Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Well just in time. The weather has changed and the mornings are cold enough now that I don't roll out of bed for a hill climb on my mountain bike as easily as I did in July. Forbes Magazine must have known that my fitness regime might be suffering from a tiny ambition problem so they were good enough to run a piece on fall's most fattening goods. The link is problematic, too, undoubtedly due to the firewalls we run here at Bellemaison, so I'm linking to Slashfood, who notes the laundry list of caloric roads to hell. I actually felt pretty good about it all, because I don't eat any of the foods on the list, except for turkey stuffing, which we refer to here as turkey dressing. Dressing, we call it.

We call it dressing and make it in a big dutch oven on top of the stove, bake it in buttered pan and bring it out as just one more carb alternative when we already have baked rolls and bread, mashed potatoes, fixed yams and provided about a dozen snacks for the TV for the pre-dinner line up on Thanksgiving Day. The Bellemaison Turkey Dressing is made with butter, celery, onion, sage, dried bread, milk, salt and pepper. No apples. No damn sausage. No giblets, no gizzards, no neck meats! Nothing that can't be clearly identified as one of the aforementioned. We're purists here and stick to the basic fundamentals of Thanksgiving: good food, fresh food, lots of food, salt, fat and sugar. Give thanks for 'em.

The only other thing that gives me pause on the list are the mention of those wings. We have been known to order out for wings from Northern Lights, a local microbrewery, as they are exceptional. We go with ranch dressing and really appreciate that they hand cut the carrots and celery to order, which are exceptionally fresh and appealing. But if Forbes magazine says wings are not part of a bright financial future, well then, they're ghandi.

The 'Kan EWA


curtcon said...

I make a pretty good Thanksgiving feast. I have never called it stuffing either. Sage is the key dressing ingredient but I do confess to sneaking in finely diced giblets. Instead of just sage tho, I do love what Bell’s (lovely name, no?) Seasoning does to dressing. It’s a blend of 16 spices with sage as it’s base. Bell’s hasn’t changed their formula since it was first introduced in 1867. Made in Massachusetts (well yeah)…

I make truly fluffy mashed potatoes (Idaho of course;-) a class A killer gravy and cook up my own fresh cranberry (Cape Cod..well yeah) sauce. Veggies will vary as to what looks good in the produce section. Love to bake up some acorn squash, baked carrots rock, fresh peas if they are lookin good and a half ton of broccoli …. Yum.

I make three pies, all from scratch. Pumpkin, apple, and pecan. I can hand flute a piecrust edge better than your great grandma and my apple pie top secret recipe can be obtained via email should you happen to have it ;-)

jb3ll3 said...

oh my goodness! Your grandmother and my grandmother had the same Thanksgiving handbook! (My mother put the giblets in the dressing, too) The only thing you left out is the rolls, which I would trade you for some homemade cranberry sauce.

Have you ever made the NPR cranberry/onion relish?

the psycho therapist said...

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE day, next to the birthday. I cook and cook and cook and love. every. minute. of. it. (leftover Loverboy, sorry)

Curt, assuming we have amazing sexual chemistry, will you marry me?

jb3ll3 said...


curtcon said...

I do:-)

jb3ll3 said...

but...will we fight over who makes the pies? Strictly speaking, it's the bride's day and she calls the shots. but god, I really want some of Curt's apple pie. btw, your pecan pie recipe is Southern, right?

curtcon said...


the psycho therapist said...

And I am known for my Bourbon Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie.

I know we're paupers, darlin', but I really prefer at least a carat, carat and a half, and no solitaires, they're so bourgeoise.

Don't you worry, though (*wink wink) I'm worth every dime, (*cough) quarter.

anonymous said...

Wheat Thins and Cheez Whiz.
Deep fried turkey. Drool.
Stuffing with apples and gizzards. Yum.
Cranberry jelly straight from the can. Double yum.
Green bean casserole with dehydrated onions and cream of mushroom soup. Yes!!
Black olives, for the kids' fingertips. Fun.
Green jello, pineapple for the exotic.
Brown and serve rolls, real butter.
Stiff potatoes, little lakes of gravy.
Sarah Lee, punkin and apples pies with Cool Whip.

curtcon said...

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

6 large eggs

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups flour, sifted

1/2 t. salt

1 cup bourbon

1 pound pecans, chopped

3 cups white raisins (or use candied fruit)

1 t. nutmeg


~ a very large bottle of bourbon whiskey ~

First, sample the whiskey to check for quality.

Assemble all of the ingredients. Check the whiskey again.

To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Repeat this step.

Turn on the electric mixer and beat one cup of butter in a large

fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and cream until beat.

Make sure the whiskey is still okay... try another cup.

Turn off the mixer. Beat six leggs and add to the bowl,

then chunk in the cup of dried flut. Mix on the tuner.

Throw in two quarts of flour. Gradually pour in the cow.

Add 2 dried anything.

If the fried druit gets struck in the beaters, pry it loose with

a drewscriver. Sample the whiskey and check it again for tonsistency.

Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who cares???

Check the whiskey again.

Now sift the nutmeg and strain your nuts. Add one table.

And the spoon. Of whiskee. Or something. Whatever you find left.

Grease the oven.

Turn the crake pan to 350 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Pour the oven into the batter. Throw the bowl out the window.

Lick the batter off the floor.

Bake 300 minutes at 50 degrees.

Finish the blobble of whishy and flow to bed.

jb3ll3 said...

