(Ah, ah, ah.)
One was just me and Greg, at home, with a beautiful and delicious bird, greens, mashed potatoes, and wine. Quiet and intimate, and strangely, not nearly the most complicated or stressful meal we’ve made even in the last week.
House of cooks, y’all.
My second was with Meg and my new friend (and fellow running masochist) D., both of whom are gluten intolerant/allergic/unhappy. It was a potluck (so they undoubtedly got glutened by someone, alas), complete with (more) turkey, mashed potatoes (one style with horseradish–really good!), millet dressing, apple crisp, deviled eggs, and my well-received glazed carrots.
Well, the recipe is from a cookbook of Greg’s, but it was my idea to make them.
Helping prep stuff with Meg and D. on Saturday afternoon and evening proved… entertaining. The highlight–the three-hour highlight–of the evening proved to be the chestnuts in the dressing. We’re all foodies, and like going manual with food when we can, so we were onboard for hand-processing a couple of pounds of chestnuts.
If I wasn’t embarrassed at the general state of my nails/fingertips, I’d take a picture of the resulting bruises under my fingernails. It’s something like this, but smaller.
First was cutting an “x” in all the chestnuts in preparation for boiling. A slight potential for wounds here, but we were introducing Meg to Doctor Who, so all was right in the world.
Boiling them? Easy.
Then came the peeling. We needed all the innards minced for inclusion in the dressing. Meg and I started with the peeling, and D. minced. Then my fingers started to get a little sore. I looked down, and realized that chestnut meat was getting wedged under my non-existent fingernails. Ow. And kinda gross. Rinse them out, keep peeling.
Except that it kept getting wedged, and kept hurting. My fingertips were red and swollen, but we had a lot of chestnuts to do, and the going was slow.
After about 45 minutes of that, I caved to my agony and switched with D. on the mincing. Greg has recently encouraged me to risk life and limb a little less when dicing, and I wanted to practice. That went much smoother, and an hour later, we had about a million cups of minced chestnuts and one slightly tired forearm.
Turns out we only needed two cups. Oh, well. The dressing turned out amazing. As did the Doctor Who introduction.
The dinner the next day was delightful and cheery. (I was having major lighting problems in their apartment, so very few of my pictures came out well.) I had a very successful reintroduction to Apples to Apples afterwards, and Greg and I toddled home around 21:00, thoroughly giggled out. We’d overslept that morning (skeriously, by about 5 hours) and been super-rushed before the dinner, so we took the time to have an evening before ending the weekend.
Despite all the stressors in my life at the moment, I have so much to be thankful for, and I was glad to be able to appreciate that both privately and with friends.