Camren and I cooked our first stew of the season in my favorite fashion, just throwing whatever is around in a pot together. We had a pound of dried mushrooms, kale, bacon, and spices. Slowly cooked the mushrooms and kale in a pot with water and salt for 1 1/2 hours. Cooked the bacon separately in butter, nice and crisp, then broke it up into the stew. Added flour to the bacon fat then added that to the stew giving it great texture. Dumped in all over rice and...Oh Boy - good stuff. Had fresh cornbread and yams on the side. Followed up with fresh baked apples, caramel and vanilla icecream topped with grand marnier.
Started the meal off with hot totties then opened a bottle of Ransom 2005 Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley. Took a while for the wine to open up, if I had known I would have decanted it for about an hour. Once it did open up though it showed bright rasberry fruit and spice with a very light body. Went OK with the stew, would have been better if it had some of that classic french barnyard stomp going on.
I definitely appreciated sitting around a table with my friends. Funny thing about working on a Holiday is that you don't feel like the actually Holiday is a Holiday. The feeling comes back once the house warms, fills with people and there is the smell of food in the air.
Makes you realize that maybe some of the people running around on Thanksgiving day trying to make everything perfect may have missed the actual holiday.