now, if I'm serving this as soup, I swirl in a gorganzola cream sauce.  If I'm using it for green bean casserole, I make a light roux and add it to make sure it gets nice and thick.

I nixed this week's Herb Smackdown poll, Basil was totally owning Chives.  Tell us how you feel about your Cranberry Sauce.

Next...Farmer Ted's Oyster Cornbread Stuffing will make your panties fly off.  If you wear panties that is.


  1. First of all, I am drooling all over my keyboard due to that mushroom soup recipe. Thanks!

    I will stand beside you, Farmer Chele, and proudly admit that I am a canned cranberry sauce girl. I grew up on it, and never really had the chance to try the homemade version until I was an adult. I don't mind it on a sandwich, but as a side dish, slide that Ocean Spray my way when you are through with it!

    Reaady for some flying panties, guys! Bring it!

  2. I've always been a canned whole berry cranberry sauce gal. I like the jellied stuff, too, though. In fact, I like to mix them together.

    We're skipping Thanksgiving this year, though. With just the 5 of us, and two of us being vegetarians, and two of us struggling to get down to racing weight, it's just not worth the effort. We can be thankful without 20,000 calories (albeit ever-so-delicious calories) gracing our table.

    Maybe I'll make some roasted brussels sprouts and bake some sweet potatoes, and we can pretend. ;)

  3. Yup. Gonna make that. Maybe I can even convince my SIL's to give up some morels that they scavenge the forest for.

    Personally, I have never been a cranberry sauce/jelly person ever. My French BIL's mom made me rethink that idea when she spent most of the day making a batch. I still only have a little, but damn that shit is tasty on turkey.

    This Thanksgiving all I have to make is my brussels sprouts. If I don't make them, I don't make it in the door.


  4. The Oyster stuffing that farmer Chele speaks of is INDEED.... The shit! We ate that junk like crazy people until it was gone, Man. I totally stole the idea for it from this Dude that we saw on the Cooking Channel, The guy was from Louisiana and I'm talkin'... He busted this stuffing's ASS! Here's a little tidbit for ya... Instead of using water for reconstitute the breading... Use heavy cream. (And that's all I'm giving ya.) If you want to try it for yourself? You've gotta come and visit.

    So I've been here all this time and I've been wondering why there's so many fuckin' cans of Cranberry Sauce in the pantry. (Now I know.)

  5. When we were younger my brother told my mother (and I think it was actually in reference to canned beets that she was serving, but all the cranberry talk made me think if it) that he refused to eat anything that retains the shape of the can it came out of. Im not sure why I find that so funny but I decided that it sounded like a good policy to me and I pretty much adhere to it.

  6. There is only one thing I eat from a can, and that is Cranberry Sauce. I'm convinced people who proclaim to hate a vegetable have more than likely ever only had it frozen or from a can, and never fresh.

    Witness brussel sprouts. Lara, you need to share your recipe. Ted does his up with bacon, beer and caraway seeds.

  7. I know you will be shocked, but my includes bacon as well. Some searing and shallots are involved so you get a nice texture to it. I hate mushy sprouts.

    That's about it really, it's more the cooking style that makes them different. I quarter them for more browning goodness.

    Ted, you guys are too damn far away to visit. I think you should just give the recipe up for us mountain land locked people.


  8. Thank you so much for the soup recipe! I can't wait to try it. Perhaps I will use it for green bean casserole from scratch....hmm, maybe after Thanksgiving.

    Thanksgiving......yum! Also my personal favorite holiday of the year! What's not to love? Great food, family (even if it's not the whole family) and friends. Skipping this holiday would never, ever, ever happen in our house.

    As far as cranberry, I have to say that I like all of them, jellied, whole canned or made from scratch. I buy a can of Ocean Spray a couple of times a year as well as Thanksgiving because the niece spawnling LOVES the jellied canned stuff. I made sure to buy one to take to Toire's (just in case).

    Love you guys. Lots. Aly