Today is Friday, November 24th, and I have things I am grateful for:
Thanksgiving with the Nguyens was a more subdued gathering than usual. There were a few family members absent because they had to work. But oh. my. God. the food was amazing. My caucasian sister-in-law said it best when she said "this is the best western meal I have had in a long time."
We had two turkeys... both brined. One (mine) was brined in leeks and onions and celery and parsley, salt and sugar and tons of peppercorns. The other (sister-in-law's) was brined in a soy sauce brine which left the turkey with a delicious Asian flavor.
But then, the piece de resistance, was a 13 lb. boneless prime rib roast from my brother-in-law's dad. My younger SIL, Chi, salted and peppered it copiously, threw it into a 475 degree oven for 30 minutes and then dropped the temp to 300 for several hours. It was the moistest, tenderest, most flavorful roast beef I have EVER had. We just sat there with plates of beef and eschewed the side orders. It was so tender we could cut it with plastic utensils with no fear of breakage.
Then there were the 'cook-offs'. We had the dueling turkeys, of course, but also a pair of pumpkin cheesecakes going head to head. Mine had a maple syrup and pecan glaze and homemade crust, which I think gave it the edge. Andy, my BIL, had a cream cheese frosting, which was delicious. He also had a higher concentration of pumpkin flavor. My brother made a pair of his famous apple pies in direct competition with two of Emilys. Hers were courtland apples... Jakes were with Granny Smith's, so his was a much tarter pie.
Finally, SIL Trang brought out barbecued pork with rice noodles and dried shrimp. But by then I was so painfully full that I ate nary a bite. It was the only Vietnamese offering of the day.
In the midst of all the food, we had such funny conversations. I had time to chat with my nephew and his girlfriend. I got hugs from the small fry. Me and a bunch of the menfolk watched the last 5 minutes of 'Babe' and I am pretty sure I wasn't the only one with a few tears in my eyes.
So, today, I am thankful for my family, my friends, my cosy home. God.
And high fiber cereal.