Thanksgiving Feast, The Beatles, and a Head Cold

We had the most delightful Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday; Ward brined and roasted a turkey (the very first time I’ve had a brined turkey), and because our daughter is vegetarian, he also made two kinds of stuffing (vegetarian and regular) and two kinds of gravy (vegetarian and turkey).

Accompanying these Thanksgiving essentials were French onion soup, garlic and chive mashed potatoes, sautéed Swiss chard with shitake mushrooms and homemade multi-grain dinner rolls. He also prepared an amuse bouche of asparagus mousse and crab-stuffed mushrooms as appetizers. (This is what happens when my husband takes charge of the menu. I usually pick the recipes, and I’m normally far more restrained in my choices.)

We also had family over, and while Ward slaved away in the kitchen cooked our Thanksgiving feast, the rest of us played Rock Band, the Beatles version, in the sitting room.

Since our kitchen is separated from the sitting room by an open counter, Ward joined in occasionally, so not to worry – he definitely wasn’t left out of events. I have to say one thing, though – when you actually read some of the lyrics for the more psychedelic-sounding songs, you’ve got to wonder exactly what the Fab Four were up to when they came up with the words. Just saying.

For dessert, Ward baked TWO kinds of pumpkin pies: one with spiced rum, the other with scotch. They were both really incredible, but the Jamaican spiced rum one won the taste test by a smidgen:

Pumpkin Pie

Eventually I’ll get around to writing up the recipes at our food blog (I’m trying to encourage Ward to take over posting there, as I’m not doing a very good job of it, I’m afraid – I’m promising that I will edit as he doesn’t trust his writing skills).

Update: My husband’s started blogging about his cooking! For those of you who are interested, here’s his post about pumpkin pies, including the recipes he used.

So all went well and fine for Thanksgiving. We had such a good time, and then after everyone left and we finished cleaning up the kitchen, we watched Dirty Dancing and both of us cried a little.

But then on Sunday, we got ready to go on a little outing to this steam train event (our little one, Dylan, is crazy about trains) – and we both got hit with a head cold thing. It snuck up on us, little by little, but by the time we were in the van ready to start the hour-long drive into the country to see the steam trains, we were both very stuffed up and not feeling particularly adventurous at all. So we came home instead, as the event will also be running this coming Sunday.

This head cold has been quite persistent. It’s Wednesday now and I think I’ve finally shaken it.

On the bright side (there always is one, of course), I got to lounge around on Sunday and Monday reading The Likeness in my special reading chair, all wrapped up in a warm fleece blanket, and on Tuesday, when the head cold really hit me hard, I spent the day in bed listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

And that’s what’s been happening around here: a Thanksgiving feast, Beatles’ psychedelic lyrics and a head cold!

I should be back to regular posting tomorrow …

37 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Feast, The Beatles, and a Head Cold

  1. MarthaAndMe

    It sounds like a successful dinner – wish I had been there to sample it all. Our son is getting rock band for Xmas – I’m just as excited as he is. I’m thinking of asking for the complete remastered CD set for me. Ward is a madman in the kitchen. It all sounds wonderful and delicious. The French onion soup sounds so wonderful – I love it and never make it since no one else here likes it, but I always order it in restaurants.

    Sorry about the head cold. It has gone through our house too. Non-drying Sudafed during the day plus Advil and then a cool mist vaporizer at night are what got us through. Just hope you don’t have a round two as we did!

    Reply
    1. Belle

      Keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last we see of the head cold, although it’s STILL lingering!

      We played Rock Band on my son Sean’s Xbox, which is usually in his room; he brought it down to the sitting room for Thanksgiving. We all enjoyed it so much, we’re thinking of buying Rock Band for the Wii, which is more the family game system. I like the idea of the complete remastered CD set! What I really want to get, though, is the Christmas edition. :)

      Reply
  2. Margot Kinberg

    I’m so glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! You used great descriptions that I could taste the food as I read your post – yum!! I’ll be interested to know what you thought of The Likeness. Hope you feel better soon –
    .-= Margot Kinberg´s last blog ..Behind the Mask =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      I’m still not finished yet with The Likeness. I don’t know why it’s just not grabbing me the way In The Woods did. But I’m getting there – should be done with it soon!

      Reply
    1. Belle

      Thanks, Cathryn! And I’d been meaning to start doing the character prep work for my NaNoWriMo novel this week, too. I won’t be able to get to it until the weekend now. :(

      Reply
    1. Belle

      This French onion soup is one that Ward’s made a few times before. It’s from one of Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks. He emailed me the recipe, so I’ll email it to you!

      Reply
    1. Belle

      Thanks, Jill. Yes, I’m in favor of Jamaican spiced rum pumpkin pie, too. And of Ward, although sometimes it makes me nervous when I see how much he’s decided to try and make for any given meal! :)

      Reply
  3. Margot

    Belle, your husband is one in a million. To be willing to do all that is amazing. To know how to do that is way beyond my imagination. He is a rare gem. I’m glad you had a restful weekend, except for the head colds. And, I hope you are completely well by now.
    .-= Margot´s last blog ..Wondrous Words #36 =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      Margot, I pinch myself sometimes when I think about Ward’s cooking. He wasn’t always like this. About two years ago, he said to me, “Would it be okay if I cooked dinner this weekend?” He’d never really cooked before, but for some reason he really wanted to. And he just kind of took off with it. Before then, he’d been one of those athletic, food-is-only-fuel-for-my-body kind of guys; now he’s very into food. The best part of this is that we have more travel options now – it’s hard traveling with someone who doesn’t like to eat different foods!

