Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving with the fam

OK, so ever since my parents moved our family away from New Jersey, it's always just been the four of us at Thanksgiving -- not very exciting.

But since I now live in Washington, a (usually) 4-hr drive up the coast back to NJ, I came up here for Thanksgiving and had the big holiday with my mom's family for the first time in, probably 15 or so years.

Last night we did a bunch of the prep work, made my aunt's soup, and started a bunch of the side dishes. Lots of fun, but I also learned that I am allergic to potato peels (I usually only make the skin-on red potatoes) -- as my palms swelled up to double their size, itched, burned and were bright red after we peeled the 10 lbs!!

Butternut squash soup

Sweet potatoes (SOOOOO good)

Brussels sprouts (same recipe as from intern thanksgiving!) - these were a HUGE hit with my family. I was really surprised!

Today there was a lot less to do, so I made some quick rolls - VERY easy recipe (see below), which were also a big hit

I also got put in charge of the mashed potatoes... and got to play with my aunt's Kitchen aid!! :-)

MMMM so many potatoes!

Thanksgiving feast.

In short, everything was DELICIOUS, and I had a blast with my family.
OK, here's the recipe for the rolls:

In a bowl, mix 1 package rapid action yeast, 2 TBS sugar, 1 c milk mixed with 1 c water heated to luke warm (about 120 degrees -- not too hot, do not kill yeast). Mix well, set aside in a warm place for 8-10 mins until foam appears.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together 5 c. flour (you can use whatever kind you like, I used good old All Purpose White), a tsp of salt, and a tsp season salt (if you like). Make a well, and pour the warm yeast mixture in. If the yeast doesn't foam, it's dead or you killed it. Start this step over.

Mix together until a shaggy dough starts to form. Drizzle up to 4 TBS olive oil into the mix, until all flour is combined. Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead for 10 mins. Return to well oiled bowl and over with damp tea towel.

Allow to proof for up to an hour (longer, if you are using slow yeast, or in a cold kitchen). Dough should be roughly double in size. Punch down (exactly what it sounds like), knead again briefly, then pull small sections (roughly the size of a golfball, I guess), and form a smooth, rectangle or finger shape (try to have as few seams as possible).

Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. 

Bake 12-15 mins at 350 degrees

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