Friday, November 26, 2004

Third Street Thanksgiving

Smartmom is thankful for yesterday's small Thanksgiving on Third Street - just the nuclear unit and the two moms -- Groovy Grandma from Manhattan and Clever Grandma all the way from her farm in Northern California.

Smartmom made her first pumpkin pie on Wednesday night. The organic pumpkin was from a can bought at the Food Coop as was the organic graham cracker crust. Smartmom added eggs, sweetened condensed milk, butter, nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves and cinnamon. She baked it for close to an hour. The filling sank inwards a bit and the crust got burned around the edges. But everyone said it tasted great -- Smartmom thought so too.

Smartmom also made the stuffing and the candied sweet potatoes using a recipe gleaned from Mrs. Kravitz who, on a break from cooking for thirteen in her kitchen downstairs, came upstairs to share her considerable knowledge of Thanksgiving cuisine and to gab. Smartmom did two versions of SP's -- one with and one without marshmallows.

Thursday was an unseasonably warm day in Brooklyn -- just gorgeous and sparkling. It did, however, start raining mid-afternoon and that kept up until early evening when it got quite chilly. In the morning, Smartmom and OSFO watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the forbidden television (only for special events they say) and OSFO enjoyed the balloons, the floats and the Rockettes. OSFO's never actually been to the parade -- Smartmom and Hepcat used to go with Teen Spirit before OSFO was born. Next year, she gets to go. In other words, Smartmom and Co. will wake up early enough to brave the crowds.

Hepcat has spent the past few weeks thinking about his turkey. He bought a free ranger at the Coop and has been on the Internet comparing techniques for days. On good old Blogspot, he found Cooking for Engineers and followed that blogger's approach quite closely. Hepcat also prepared the very unusual Mother Stamberg's Cranberry Relish with horseradish and sour cream. Here's the recipe for one great relish. He also made an incredible Curried Corn and Bean Soup.

The kitchen belonged to Hepcat from early morning until the feast was served at 4 p.m. The two moms arrived ravenous from Manhattan at 2:30 or so and enjoyed smoked herring, cheese and assorted crackers while Hepcat cooked.

Six hungry people sat down for dinner at 4 pm. The dining room looked beautiful -- burgundy table cloth, candles, special wedding silver, Wedgwood china (which belonged to Hepcat's grandmother) and numerous serving ceramics made by Clever Grandma, a wonderful artist.

The flower arrangement was courtesy of Zuzu's Petals, which has re-opened on Fifth Avenue. The $100 seed money that Smartmom contributed is now a $100 credit at the hugely improved new store. Sometimes disaster brings good things and the Zuzu crowd is positively delirious about their new digs.

The six dined until 7 p.m. They ate some, took a break, cleaned up, re-set the table for dessert, ate dessert, talked, cleared and cleaned. Teen Spirit ate himself silly. OSFO, however, was uninspired by the meal eating only white meat turkey. A few hours later she declared herself "starving" and proceeded to down three slices of white bread toast. Smartmom and Teen Spirit were the only ones who ate the mashed sweet potatos with marshmallows (there seems to be an adult prejudice against marshmallows). The turkey was delicious, not dry and boring but very tasty thanks to Hepcat's careful cooking.

It was, truth be told, a lot of work. But a wonderful, wonderful meal. Smartmom and Co. felt blessed to have the two moms all to themselves. And what a gift to have Hepcat in the kitchen.

After the feast, Smartmom walked and talked Groovy Grandma to the subway and Clever Grandma spent the night. Mrs. Kravitz's Thanksgiving was still going strong -- Smartmom could hear through the door. OSFO and Teen Spirit listened to "Holes" by Louis Sachar, a rather interesting and complex contemporary kid's novel, their latest bedtime read. Everyone was full to bursting and ready for a good night's rest.


At 2:15 PM, Blogger Little Light said...

Your Thanksgiving sounded homey and elegant and beautiful.

At 5:46 PM, Blogger mamainwaiting said...

OSFO and TS did go to the parade. I took them one year. It was raining and sleeting and they went begrudgingly, "lets watch it on TV.." Nevertheless I dragged them out - Alice was in her stroller and we couldn't find a good spot to see anything. It was pretty miserable, actually. I suddenly remembered that our cousins were watching the parade from a friend's rented perch in the San Remo- I called them, and they told us to come on up. There were bagels, lox, bloodys and the perfect view onto Central Park - the kids were practically touching the noses of the balloons. Pure happiness. So tell OSFO that she has seen the parade up close and personal. MIW


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