      Reply
  4. Mystica

    We do not celebrate Thanksgiving or Halloween but I love to read the menus. Pumpkin has never sounded nicer than what you all do with it! Here pumpkin
    is looked at only as a vegetable and to imagine it as a sweet takes much imagination believe me!

    Mystica
    .-= Mystica´s last blog ..Christmas and children coming home =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      Mystica, it’s funny – I’ve only recently started having pumpkin in savory dishes as a vegetable! I’ve been so used to having it in sweet foods – it doesn’t seem to be served as a vegetable around here very much.

      Reply
  5. Audrey

    Sucks about yoru head cold, but it sounds like you had an AWESOME thanksgiving dinner!
    That’s so cool that your daughter is vegetarian and that your husband made special vegetarian things for her. I’ve been a vegan for as long as I can remember and a vegetarian for even longer than that, and I always used to starve on thanksgiving. Which made the sadness I felt thinking about all of the tortured and killed birds even more emotional.
    Beatles Rock Band sounds fun! – they definitely do have some interesting things going on in the lyrics there.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      Audrey, we always have several vegetarian dishes at dinner – we really love the Mediterranean bean dishes, and are so glad that we discovered them (mainly because our daughter decided to become vegetarian).

      Reply
    1. Belle

      Thanks Meghan. A head cold doesn’t sound like much but it can be quite impressive in terms of how miserable it can make you feel! Hope you feel better soon!

      Reply
  6. Molly

    I am so sorry that you have been under the weather – but glad that you were able to use that down time reading some great books!

    Your Thanksgiving meal sounds absolutely amazing! I am off to check your recipe blog right now (which I did not know about until today)
    .-= Molly´s last blog ..Fall Festival Recipe Exchange =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      I’ve almost convinced Ward to start writing posts at the food blog, Molly, so hopefully there will be more recipes up soon. He’s the one who’s passionate about cooking (when he discovers a new technique or recipe, he gets so excited!); I just like to eat, so I don’t feel as passionate about blogging there as I do, say, here (because I love books and writing – it makes a big difference when I’m passionate about the subject).

      Although I really do enjoy food writing. I guess I’m just not really into writing about food myself, though!

      Reply
  7. Barbara

    You’ve made me soooo hungry! The food sounds delicious and I’m on a diet – again – as usual. My husband likes to cook too but it sounds like Ward is a real chef. We don’t celebrate any holidays except our wedding anniversary (I know, it’s nutty), but we roast turkey frequently because it’s good and it’s economical. Hadn’t heard of the brine method. Very interesting. Get well soon.

    Barbara
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..Our New Stone Wall =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      Barbara, we got the brining method out of a Test Kitchen DVD. Brining is supposed to make the turkey really tender and flavourful, and it definitely was!

      Reply
    1. Belle

      I’m looking forward to reading all the American Thanksgiving posts in November, Natalie! I always want to have another turkey then, too.

      Reply
    1. Belle

      Thanks, Cat! I’m still behind but managed to do 2 miles yesterday on the treadmill to make up for three days of lying around listlessly :)

      Reply
  8. Julie

    Feel better! Head colds are the worst. I’m glad you had a good Thanksgiving though and the food sounds amazing. Hopefully I’ll marry a man someday who also loves to cook and is good at it 😉 The pies are making me hungry.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      Sometimes you end up getting a surprise, too, Julie. Ward and I were together for ten years before he discovered he liked to cook!

      Reply
    1. Belle

      Ward made the scotch pumpkin pie last year and I had thought that was SO good, but the rum-spiced pie definitely did trump it. I’ll email you the recipe.

      The thing that Ward finds the most difficult is the pie crust. This year it tasted wonderful and buttery, but he finds it challenging to work with.

      Reply
  9. Dorte H

    I think it sounds very useful to have one´s own, personal ward in the kitchen 😉

    Not that I don´t have one myself, if I cook, it is because my husband is away.

    Do get well soon, Belle! Now I am back blogging, I expect everybody else to be as well to keep me company.
    .-= Dorte H´s last blog ..October Joys =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      Cooking husbands are definitely so handy, aren’t they, Dorte? I hardly ever cook these days. My husband isn’t home two evenings of the week, and the kids know that we get pizza on one of those nights and go out to eat the other night. :)

      I hope you enjoyed your time off and got lots written!

      Reply
  10. Jemi Fraser

    Wow! We had a great Thanksgiving feast as well, but nothing like yours :) I think we’re almost out of leftovers. Back to real cooking tomorrow.

    Hope you’re feeling back on top of the world soon!
    .-= Jemi Fraser´s last blog ..Giving Thanks =-.

    Reply
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