I know we are just about upon Christmas but these pictures got lost in the shuffle. This year we had turkey day at my aunt’s house who lives down the road. She asked if I wanted to do the turkey but between wrangling a new 4 month old and a deep seated fear that I would make a turkey that would deflate like a tire being stabbed with an ice pick, (ala Christmas Story) I respectfully declined.
I did agree to make a couple of things for appetizers. I made some Turkey Empanadas with a nutmeg cranberry sauce and Prosciutto wrapped grilled shrimp. As you can see from the pictures above, its pretty easy and you cannot go wrong when you wrap pork products around anything, unless of course you are hosting a Bar Mitzvah or a muslim prayer session at your house.
With all of the appetizers, we ran the possibility getting full before dinner, but my family is plenty greedy and no one was about to let that happen. My aunt made some shrimp over stuffing, my cousin made bacon-wrapped cheese filled grilled jalapeño poppers and behind that is my shrimp followed by the cranberry sauce and empanadas. My sister made some tasty deviled eggs but showed up later and didn’t make the picture. The wife and mom held down the sweets with a chocolate chess pie and a monster sized cake (unfortunatly I did not take a good picture of either).
If you grew up in the south or were raised up north by someone from the south (like me) the two pictures above are a welcome and familiar sights that may remind you of holidays or Sundays. Collards greens with okra (note the nice ham hock on the right), stewed vegetables and beans with cornbread up top.
And above were the show stoppers, my Aunt Ruth’s Mac and Cheese and a Honey Baked Ham. I don’t care if its my mother or any of her sisters, when they put their hands on a mac and cheese it always comes out exactly as the food gods must have intended it. It was cheesy, creamy and full of flavor without trying too hard (which is usually my mistake feeling the need to pack mine with all types of extras). You can get an idea of how good that ham was by just looking at it…just look at it and take in its glory.
This Thanksgiving my nephews and I started a new tradition of trying to out-do Cliff Huxtable in the sweater department. My nephew C.J. (in the middle) clearly took the prize. Its not easy to compete with a sweater that has people working on their golf game at the country club on it. I clearly need to step my sweater game up.