I have adjusted to the idea of the holiday season arriving again, so soon. I do not want to take for granted the opportunity to celebrate. No one can tell what lies ahead, so I am going to spend as much time as I can enjoying the occasion. I have begun the holiday food shopping which happens in stages over the coming week. The small stuff first, and work my way up to the featured food of the day. For quick and tasty sides, I will slice up fresh mushrooms and saute them in butter with finely chopped garlic and fresh parsley, boil baby carrots and coat them with butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and make my garlic mashed potatoes.
As for the Turkey; Coating it with a warm butter and oil mixture before placing it into the oven helps keep the moisture in, the meat tender, and the skin nice and crispy. They say that filling the bird with stuffing can be dangerous (I still do it and cross my fingers). My friend Grace solved that problem by preparing the stuffing separately and using a toaster oven to crisp the top of the stuffing so it has a similar texture as when baking in the turkey. This is a recipe for turkey gravy from FoodNetwork.com that uses a tasty combination of ingredients. I tried it last year and it was wonderful.
For dessert, I make flavored coffee with a big dollop of whipped cream on top and serve alongside a fruit tart or Kringle. Personally, I find flavored coffee a perfect addition to the holiday menu.