Friday, November 28, 2008

Still stuffed

We had three more guests for dinner last night after all. Well, 2 and a quarter.

Note to self: fire up cookstove and cook pies the day before Thanksgiving.

The cleaning of the stove went well enough in the morning. I scraped the sheet rust and then wire-brushed the interior. Then I scrubbed it out with balled up newspaper. That oven has never been cleaner! LOL.

The trouble was getting it going. I remembered why I tore it out of the kitchen in the first place. The stove can be beastly cranky to light, depending on atmospheric pressure and temperature. Today was no exception.

Smoke poured from every crack and crevice for an hour. The oven temp wouldn't budge past 100. I threw the bread in to toast for stuffing and checked a couple minutes later. The pieces by the firebox were black-the rest were perfect. (anyone who has run a woodcookstove will be nodding in sympathy at both those last complaints)

The Pumpkin pie was waiting to be cooked before the turkey. I can't fit both in the oven at the same time, and of course the pie wouldn't fit in the toaster oven.

Willow helped make the crust from scratch-we used butter instead of shortening. The Firebird opened the can of Libby's pumpkin pie mix and cracked the eggs. I opened the can of milk. LOL. So, it was semi-scratch.

An hour and a half later the stove had finally dried out and seemed to be getting hotter. 2ooF. I poured the filling into the waiting pie shell and put the pie in. I checked 10 minutes later and the crust on the firebox side was black. Damn! LOL

I turned the pie and made a shield out of another pie plate and a broiler pan. Set up chairs, a tarp to cover the muddy ground, and brought the radio out with the extension cord. Alice's Restaurant was cranking at noon-I still giggle at some parts of that song. I don't think the saplings got it.

Well, two or three hours later the pie was FINALLY done. I never thought that thing would cook. While we were waiting, Willow diligently cubed the not- burnt toast for the stuffing, and I carmelized the onions, etc and mixed the stuffing and set it to the side of the stovetop awaiting the bird going in, giving an occasional stir.

I put hot stuffing in the bird right before I toss it in. Cold stuffing takes too long to heat throroughly, and I figure hot stuffing just as the bird goes in a hot oven helps the cooking. (not a good idea to hot stuff and bird and let it sit around a couple hours, though)

The bird was just- thawed even after sitting in a brine overnight, so resting in the sink for a little while just allowed the remaining ice crystals to melt.

Than I made a graham cracker crust for the choc pie, and Willow stirred the milk for the filling. That is one thing that is great about a woodcookstove. The whole top is hot to varying degrees. Willow had no trouble standing there stirring the milk.

The weather did cooperate-I found myself wishing on several occasions that the light breeze would stop and it was a bit warmer. The temp hung at 42F all afternoon. I was pretty bundled up. The saplings and Peko stayed outside most of the midafternoon. The Firebird was bored, so I had him walk the fenceline checking for branches.

Finally the pumpkin pie was done, and the turkey went in. That was about 2:30 or 3. I was planning on eating then . No worries except the saplings refused most offers of lunch, but had some fresh squeezed orange juice and two large bowls of chocolate pudding that didn't fit in the pie shell, Preceded by graham crackers and

Word came that we would be having company later. Still the turkey cooked.

The sweet pototoes and carrots were cooked early enough, but the potatoes took forever. Good thing, or I would have pulled the turkey too soon! LOL

Company showed up, and despite one having had two Thanksgiving dinners, and the other having had one , they both loaded up plates and we all feasted til we couldn't move.

The quarter loved the food, and was especially furious when his mother would only give him a taste of pumpkin pie. LOL.

Peko obviously knew what Thanksgiving was. He leapt for joy when he saw the turkey finally going in the oven . Then he lay patiently by his dish on his best behavior while we all feasted. His previous training was obviously showing there. LOL. No begging on a holiday.

I feel asleep on the couch at 10 and woke up at 2 and can't get back to sleep. The roosters won't shut up. Plus the house stove had gone out. If I had gone straight to bed I probably could have fallen back asleep, but loading the stove and brushing my teeth woke me up. Oh well, no worries. :)

Easy day tomorrow-I don't do black Friday.

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