Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers. I imagine you’re either in the throes of the hustle bustle, or your homes are filled with the smell of simmering and browning, or you’re still in bed easing into the day with coffee and a laptop (ahem).
My family is outside of Chicago and it seems that everyone that would have me over for dinner here in Cleveland today has cats (I’m deathly allergic) and so, for the first time in my life, I am spending Thanksgiving solo. I’m ok with it, actually. I’m moving back to Chicago next week and have things to do here in prep for it, I had a feeling this is the way it would go so I went shopping several days ago and as of 9pm last night have the turkey tenderloins marinading. In fact, in my shopping I started to worry that it would be too much food for one person but to my happy surprise I discovered that hilariously (sadly) the stores and manufacturers know this so it’s entirely possible to find single-serve almost anything. Tiny cranberry sauce, single pumpkin pie slice, veg enough for one, a four-count of Pilsbury Crescent rolls, and there was probably a smaller container of stuffing though I already had some in reserve so I didn’t look. Turkey however, and maybe because it’s a huge bird, only comes in 1lb servings for no less than $9 so I’m stuck with much more than I’ll eat at a sitting. Silly, that cost. But there was no way I was buying one of those weird pressed breast things and certainly wasn’t going to make a bird just for me. Fortunately I found a 1.35 lb turkey tenderloin at my store, supplied by a local farm*.
So last night I came home after a few holiday beers at my corner pub and chopped herbs, onions and garlic, measured salt, sugar, oil, pepper then tossed them all together with the turkey. All told we’re looking at about a 15 hour marinade time which is about 12 more than the recipe suggested. The way I see it, turkey needs all the flavor help it can get and since I don’t like my food touching, I don’t subscribe to the “pile it on the plate and eat something in each bite” thing. Gross. Oh, while we’re on that, I’ve come across other people in the world that feel the same way and also do what I do: eat all foods in equal amount until on the plate are the last remaining single bites of each item. I was watching my niece eat dinner one evening and noticed that she does the same thing. I was proud.
Thanksgiving tradition for me has always been clean, set the table, prep (helping mom in the kitchen rather than entertaining), dinner, clearing, coffee, dessert, digestion, maybe a game of Scattergories with my mom, sisters and cousin, say goodbye to everyone and then watch a Christmas movie. Since I’m going to spend some of the day packing boxes and gathering clothes for Goodwill, I figure I’ll bump the Christmas movie to the front and save the dinner prep for when I’m actually hungry. There’s a small chance I’ll have another orphan friend over for dinner and while it’s good to open your home for a holiday, something weird in me wants to do this alone. Still, it’ll be nice to have company even if we’re surrounded by moving boxes and chaos.
I’m going to pause here and follow up when the day is done. I’ll post photos of the process, the marinade recipe if it turns out, the tricks to cooking a breast without drying it out (fingers crossed), the tiny sides and the finished product. Have wonderful days, all. Talk soon.
* I’ve been intrigued – nay, obsessed – with avoiding GMOs, factory farming, local farming and awareness of where our meats come from. I’m trying to change my purchasing habits and hopefully my health. If at the same time I send a minuscule message to ConAgra, Dupont, Carghill and the other gangsters of food production then good. Lots of information here, here and here. Get informed, educated and don’t stand for it.