Sexual balance sheet aside, Sister, let's that bourbon chocolate chip pecan pie recipe. C'mon!

green libertarian said...

Yukon Gold WApotatoes are the best, like buttah. Need to keep those sinuses clear?

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Yield: 5 to 6 servings

* 2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
* 1/3 cup sour cream
* 1/3 cup grated fresh horseradish
* 2 tablespoons butter, cut up
* 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Place the potato chunks in a 2-quart saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain well, leaving potatoes in saucepan.

Combine the sour cream and horseradish in a bowl and mix well. Add the butter to the potatoes, stirring until melted. Add the sour cream mixture. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer to desired consistency. Stir in the salt and parsley and serve hot.

jb3ll3 said...

oh, perfect. I'll make gravy.

treespotter said...

i so loathe this when it happened. i swear on Prometheus and his ilks that i dropped a comment here.

now i can't remember what it was.

well, as much as i enjoy raisins, no drink? really? is there any food at all that have vodka in it?

MarmiteToasty said...

I would love to be married, and married to a bloke that could cook once in a while....... do you know, I have NEVER had a bloke cook me so much as beans on toast lol ... let alone like a proper meal........ all good things come to those that wait, right?


jb3ll3 said...

all good things come to the fabulous people who wait; and THAT would be YOU , my sweet. For instance, I am coming to visit you somewhere around Dec 20 to bring you a Christmas gift. Ha! what do you think of that?!

curtcon said...

Penne with Vodka Sauce

1 quart Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought marinara sauce, blended until smooth
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound penne

Simmer the tomato sauce and vodka in a heavy large skillet over low heat until the mixture reduces by 1/4, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Stir the cream into the tomato and vodka sauce. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and well blended.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the pan with the sauce, and toss to coat.

Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor.
Pour half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and then pour 1 to 2 cup portions into plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

MarmiteToasty said...

I asked for a Vodka and Cranberry last night in The White Hart with me maties....... Clive the owner (only 29 and actually OWNS this pub outright)(actually his name is Bruce BUT for some strange reason I couldnt help keep calling him Clive) said they only had J2O cranberry which is a soft drink not the real thing....... so I had to make do with Gin and Orange all night lol it was very difficult NOT..... I aint never had a vodka and cranberry anyways but remember someone on a blob somewhere mentioning it...


MarmiteToasty said...

Oh Cripes, now JBelle will find out Im really a peruvian hill farmer with ginger hair and bad breathe........

ps....... ya know I DONT do pressies, right?


jb3ll3 said...


Vodka and Cranberry is the IDAHO ceremonial sustinence that kicks off the Christmas party season! You gotta have just one or you didn't get to party with us. Only we called them 'Scarlet O'Hara's'. We still drink them at Bellemaison at Christmas but only with really special people.

What are you talking about you don't do pressies? You ARE a pressie! And ifyou aren't a Peruvian hill farmer and don't have bad breath I am really going to be pissed.

jb3ll3 said...

Curt, omigod. That sounds so good right now. I LOVE vodka sauce with penne! You are, like, the perfect man. That damn Vendella.

curtcon said...


Vodka n Cranberry Juice is called a 'Cape Codder' Best with lotsa lotsa ice...Most of the world's cranberries come from Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

It's a bar (pub) staple in this country and if I was to hazard a guess it is second only to orangejuice in popularity here.

MarmiteToasty said...

Yeah Dam that bloody Wendy for snatching him from under our noses...... lol

green libertarian said...

When I was married, we did a lot of grilling, which was my job. Sometimes I'd make the side dishes too, in the house.

My ex-gf, whom I lived with for about 2 years, was an honest to god gourmet cook. She had like 250 cookbooks and another couple of shelves of recipes in binders.

She did teach me to cook, with fresh ingredients, etc. I was a slow learner, but got the hang of it after awhile. We usually ate out (or take out) once or twice a week, and split the rest of the cooking. For a couple of months when I was unemployed, I used to cook her breakfasts.

But I tell ya, living alone, I've lost most of those cooking skills... just ain't no fun in it anymore. I admire those of you, like Curt, who prepare outstanding meals for (apparently) themselves.

jb3ll3 said...

Absolutely true that you gotta use it or lose it. I notice that it takes me an hour or so to really get in it between big dinner parties. I just don't cook so much anymore; fix alotta food though....

the psycho therapist said...

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie

(for the soon-to-be-assembled-wedding-guests...what can I say, ladies...I know a good deal when I find it...)


1/4 c butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 c light corn syrup
1 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecan halves (I use more)
2 T bourbon or rum (I use more)
10 in. pie shell

Beat softened butter and sugar. Add egss, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and bourbon. Pour into shell. Arrange pecans on top. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 40 - 45 minutes.

Serves 6 - 8
Takes 10 minutes to assemble.

jb3ll3 said...

oh my! if this is the recipe can you IMAGINE what the dress is going to look like. And better, what the lingerie will look like. That Curt is one damned lucky guy.

MarmiteToasty said...

Can I snog him just the once before ya marry him LOL....... ;)


MarmiteToasty said...

MMMMMMMmmmmmm breakfast in bed aye MrGreen ;) ya mean food right? like marmitetoasty lol.....


MarmiteToasty said...

Opps LMRSSO..... I mean marmitetoast LOL


jb3ll3 said...

what's it goign to be Green? what are you serving Marmie is bed? for breakfast?

green libertarian said...

Actually, I don't believe in eating food in bed. There are are far more interesting activities that go down well in bed.