It seems like most people have the impression that I have some kind of crazy awesome Thanksgiving because I love food. Alas, I love eating food; I'm not very good at cooking it. And while I usually consider Thanksgiving as the one time a year I'll break out my meager baking and cooking chops, this year I was all about sleeping in late and prostrating myself on the couch back at home in New Jersey.
Since Thanksgiving dinner only had to serve my mom, my brother Hubert, and me, my mom roasted a small duck instead of the traditional "turkey that is so huge you end up eating leftovers for a week or two to fulfill your turkey intake quota for the year." The moist meat was covered by a layer of crispy, pillowy fat. Thumbs up. Although I like having an excuse to eat turkey once a year, duck probably tastes better.
I cooked brussels sprouts for the first time using this recipe on Serious Eats. I should've let them cook longer so they'd become sweeter, but they were still pretty good. Crunchy. Multilayered vegetable matter. Baby cabbage heads.
There's Hubert and my mom. They've generally always been slim. Where the hell did my genes come from? (Admittedly, I probably eat a lot more than they do; if anything, I'm lucky I'm not terribly obese.)
My mom also made salads, shrimp cocktails, and an orange-flavored gravy. I made a big bowl of garlic mashed potatoes (recipe here) without my potato masher, which resulted in some serious chunks. It was at room temperature by the time I ate it since I made it too early, and as I have no sense of how to season things to taste, it was rather bland. While it didn't taste bad, it's main title was "carbohydrate filler," not "deliciously creamy potato thing." Eh well.
I wasn't in the mood to bake a pie, so my mom bought a mousse cake from Whole Foods. It was alright. Or rather, it wasn't that good, but I just needed something sweet to finish off the meal with or else the night would have felt incomplete.
My appetite was pretty weaksauce. It probably had something to do with the minimal muscle exertion.
After eating the slice of cake, I passed out on the couch for an hour and woke up feeling ravenous. Actually, I woke up extremely confused ("What time is it what happened do I have to pee where am I WHAAA") and then ravenous. Naps totally fuck with my internal clock.
And that was my Thanksgiving. It was comfortable, low-key, and didn't result in a terribly bloated stomach.
The Other Thanksgiving
The next day went to a post-Thanksgiving dinner in Bensonhurst with Diana held by our friends (and Diana's upstairs neighbor) Alice and her husband Michael. My post-Thanksgiving meal ended up being more traditional that the one the night before since it was Michael's first Thanksgiving—he just moved from England this past summer—and he wanted to go all out. (Alice and Michael had gone to someone else's house on Thanksgiving day, hence the second, homemade Thanksgiving meal)
Of course, turkey was the meaty centerpiece. It was moist—hooray!
There was also stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, and three (or was it four?) kinds of roasted potatoes. The roasted potatoes were my favorite dish: crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside.
For dessert, we had a pie buffet accompanied by vanilla ice cream. Hehe. Hehehe. As much as I would've loved to have indulged in the bounty of pies—pumpkin, apple, sweet potato, and maybe more pumpkin—I was too full to eat more than a slice of pumpkin pie. Or maybe two slices. My memory is fuzzy.
And then I somehow dragged my lumbering body to the subway station and made it back to Williamsburg.