I have a few food events on the horizon this weekend. I was up at 5:30 this morning with my coffee and an intent to make lists and surf the web in the search of the perfect recipes to shine like a star at all gatherings. I get the biggest high of my life from compliments I receive from cooking. No drug can recreate that swell for me. I grabbed my dog-eared envelope filled with lame coupons that I will never use. I have tried to be good lately about coupon cutting. Attempts at saving money is the equivalent of Ugg boots around here. Everyone is doing it, but a large majority are failing miserably. As I thumb through the Sunday paper circulars with my scissors held aloft I wonder exactly who it is that buys three packages of Bratwurst to get a fourth for free. Obviously people with freezers the size of coffins. Even if I had an extra freezer I would not buy copious amounts of Bratwurst. This all can be traced back to my fear of sausage products. I don't like surprises in meat and sausage harbors one of the highest probabilities of this occurring.
One of the recipes that I will be making for Thanksgiving is Green Bean Casserole. I know what you are thinking. She won't eat sausage but she will eat that gelatinous slop? Or, you get it and you are licking your lips in the anticipation of ripping open that can of Durkee onions. The smell of chemically fried deliciousness assaults your nose as your marvel over the many shapes the onion clumps can take. Before you get all judgy and pious over my use of cream of mushroom soup let me assure you that the recipe I am using is made entirely from scratch. I will not be searching the canned vegetable aisle of the supermarket looking for the oily cardboard Durkee can. Instead I will be making my own onions with a buttermilk panko crumb mixture, using fresh green beans, and mixing a delicious roux in place of the Campbell's grayness.
I am also hosting a chili party at my house for some visiting relatives. I don't necessarily want to do this but I feel compelled to do so. A large chunk of my extended family has decided that it would be a marvelous idea to breeze into town and plunk themselves down for a few nights with a confused, frail 97 year old. Everyone who lives in the immediate area that interacts with the 97 year old on a regular basis knows what a horrible scenario this is. Alas, nobody has the stones to tell the large disruptive family that their plan sucks donkey balls. Because I am one generation removed from the decision makers I keep my mouth shut. I have made my feelings pretty clear as has my sister, but nobody seems to give a great big shit what we think. Perhaps they will figure it out by night number two when my elderly grandmother sets the table for 23, when there are only 7 actually eating. Or maybe it will be when she complains about the unruly teenagers that are occupying her third floor. She yells at them from the bottom of the stairs, angry that they will not heed her pleas to come down to dinner. They were up there at a time, but that was 1966. She thinks they are still up there...today. In fact she has probably already yelled up the stairs twice this morning fearing that they will be late for school. I figured I'd have the well-intentioned but horribly mistaken out of town visitors over for chili to eliminate at least one night that my grandmother painstakingly arranges her good crystal goblets on a table set with plates for people that have been dead for 15 years. I'd like to inherit the Limoges china that she will undoubtedly drop, so I feel that I benefit in this deal. Pour the wine, the holidays are here. A toast to those that Gagee thinks are still with us. At least they get to eat off the good plates in the afterlife.