Sunday, November 19, 2006

I can't wait to cook!

So, I am having Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house on the actual day, and I am sure it will be fine. My dad always makes the turkey and stuffing, and I always make the mashed potatoes. My mom has been doing Weight Watchers for the past 6 months or so, and is only 6 pounds away from her goal weight, so we are going to be having "healthy-ish" food.

Thankfully, I am making my own Thanksgiving meal on Saturday for Geoff, my friend Charla, and her date, Alex (her dog). I am soooooooooooooo excited to cook! I have been looking forward to this for the past month. I am making the turkey, obviously, but I am brining it for the first time this year. I am very excited about this. We still bought a frozen turkey from Giant Eagle this year, but I am planning on buying a fresh one next year from a local farm. I also have a fantastic recipe for some dinner rolls from the current issue of Cooks Illustrated, my new bible. On Friday, I will be making two desserts. One is a classic pumpkin pie, even though I am not a big fan of it. Geoff has basically threatened my life if he doesn't get pumpkin pie. The other is a Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart that I saw on Barefoot Contessa the other day. I will also be making the dough for the dinner rolls, since the recipe says you can make it a day early and leave it in the fridge.

On the day of, I am making homemade cranberry sauce, since it seems ridiculous not to. I am also making mashed potatoes, simple baked sweet potatoes, the delish Cooks Illustrated gravy, a requested Green Bean Casserole (and really, no matter how your tastes change as you grow up, don't you still love it?), and Apple Herb Dressing. The dressing is a combination of a recipe I read, and a few other things I am throwing in.

Okay, now that I have gotten that out of my system, I can share some very exciting news. At least, the news is exciting to me. I got this new book, an early Christmas present, from Geoff. It is Alton Brown's Gear for your Kitchen. It has a lot of good info. I have been wanting some half sheet pans from Williams Sonoma for a couple months now, but haven't bought them myself. They weren't too expensive, at $17 each. But, in Alton Brown's book, he gives me information I should have figured out myself. Go to a restauarant supply store and buy them for $5 each. So, I found one located over on Wilson Rd, called Restaurant Depot. They have a sign that says "Not open to the public", but they sold me stuff anyway. I found my beloved pans for $4.93 each, and I was ecstatic. I got them home and tested them with my Silpat, and discovered another thing that should seem obvious. The Silpat was made to fit in these pans. Sigh. If I had only known this information when I first got the Silpat 3 years ago. I spent weeks trying to find a pan to fit it.

I then went to another restaurant supply store, Wasserstrom, off of Weber Rd. They had a lot more dinnerware, which I liked, but their prices were also higher. Their half sheet pans were $8.99. They also had quarter sheet pans that were $7.99, which confused me. Why were they not half the price of the half sheet pans, since they were half the size?

They had fantastic clearance, though. I got my mesh strainer for my gravy, which is the only thing I went there for. I also got a funnel for transferring sauces and stuff into jars. Overall, their prices were higher on just about everything, but I would stil recommend going there for the clearance. Does anyone else know of a good restaurant supply store in town? If so, please let me know.

On a non-food note, our dryer broke on Friday night. Yeah, it is 5 months old. Thankfully, we have a warranty, and Lowe's is coming out on Tuesday morning to look at it. But, I had been putting off laundry for about a week and a half before it broke, so I have pretty much nothing to wear for the next couple of days. Isn't that the way it always happens?


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