Today is a rerun I know but here’s the reason: all that Seattle weather that made the national news this week really messed us up. On Monday Scott was picking me up after work and he ran into ice all the way down the freeway. He knew he couldn’t make it down the hill to my job, so I started walking. I had a two mile walk to make through the snow, which oddly wasn’t all that cold yet, but it was treacherous first from ice on the sidewalks and then from cars sliding out of control along the road. Up the hill on 148th traffic was at a standstill as cars and a bus struggled to slide up without going backwards. I made it to the Baskin Robbins on 85th where I met up with Scott and we had dinner in hopes of avoiding some of the worst of it. No such luck; by nine 405 had been completely shut down so we crossed 520 to I-5 where we ran into football traffic. The entire night was a scene from a disaster movie. At one point at Northgate it was so slow we decided to try and go for 99. We exited and it was solid black ice. Go slow enough and we were mostly okay, but a block from 99, traffic stopped dead for no reason. Our only choice was stay stuck or turn down the wrong way on a street so we did that. We went around the block, hit 99 and then sat for about 15 minutes, not moving an inch. People were honking, angry people walked along the roads like a death camp. We gave up, turned down the same road we came from and went back to I-5, periodically swerving around cars that had just died for whatever reason in the middle of the road. We made it back to I-5 somehow at the same exit we got off at some 30 minutes earlier. We passed the same bus we were driving next to before we exited to go to 99.That’s how slow it all was moving. Traffic wasn’t moving much at all. People were just abandoning their cars right and left and even the snow plows were stuck in traffic around us. My parents kept calling every 15 minutes and every time they called we hadn’t gotten much further. Traffic didn’t ease up until the Mountlake Terrace exit; by that time most of the semi trucks had stalled out in the middle of the freeway. We got home at one in the morning, and needless to say I did NOT go into work today. My office was closed anyway. So sorry about the pause in the story, consider it weather-related.
My mother heard about my reminder on brining your turkey. My father tells me she dismissed that idea. That’s what’s so fun about blogging, your friends and family are keeping up with you so they can disagree with you remotely. I will say that the food came out with no problems, but 12 hours of effort went into the one meal. Never think it’s easy, but it is worth it. Especially when you feed it to work friends who will go back and brag about your crispy BRINED turkey.
Meals like Thanksgiving are a highlight of my year, something I look forward to making weeks before it gets here. You know I love to cook, but Thanksgiving gives me an excuse to go all out and buy those exotic ingredients it would be too expensive to include everyday. This year the meal will be at my friend Sarah’s house so most of the food will be made tonight. I did my shopping on Tuesday and I think I was there two hours. I got lucky with Fred Meyer and found wholesale hazelnuts. I’ve made Tom Douglas’ mayonnaise over asparagus for three years and every year it comes with blanching a bunch of stubborn hazelnuts, and that’s more work than it sounds like. Another of it’s unusual ingredients is star anise, which costs you eight dollars to get as a seasoning bottle but 60 cents if you get just what you need from the spice bins. Every grocery store should have a spice bin. Then there was Bosch pears, tricky to find at that store but essential to the cranberry-pear relish (so is cardoman, also not common). Sorry, regular pears are too mushy. My menu can sound ambitious but I’ve made everything I’m doing this year at least five times already so I’m confident the results will satisfy despite being in a new kitchen. And my turkey is fresh. I think most of the horror stories I hear about turkeys not cooking right comes from buying frozen turkeys, I think it’s too risky. Will you remember to brine your turkey? Keeping it in cold saltwater overnight will give you a crispier skin when you roast it the next day. Enough food snobbery. Enjoy your holiday.