Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Sample of Thanksgiving Cooking

Maybe it's a brag, maybe it's just me wanting to share what a slow day of Thanksgiving Feast Cooking is like. (For a Baking Day, imagine roasting, then peeling, then pureeing, then turning 20 lbs of sweet potatoes into 14 pies and a catering tray of candied sweet potatoes.)

From Facebook posts today:

First post, "Grocery store run has been done. First cup of coffee and breakfast, almost done. Now I've got to get off my bum to make and bake the vanilla cake for the last chocolate mousse cake. Then it's time to bring out the giant stock pot, chop a ton of vegetables, & start making the chicken stock.

Next, "Mr. Gooble Wobble-Me-Up is in the oven and the giant pot of chicken stock is cooking on the stove top. Vanilla chocolate mousse cake was made and delivered to the theatre's freezer. Turkey #2 got transferred from the freezer to the fridge for defrosting. Hope to get 4-6 batches of Kiran's Crazy Cookies dough made tonight & put in fridge to chill.

Even with the air conditioners running full blast, the house is hot as hell. Damn oven, turkeys that take hours to roast, and stock that takes hours of simmering on the stove top. :-(

A friend asks, "Do you have time in between all that to take a deep breath???? LOL"

I reply, "
T., considering I'm answering your reply 44 minutes after you wrote it...'no.' LOL! 3 batches of cookie dough have been colored (orange, red, blue, green, yellow, purple, & original/dough,) the 25 lb bag of sugar taken out of car and poured into the *finally arrived* food grade bucket, discovered that I'm going to need to pick up another 25 lbs. pounds after the cookies LOL!, this week's shopping lists made, turkey's been basted, yelled at Faberware timer for yet again not working, husband came home & has been shown what's to eat & what needs doing tonight (very basic husband-only things,) put a bottle of hard cider in the fridge to chill for me, stock has been stirred, and more water filtered for said stock. And the night's not over yet."

Until next time, I remain the overheated,


Busy couple of weeks

This will be brief...maybe. Unfortunately, there won't be pictures. Husband bought us a new camera, but he hasn't downloaded the pictures from it yet. (Currently we only have a cable for it, not a memory card.) I'm too busy to learn how.

Our last couple of weeks in brief:

Halloween: Went pumpkin picking at a local farm, visited Daddy's 2nd work and only a couple of houses including the amazing "Halloween House" down the street. They expect us every year and always have a special treat for Kiran. He didn't mind not trick-or-treating much because the costume is so hard to breathe and see in and he's not in it for the candy. He just likes showing off. :-P

Had AWESOME AWESOME time at Ubercon. Made lots of new friends, the staff absolutely adored Kiran, and his costume was a huge successes. Kiran described the con as Heaven. :-) I got to play the only video game I really loved, Qix, thanks to one of the staff who had built an arcade like set up and had a ton of old games, including Frogger. Very cool!

Homeschool Bake/Craft Sale went very well. We were swamped the minute we started setting up. LOL! Nearly all the bread was sold and folks asked us to bring more next week. Other big sellers for us: Kiran's Crazy Cookies, cupcake-sized pumpkin, apple, apple crumb, sweet potato pies, and whole pies of the same.

Local homeschool friends: We'll be bringing more Kiran's Crazy Cookies ($0.25 each) and both Herb and Multi-Grain bread ($2.00 each) this Thursday. Perfect for Thanksgiving and meals leading up to it!

Thanksgiving Feast 2010: nearly all the shopping is done except for last minute salad ingredients. The desserts are baked and happily sitting in a freezer. Two chickens have been roasted for the stuffing and their bones are sitting in a huge pot turning into stock as I type. The first of two 20 lb. turkeys is currently roasting. It's bones will be turned into stock tomorrow. Three cups of margarine are softening up in the massive mixing bowl waiting to be turned into delicious cookies.

Laundry is somehow being kept up to date despite 1-2 loads of dishes being run every day on top of handwashing others. The living room is a mess, but that's to be expected this time of year. It was cleaned shortly before Halloween, but can't truly be gotten to till after Thanksgiving.

