"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Gratitude and Recipes

Okay, so, just when I'm starting to feel particularly squeezed by the demands of job, home, writing, knitting for charity, making contingency plans against moronic presidents involving crossing the Canadian border, knitting for gifts, and dieting, my coworker in the soul-sucking cubicle across the aisle (who, incidentally, has kids, a burden I do not share) snaps his Achilles tendon. Ouch. Puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

And the Thanksgiving dinner at our place this year will be:

Beef roast in cranberry gravy
Rosemary potatoes
Almond citrus salad
and a Syllabub for dessert

Beef Roast in Cranberry Gravy
Place a lean beef roast in a slow cooker. Add one bottle cranberry marinade*, a couple dashes of black pepper, and a bay leaf. Add Guiness or concentrated beef broth until roast is nearly covered. Add 1/2 cup red wine or port. Cook on lowest setting 8 hours, or medium for 4 (roast will be more tender with lower temp and longer cook). Remove roast (carefully), cover with foil to preserve heat. Remove bay leaf. Make gravy from the liquid that remains in the cooker, salt gravy to taste. If you don't know how to make gravy, I can't help you.

*several brands available, your local grocery store should have at least one. Failing that, mix 1/2 cup cranberry sauce or cranberry jelly with 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice and mix in blender until smooth

Rosemary Potatoes
Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut 2 pounds red potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Finely chop some fresh rosemary. Brush baking sheet with olive oil. Place a layer of potato slices on baking sheet, brush tops with olive oil. Sprinkle rosemary and salt and pepper on top, to taste.
Bake until golden and edges are crisp, about 20 minutes. You can bake two sheets at once by putting one on the lower shelf and one on the upper, switching halfway through cycle.

Almond Citrus Salad
In a large salad bowl, toss: field greens, quartered rings of red onion, halved segments of grapefruit, sliced strawberries, almond slivers, dried cranberries (craisins), carrot slices or shreds, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Stir 6 tablespoons sweet dessert wine (such as late-harvest Riesling), 6 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon brandy, 1 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel and a generous pinch of ground nutmeg in medium bowl. Let mixture stand at room temperature to allow flavors to blend, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.
Beat 1 cup chilled whipping cream in large bowl until very stiff peaks form. Gently fold in wine mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time. Spoon syllabub into 4 coupes or wineglasses. Cover and chill. (Can be made 1 day in advance.)

Garnish with fresh raspberries, if desired, and serve.

P.S. If you're lucky enough to live near a Penzey's store, get your spices and seasonings there. Their stock is far superior to what you'll find in the grocery store, and quality spices make a big difference in flavor!

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