I made perfect hard boiled eggs the other night.
For those of you who do not know me well, know this: making hard boiled eggs is a challenge for me. I do not do well when I cook something and the only instructions are “1) Put the something in a pan. 2) Add water to the pan. 3) Put on stove. 4) Cook until done.”
I cannot cook foods boiled eggs or rice for several reasons. I get impatient and I peek and poke and prod and stir. I get distracted and let things boil dry. I fail to add enough water. I add too much water. I add unnecessary ingredients.
I’m a lot better at “no cook” recipes and desserts, especially anything baked. Which is weird as it seems to be the reverse for others – they can make staples but are intimidated by baking.
But last night, I did it. I paid attention. I sat back and waited for the boil. I set a timer when I turned off the heat and remembered to use a lid. And my eggs came out perfectly set. I feel like I am the first person in history to perfect the process. (Not even remotely, thanks Martha.)
I’m learning attentiveness and patience. That’s my goal for the new year.
That and to learn to make rice without a rice cooker.
I am so far from perfect… and it’s okay. I am Ruth-at-this-moment. Perfected.
So tell me, what did you perfect this week? What will you perfect in the new year?
We’re keeping this Thanksgiving celebration low-key. My mother will be in town from Wednesday afternoon until Friday morning so with her, I’m feeding a grand total of 3 adults. I’ve worried over and over about what we should prepare for our meal. Here’s what I’ve designed:
Turkey-free Thanksgiving Dinner
- Pork Chops, seared then cooked in the slow-cooker with apples, brown sugar, peppercorns, spices.
- Corn bread, possibly with cranberries stirred in. I like Jiffy Corn Muffin mix for this; you should too.
- Fresh “classic” cranberry sauce. That’s right: just sugar, water and cranberries.
- Green bean casserole with frozen beans, bacon, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, generic condensed mushroom soup and the ever present fried onions in a can.
- Roasted and whipped sweet potatoes – my secret is ground ginger and nutmeg with the basic honey, butter, milk/cream, salt and pepper.
- Cranberry-Pomegranate Terrine (basically a gelatin mold with nuts and fruit) modified from this recipe on foodnetwork.com. I believe this is supposed to be more of a side dish but I’m going to go a bit sweeter and play a bit loose with the ingredients and make it a dessert.
My husband was a little disappointed hearing that we were not going with a “traditional” Turkey dinner like the ones he’s had “all his life” (and we prepared Thanksgiving ’07). Okay, to be perfectly honest, he was shocked and appalled when I broke it to him over lunch yesterday. I thought I had told him beforehand… Luckily, we went to a dinner party last night to have a turkey dinner amongst friends – the hostess even set out supplies to make “apple turkeys” and feather headbands. It was fun and he got his fix: crisis avoided. My lesson from this: include him more in meal decisions for celebrations like this so that he is not surprised or hurt.
Do you always have the “classic” turkey-dressing-cranberry sauce-veggies-rolls dinner? Do you have your own traditional menu that you follow everytime or do you make something different every Thanksgiving?