13 December 2004

speaking of canned foods...

well, since i'm stuck at my desk for the next half hour, waiting for the citizens of oregon to bombard me with virtual reference questions (bring it!), why not take some time to detail this year's thanksgiving. like all midwestern jewish families (at least in my world), mine has been heavily influenced by culinary developments in the mid-twentieth century, better known as The Can. while some of us fancy ourselves rather the gourmets, we still can't help but love a meal that takes less than fifteen minutes to prepare and requires nothing but a can opener, a large casserole dish and a spoon (e.g. the tasty tuna casserole). so thanksgiving, perhaps because of the magnitude of diners and dishes, seems to be the time of year that we celebrate not the fresh fruits and vegetables of the harvest, but the dishes that come from ingredients that have decade-long shelf lives. this years' dinner, served at my cousins' house, included:

sweet potatoes mashed and shaped into small patties, dipped in special k or wheaties, each topped with a single marshmallow and baked until said marshmallow browns. for most of my life, i assumed that i despised sweet potatoes. turns out they're one of my favorite foods -- when not dipped in special k and topped with a marshmallow.

cranberry sauce slid out of the can, served on a bed of lettuce, in whole form, with ridges still showing. pretty much as so:

rainbow jello mold what is, in my very professional opinion, the piece de resistance, this is not your typical horizontal jello mold, but a vertical rainbow mold. this dish is made with blue, green, red, orange and purple jello, and coolwhip, which gives it a creamy, opaque finish. this year, it was festively decorated with sliced kiwis and strawberries, delicately attached to the top of the mold with toothpicks. really, it is something. i honestly can't imagine thanksgiving without it. my cousin used to tell me that she'd give me the recipe when i got married. i am pretty sure that her announcement last year that she'd give me the recipe whenever i wanted it was her way of telling me that she knew about the queer thing. maybe.

green bean casserole in which one boils a few bags of green beans, toasts some sliced almonds and mixes them together with a cup or so of mayonnaise. tasty delicious.

turkey oh yeah, there was that, too. this year we got fancy and offered both regular and smoked turkey. i took some of each.

stuffing possibly made from scratch; very good, especially with gravy.

dessert included a pumpkin pie cheesecake made by a. and yours truly, a pumpkin pie purchased somewhere and an assortment of pastries made by long lost cousin and her son. but the jello. oh the jello!


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