Kiran is happily schooling himself despite this being our "summer break," coming up with more ways to save the world. He's going to be cleaning out the living room wardrobe tonight looking for coats to give the homeless children in NYC that he'd heard about on the news. We both continue to watch a lot of educational programming as is our wont, actively schooling or not. One of Kiran's "save the world" plans includes his theories on the Irish Potato Famine he'd seen a special about the other day. (I swear to you, I taught him this last year, but I guess it took a "repeat" for it to truly sink in.)

And that's it for now. Will try and post pictures and updates when I can.

~CoffeeHeidi, making bread by hand, never machine, and slaving over a 1950's stove 20 hours a day.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I realized today while making up 4 enormous batches of pumpkin pie filling that saying I'm cooking & baking for 110+ and listing all the dishes doesn't mean much until you see the numbers. Most folks, according to my husband, bring only 1 pie to a gathering. To me, that's just not fair. Eight slices for 40-80 people?! How does that add up? So of course, I bring more. Here are the numbers in a, knowing me, rambling order that still won't make complete sense in the end.

...pausing because the oven timer dinged....

I'm back. Here are the numbers with a few explanations. I'm not complaining, just complaining, and feeling very exhausted though the day is still young.

* Apple of Your Eye Tangy Pie: 6 whole, 12 pocket (these alone took 15 lbs of apples to make)
* Sweet as My Mum Apple Crumb Pie: 1 whole, 21 pocket (this few because that's all 5 lbs of apples would make)
* Sweet Potato Doesn't Taste Like Tomato Pie: 14 whole, 24 pocket (they took around 18 lbs of sweet potatoes that had to be roasted, peeled, & pureed to make)
* Perfect as Me Squeal with Glee Pumpkin Pie: 7-10 whole, 12-24 pocket (depends on how many the current batches of batter make. Ideally, I only need 7 whole and 12 pocket)
* Tiny Treacle Tarts: 12+ pocket (however many 1 batch makes)
* Spruce Chocolate Mousse Cakes, all flavors: 5 whole
* Kiran's Super Happy Chocolate Cake: 1 whole which made 8 giant-sized slices
* Sugar-Free to Be Me Diabetic Cake: 1 whole, however many cupcakes 1 batch makes
* Lick Me Up! Pops: 1 batch each of orange & lemon

I Dream in Bed of Homemade Bread
* Aromatic Herb: 2 batches = 8 loaves, will probably add on another 4 loaves
* Macho Multi-grain: 2 batches = 8 loaves
* Wholesome White: 4 batches = 12 loaves + 1 batch's worth of rolls

Main and Side Dishes
* Terrific Turkeys, 18-20 lbs each: 4-5
* Happy Stuffing: 3 batches which will take 2 chickens, homemade stock from those chickens, 6 tubes of sausage meat, turkey drippings, and 2-3 multi-packs of stuffing mix to make
* Mucho Mashed Potatoes: 2 batches using up 2 gallon-sized containers of potato flakes and 2-3 quarts of homemade stock
* Vegan Pink Beans & Rice: 1 very large batch
* Kiran's Confetti Salad: 1 very large batch which is 2nd to only the stuffing in how much time it takes to prepare
* Candied Sweet Potatoes: 1 very large batch
* Crave-able Cranberry Sauce: 2 batches

Pies dinged again and so I must run. The "Sample Ladies" at Sam's Club (Hi, Lisa, Judy, and Lisa's-friend-that-I'm-totally-blanking-for-your-name-on!) are expecting us today. :-D

Till the next time I get a free moment, I remain the burned, bruised, cut, and flour covered,

~CoffeeHeidi, the "C" stands for "crazy" :-P

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Feast 2010 & Homeschool Bake Sale

It's begun. Thanksgiving Feast cooking and baking is in full swing. And being over achievers, Kiran and I are baking and cooking for the small bake & craft sale that will take place during homeschool soccer Thursday after next.

