Sunday, November 29, 2015

Post Thanksgiving Day Review of “Give Mom a Rest. Let Us Do The Cooking”

Thanksgiving Day Dinner Review

Like a walk in the Park

This year Ross and I decided to have our Thanksgiving dinner catered by one of our local restaurants,  The Vincentown Diner.  

They claim on their website's homepage "We are not your average diner".

"The Vincentown Diner is NOT just another Diner! We strive to bring you the highest quality food and service at very reasonable prices. Our chef inspired menu incorporates premium products, the freshest ingredients and generous portions. We use Organic Eggs, all local, grass-fed beef or Certified Angus Beef, premium cheeses, and cooking oils that contain no trans fats. Our house coffee is roasted locally and ground fresh every time we brew.

Local food and products such as produce, fruits, wine, honey, bread and blueberry iced tea confirm that "Local Tastes Better". Loyalty Club rewards provide another reason to stop by and don't forget to visit Jersey Jim's country store."

We have eaten at the Vtown Diner many times.  That's why we were fairly confident about ordering a complete Thanksgiving dinner from them.
But, still, it was the first time we have ever done that.  By that I mean, having Thanksgiving dinner, which is supposed to be all about homemade cooking, done by, well not us.

Ross picked up our dinner at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday.  Everything was packed up in a large cardboard box.   Included in the box was a 20 pound fully cooked, still on the frame, turkey - all nice and perfectly browned; four large trays containing mashed potatoes, candied yams, string beans and stuffing; two large containers of gravy; a large container of homemade cranberry sauce; a large loaf of ciabatta bread and a pumpkin pie.
There was enough food to feed at least 15-20 people.

The price for all of that was $129.00

All of the food was fully cooked but cold.  There were explicit instructions on how to re-heat everything.  First the turkey went into the oven at a preheated temperature of 300 degrees for 2-1/2 hours.
The four side dishes were stored in aluminum, oven ready, trays.  When the turkey came out, we put all four trays into the oven, poured the gravy into a saucepan to simmer on the stove.

We planned on serving dinner at 3:00 p.m.  By 1:00 we had everything organized, the table was set, the bread sliced, serving utensils and platters set out.

And Ross and I?  We were relaxing.  He was watching TV and I was listening to a book and knitting.

We celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with my daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren.   Jen brought delicious macaroni and cheese, a pumpkin cheesecake and her famous chocolate chip cookies.

Did I mention there was a lot of food?  Once it was all set out on the table, I thought, Boy am I glad I didn't have to do all of that!

And then we dug in!

So the moment of truth.  Our review of the Vincentown "We are not your average" Diner's complete "Give mom a rest. Let us do the cooking for you" Thanksgiving Day dinner.

It    Was    EXCELLENT!

Yes, everything was delicious.  We couldn't have done better ourselves.  The turkey was cooked to perfection.  Moist and tender.   The mashed potatoes were real potatoes, creamy and tasty.  The candied yams were apparently good.  I don't do yams.  But everyone else said they were good.  The stuffing was very good.  Ryan even went for seconds.  The string beans were fresh, not canned.
The whole berry cranberry sauce had just the right mixture of sweet and tang.  Derek said the pumpkin pie was the best he has ever had.

There was enough food leftover to feed us all again and again and then perhaps if we are not too tired of turkey dinner, once again.

I would highly recommend it.   And I would definitely do it again next year.

By the way, Jen, thanks for the cookies.  After you left, and everything was cleaned up and put away, I was ready for one of those cookies.  They were nowhere to be found.  I asked Ross, "Where are Jen's cookies?"
He said, "I put them in the freezer."
He put them in the freezer, tray and all, covered in plastic wrap.
"No, no," I said.
I took them out of the freezer and had one.  They are even better half frozen :).

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

“Give mom a rest. Let Us Do The Cooking For You”

This month has been challenging for Ross and me.  He is experiencing a great deal of back pain.  I have plantar fasciitis. Heel pain.
I have had to cut out my daily 3-mile walk.  It's incredible how much I appreciate simply being able to walk, now that it is difficult to do so.   I see my neighbors walking by and I am hopeful that I will soon be able to walk along with them.
For the past 10 years, Ross and I would graciously accommodate our family's other commitments by having everyone over the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  And since we knew that they would probably be sick of turkey by then, we would make lasagna instead.  Ross and I would usually spend Thanksgiving Day, just the two of us.
However, circumstances have made it possible for us to be able to host Thanksgiving this year on the actual day.
It's nice that we are going to be able to get to do that this time.
A couple of weeks ago we ordered our fresh turkey from the local butcher.  But, just around that time, Ross' back went out. And, since I am still hobbling around with my foot, I began stressing out about whether we were going to be able to physically get everything done.
Since we are not getting around as easily as we usually do, I worried that we would not be able to cook a complete Thanksgiving day meal, with the turkey and all of the trimmings.   Just shopping for everything we needed seemed overwhelming and perhaps impossible.
Last week we were out to lunch at a favorite diner, The Vincetown Diner.  As they advertise on their website, "We're not your average diner".  They use all locally  grown ingredients to prepare their meals. The food is always delicious.
When I opened the menu, I discovered a flyer inside.
           "Give mom a rest this year.  Let us do the cooking"
I looked over the offering.  Their Thanksgiving menu listed everything we would normally serve right down to the pumpkin pie.  The price was quite reasonable.
 We spoke to the manager  of the restaurant.  He assured us that there would be plenty of food.  He said he does it every year and that the meal is excellent.
So, we decided it was the perfect solution.
Although I am hoping that our meal will indeed be everything Mr. Manager claims it will be, the best part for us is that we will be spending the day with all of our favorite people.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Be sure to check back on Friday to see how it all turned out.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

When I Knit For You

When I Knit For You
When I knit for you, I  meander the aisles, caressing and squeezing each and every bundle.  I carefully select the perfect one and press it lightly against my cheek, ensuring that it will be soft enough for yours.
 I see all of your colors, from the scarlet of passion, and the periwinkle of abandonment to the ocean of calm and the fog of sadness.
I explore the knit-osphere, seeking lace and cables, stockinette and ribs.
I untangle and wind, then plot and chart and track and count.
I settle in and settle down in my easiest of chairs, my legs tucked up and under.
I cast out old worries,  hypnotized by the rhythm of clicking sticks.
I drop one and miss two. I curse and snarl, tink and rip out before I stubbornly  begin all over again.
I fondly remember our time.  I think of you when you were young and when you are now and hope for your tomorrows.  I wonder if you will remember me.
I soak my pride.   I fuss and straighten, pinning my hopes of perfection.
I unabashedly stand back and admire my craftiness.
When I knit for you, fluffy thoughts of your being feather the nest of my daydreams.   I imagine you smiling, wrapped in loving warmth.