We're staying home for Christmas. Just the four of us, nice and cozy. We've decorated a tree and things are very festive and comfortable here and none of us really wants to move out of this zone for Christmas.
So, to complete the homey Christmas memory package, I've decided to cook a big Christmas dinner. A bird of some sort. Punk and I took a look at the poultry section today and I remembered how much I hate preparing whole birds. Blaaaaaah... The case was full of bird carouses with feet and heads and beaks. Excuse me sir, I need my bird to look a little less bird-like, please. Not wanting to show what a chicken I was (badumpbump) I picked a smaller one that was decapitated and claw-less under the guise of our small oven and us being only four. Maybe it is not as fresh as the others but I just couldn't imagine dealing with all those parts. It's bad enough that the thing flaps it's wings all over the place when you're washing it.
Now that we've got the bird, I need to figure out how to cook everything that goes with it. Here. Away from my friendly Safeway. Or Wholefoods (it is a special occasion). I'm used to stuffing it with good ole Stove Top, or in recent years, some yuppie/hippy variety of stuffing that nonetheless still comes in a box. How do you actually make stuffing? Do I use stale bread or toast it? This just smacks of smoke choking up the kitchen.
And cranberry sauce. No Oceanspray here. I hunted down some dried cranberries... maybe I could soak them and use them in the stuffing... hmm. This could be dangerous, I'm using my creativity. I'm thinking of a long grain rice stuffing with some kind of nut (almonds?) and cranberries. This would also circumvent the bread dilemma.
Jeeze! I just remembered! GRAVY! I have always cheated and used cans of gravy or at the very best used those powder packets mixed in with the cooked bird juices. What do you do? I think I saw my grandma once using flour. It's hard to remember as I was mostly just drooling all over the place and dying for dinner to be ready. Are there any spices in there? The powder packet stuff sure didn't look like flour... the must be something else to it.
Here's the part where I start cursing the Kraft Demons for the dependency they've caused.
At least I'll be able to get the mashed potatoes right, but the rest of this feast is in grave danger of coming out really, really bad. I never realized how much I relied on all that packaged crap you can find in the US. I always thought of myself as a sprout chewing health nut. Curse you Kraft! (and you too Nestle)