Only, Kiran and I never do anything small. It was his idea six years ago that we should cook Thanksgiving Dinner for the movie theatre staff where Daddy is a manager. That ranges from 60- 80+ people. Then Daddy (my husband of course) loves having "30 Days of Thanksgiving Dinner" lunches so that his coworkers at his first job can wonder what those delicious smells are in the middle of December. That, and I could cheat on him as long as I keep making my stuffing. LOL! Friends get food too, so tack on another 4-10 people. (Husband swears I'm a compulsive feader. :-D )

And this year, there's that small bake & craft fair at soccer. Like last time we participated, Kiran and I can't just bring one or two things. Oh no, we have to go overboard! It's part of our crazy nature. Why do one thing when you can do 20 or 30? What's 4 more sweet potato pies when you're already making 10? What's one more 20 lb. turkey when you're roasting 3 and last year you made 7?

So firstly, let me tell you, and my homeschool friends, what Kiran and I will be over bringing to the bake sale. And please note that we're not making money on this. What we're charging isn't near what it cost to make our goods. We do this because we love to share our love of food, the timing just happened to coincide with Thanksgiving Feast cooking & baking, and as always, because we're crazy. LOL!

Happy Kiran & Crazy Mommy's Delicious Delights

Perfect Pocket Pies: $0.50
Apple of Your Eye Tangy Pie
Sweet as My Mum Apple Crumb Pie
Perfect as Me Squeal with Glee Pumpkin Pie
Sweet Potato Doesn't Taste Like Tomato Pie

Oh My, That's Good Pie!, Whole: $6.00
Apple of Your Eye Tangy Pie
Sweet as My Mum Apple Crumb Pie
Perfect as Me Squeal with Glee Pumpkin Pie
Sweet Potato Doesn't Taste Like Tomato Pie

Tiny Treacle Tarts: $0.50

Silly Happy Slices: $1.25
Kiran's Super Happy Chocolate Cake

Let Me Have More! Pops: $0.25
Lick Your Lips Lemon Pops
Nothing Rhymes with Orange Pops

Sugar-Free To Be Me Cupcakes: $0.50

I Dream in Bed of Homemade Bread: $2.00
Aromatic Herb
Macho Multigrain
Wholesome White

Be Thanksgivingfull Plate: $5.00
Plans for this plate are to include: turkey, stuffing, Swedish meatballs, homemade roll

Veg Out Vegetarian Plate: $5.00
Plans for this plate are to include: vegan pink beans & rice, vegetarian stuffing, candied sweet potatoes without marshmallows, homemade roll.

Right now, because of the enormous amount of desserts and bread that I have to make and the fact that I'll be missing 3 days of baking time due to a gaming convention (Kiran's first,) I can't guarantee that we'll be bringing the Thanksgivingfull and Vegetarian Plates nor the Treacle Tarts. However, they should be available the week following the bake & craft sale.

Now onto the Thanksgiving Feast 2010 that the theatre staff, and my husband, will be getting!

* Terrific Turkey (two 20 pounders roasted & seasoned to juicy perfection)
* Happy Stuffing (it takes 3 days, 1 chicken, homemade stock, and ground sausage to make)
* Mucho Mashed Potatoes (flavored with homemade stock & turkey drippings)
* Vegan Pink Beans & Rice (a Puerto Rican favorite that's surprisingly meat-free)
* Kiran's Confetti Salad (a blend of greens, herbs, and any other aromatic that catches his fancy)
* Swedish Meatballs (simple to make, hard to stop eating)
* Candied Sweet Potatoes (better than your grandmother's)
* Wholesome & Hearty White Homemade Bread
* Chocolate Mousse Cakes: Chocolate Cake w/Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mousse and Vanilla Cake w/White Chocolate Mousse
* Sugar-Free To Be Me Diabetic Cake
* Apple of Your Eye Tangy Pie
* Perfect as Me Squeal with Glee Pumpkin Pie
* Sweet Potato Doesn't Taste Like Tomato Pie
* Crave-able Cranberry Sauce
* Condiments: gravy, whipped cream, butter
* Also supplied: napkins, tablecloths, plates, cutlery, serving wear, decorations, and us bringing the feast in festive homemade fall clothing.

And this is why Kiran and I are over-achievers, insane, and why I never get anything close to decent sleep during the month of November. In fact, I'm a bit behind. Normally I have 90% of my grocery shopping done by now. Kiran's Halloween costume ate into that time.

I'm off to slice up & wrap the Happy Cake and then maybe get some sleep.

Till next time,

~CoffeeHeidi, baker and cook of all things wonderful and delicious at Thanksgiving :-D