I had a nice, quiet holiday. It was just my yougest and I, and he is picky. He had his traditional cheese pizza.
I considered going out to eat, but thought it would be better to stay home and prepare my own meal. It’s easier on the environment as well as on my own resources.
I decided to have a feast for one. I usually eat pretty healthily, but this is a holiday dedicated to feasting. I felt that to celebrate properly I would need to throw aside my usual restraint for the day. I take my holidays seriously. Never let it be said that I don’t do my part.
I made my favorites. Stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. For desert-cheesecake. My oh my. I did slice half a cucumber to throw a salve to my conscience. I made some yeast bread, as well. I opened a jar of my homemade blackberry jam to go on the bread. There is nothing quite like bread still warm from the oven, spread with jam you have made. Yum, yum, yum.
My stuffing was pretty simple. I just sauteed some garlic, onions, celery and mushrooms, and added the traditional spices of sage (gotta have lots of that), rosemary, thyme and oregano. All of these herbs were from my garden, that I picked and dried last summer. When the vegetables were done, I combined them with half of loaf of bread crumbs I had dried out a few days before, and some walnuts. I stirred it up with some mushroom broth and baked it about half an hour.
By now the house is starting to smell really good.
I put the peeled and cut up potatoes on to cook, while I started the gravy. When they were tender, I mashed them, added salt, pepper and a large amount of butter (It’s a holiday!) and left them covered to keep warm.
I hardly ever make gravy, because when I do, I stand over the pan and “sample” the gravy till I have to make myself walk away. So, since it’s since a rare treat, I made a lot. I started with a combination of olive oil and butter on low in a cast iron skillet. I used about half oil and half butter for a total of a quarter cup. When the butter is melted, I slowly add flour, a bit at a time, whisking it in, until the butter mix can’t absorb anymore-maybe an 1/2 cup of flour. Brown the flour on low for a few minutes, then add about a half a cup of liquid slowly, whisking after each bit. I used some mushroom broth. Any kind of broth or milk can be used. Let it simmer on low for a bit to thicken up. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I love leftovers, so I made extra. I am looking forward to having some for lunch today. I did share some of my cheesecake with a few friends that stopped by, but I still have two pieces left. I only make one cheesecake a year, so I am eating it slowly and really enjoying it. This year I wanted an pure, unadulterated one, so I didn’t add any topping. Nothing but cheesecake, baby.
I set the table with a nice tablecloth and nice china. I poured myself a mimosa. I gave thanks for my blessings. I then enjoyed my meal.
It was a peaceful quiet day. I ate a little too much. An excellent holiday.
Cheesecake and yeast bread.