Yeah, it's only been 4 days...it seems like an eternity. But it was great fun...and a lot of work! I wouldn't trade it for anything.
We started the afternoon with these...and some others.
They are jello shooters and they are amazing! Karen makes them.
There were 14 of us for dinner...at 4 p.m. Our family...4...the first time Jo has been here since 2008. She was living in Cleveland in 2009 and 2010 and was discouraged from attempting the Ohio and Pennsylvania turnpikes AND I95...she had family there too. There were the Bott's...4..Victoria & Alex have been best friends with Cara & Joanna for 23 years...we have spent a lot of time together but only started this Thanksgiving tradition in 2004. Cara brought two friends from Greensboro...Paula & Mike. My brother, Dick, and my niece, Rachel, were here...along with Rachel's boyfriend, Randy...we like him. And Bill invited his hair stylist too....isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about...including our friends who may want a place to hang out...her name is Kara and she fit right in.
I missed this part of the day...I thought I was really prepared but......
But never fear....the festivities went on into the wee hours....after my brother and crew left, they were replaced by about half dozen or more high school friends.
I think dinner was pretty good. There was a lot of it. Besides the jello shooters, Karen and Vic made dessert...pumpkin pie and flan cake...yum! My brother cooked a pork roast and I did the other stuff.
Notice the cranberry sauce. That was probably Victoria's plate....we have the canned stuff for her...not that anybody eats that much cranberry sauce. But I do make homemade cranberry sauce..
I think they are pretty awesome...and I will share.
1 lb. fresh cranberries (but they never come that way in the store so I just use the 12 oz. bag)
2 c. sugar...or a little less
4 T. brandy
lemon or orange zest
Remove stems from cranberries. Cover a jelly roll pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. put fruit on pan. Sprinkle with sugar. cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Cool. Add brandy. Garnish with zest. Store in refrigerator. And a big hint from my MIL....we add orange liquer too...or more brandy.
I have been eating pimento cheese all my life...but I have lived in North Carolina & Virginia all my life. Pimento cheese is a Southern thing...at least until recently.
A few weeks ago I read an article in our local weekly...aptly named Style Weekly...about a documentary on pimento cheese that would be shown at the newly renovated Hippodrome Theater in Richmond. Not only was this a chance to see a movie about one of my favorite things to eat in a newly renovated historic theater...but 8 local restaurants would be serving samples of their take on pimento cheese.
So on Wednesday night four of us enjoyed the event. The theater is lovely, the film was at least amusing (you can watch it online now at the Southern Foodways Alliance blog), but the highlight of the evening was the pimento cheese....served in oh so many ways. The real winners were the recipes that started off with cheddar, mayo, and pimentos (or roasted red peppers.) I am not a fan of cream cheese in my pimento cheese...and I swear that one of the samples had sour cream in it....yuk!! My favorites? From The Roosevelt...pimento cheese on homemade pork rinds. And from the Black Sheep...pimento cheese and Doritos on white bread. Seriously, don't knock it until you've tried it.
But I am still happiest with the pimento cheese that I make in my own kitchen. It has strong cheddar, roasted red peppers, homemade mayo, and a little cayenne and black pepper. That's it. I use the mayo recipe from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis & Scott Peacock....and the pimento cheese recipe (as a guide) from the same book.
I made a batch yesterday. And last night we made pimento cheese, bacon, and tomato paninis!!!