Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Successes

Ickie and I enjoyed our second Thanksgiving of non-travel this year. I brined the turkey overnight using this recipe, with a few adjustments. I couldn't find allspice berries, so I just threw in a bit of mulling spices in the brine; I didn't wake up in the middle of the night to flip the bird over; I warmed the aromatics on the stove top instead of microwave (because we don't have one); prior to cooking I placed a few sage leaves and rosemary sprigs under the skin of the breast to look pretty; and I cooked it in an oven bag at 325 degrees until done.

I got our bird for free using our grocery store's "turkey points" and acquired it when I thought we might be having some guests, and earlier this week I felt like a gluttonous American to roast a whole 12-pound turkey for two people. However, after we tasted it, our misgivings flew out the window. It's perhaps the juiciest turkey we've ever had. What we don't eat, I'll freeze for soup.

Speaking of soup, our friend EW had us for dinner last weekend and among other things made this comforting Sweet Potato Soup recipe. We enjoyed it so much I made it myself a few days later. It's quite savory and the sweet potato flavor is not overwhelming; it tastes rather more like leek and potato soup with something a bit different thrown in. It was cold and rainy leading up to Thanksgiving, so soup was fitting.

This morning we decorated our tree, and last night we went downtown for the tree lighting ceremony. It was clear but gusty and in the upper 20s, and there were free horse-drawn carriage rides throughout the old port. We arrived bundled up at the square and realized they were not actually lighting the tree for 45 minutes but instead drawing the event out with mayoral speeches of dullness, impossible-to-see freezing ballerinas, and a beastly Jimmy Buffet sound-alike, so we went into Henry the VIII's for roast beef sandwiches while the benighted masses froze outside. After the crowd broke apart, we admired the lit tree towering in the square and then walked to the theater and watched Lars and the Real Girl, a quirky, quiet, tender movie that moves yet doesn't insult its audience, and in the end it made me feel very good.


Phil K. said...

Sounds like ya'll are living in some version of Stars Hollow, the fictional town where the Gilmore Girls lived.

"...drawing the event out with mayoral speeches of dullness, impossible-to-see freezing ballerinas, and a beastly Jimmy Buffet sound-alike, so we went into Henry the VIII's for roast beef sandwiches while the benighted masses froze outside."

Watoosa said...

I hope that I am less annoying that the Gilmore mom, but otherwise, yes, I know what you mean, and yes, there are some similarities. Was that show set in New England? It seems like it.

Jenny said...

Hey there toos, I just remembered that one of my favorite bloggers: soulemama, resides in Portland. She has a pretty cool site:, and has great photos of Maine in her blog.

Sounds like you had a good, but freezing time. I agree with Phil; it does sound like you are in some fictitious town. That's what I've always thought about towns in Maine though. I have never been, but it hasn't disappointed yet!

Phil K. said...

Stars Hollow, Connecticut. so, yes, NE.

spgleit said...


Sorry for the delay in responding to your post. I like your neighborhood posts because I think we live in the same general area of Portland - off the peninsula near Evergreen Cemetery. We also enjoy the more rural nature of Stevens Ave. and with the schools and churches there is a real New England feel to it. So please, more neighborhood life posts.

Watoosa said...

Hi spgleit,
Do you have a blog I can visit? I'd like to know more about you since we're in the same general area.

spgleit said...


I do not have a blog. I am happy to read blogs about Portland because my wife and I are in Portland only part-time. The various blogs are a good way to keep up with Portland. We are transitioning out of NYC having bought a house a year ago with plans to move up full time in the Fall of 2009. Our house is on Stevens Ave. north of UNE. We spent the last year restoring the house to its 19th century roots - it was built in 1805.

I found your blog and the Monocle blog through the Google Blog Search engine and I enjoy the posts very much especially this particular entry describing our neighborhood as having the characteristics of a quintessential New England town. That is exactly how I feel about the Deering/Woodfords/Morrills Corner section of Portland. Yet with urban amenities only 15 minutes away Portland has a rare combination that makes it special.

One of the other blogs I follow is New2Maine and my wife and I had the opportunity to meet the blogger and his wife a while back. I really like his posts about life in Portland. I also enjoy the many food/restaurant blogs covering Portland. Have you had the opportunity to eat at Rachel's at the end of Woodfords?

Well, thanks for taking the time to respond and all the best in this Holiday season.