Last week I had this great idea: host a pre-Thanksgiving -- sort of like the one a few weekends ago, except intentional. Nothing too fancy or big, but just, cook some fall-type dishes, and this time invite some people over too. well, we did that... basically, there were ten of us and a ton of food and i passed out afterward. but it was all really nice.
coworker A brought over brie and crackers, mmmm creamy cheese.
coworker B brought over her boyfriend, and also some boxed stuffing crumbs and we doctored it with sauteed celery and chopped dried apple and chicken broth and butter.
coworker C came over late and didn't bring anything. quel faux pas.
melissa brought over potatoes and made Melissa's Very Own Perfect Mashed Potatoes.
i made a whole turkey all by myself, its butt stuffed with herbes de provence and a lemon quarter and an onion quarter.
i also made turkey gravy for the mashed potatoes.
jake roasted a leg of lamb with plenty of rosemary and garlic, and roasted parsnips and carrots and fingerling potatoes, and blanched and sauteed beautiful heads of broccoli and cauliflower that sarah had gotten from a farm for free.
between sarah's nonstop squash-roasting and my coworkers' avid smashing-with-forks, we ended up with a creamy orange three-squash puree (butternut, acorn and kabocha). sarah also took jake up on his challenge and made a cranberry-sauce-type relish out of beets, using orange peels and cloves and nutmeg and allumetted beets (allumette is the french word for matchstick, or a fancy word for 'like julienne but smaller').
jake's best friend brought her new fiance and a tray of cookies shaped like states.
and i also made a pumpkin-pie ice cream using some leftover pie filling that sarah had made from scratch (starting from a pumpkin). i fixed this up to be ice-cream ready by slowly cooking it over the stove so the egg thickened, adding enough sugar to make it taste too sweet (because cold things don't taste as sweet, it's a tongue thing), and stirring in cream and milk until i thought it wouldn't come out too pudding-y.
afterward we played cranium. i was on a team with jake and the boy, the most intoxicated of our bunch, and i swear to god i was sure they were going to make us lose a round when we had to take turns spelling out the letters to "calculus" backwards... but we actually kicked ass.