For the third year in a row, my friend Eve invited me to spend Thanksgiving with her family in Hillsdale, New York, since I've found myself family-less around the holidays the past few years.
This year, the timing was perfect with no work, no apartment, and two months of basically no cooking. For weeks, I've been looking forward to a big day of cooking in a spacious country kitchen with a fridge full of ingredients. For a chef just back from sabbatical, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the greatest day of the year.
Eve was driving back from her med school in Maine, so her mom, Pat, and I got a jump on food prep for the big feast. When I am in someone else's kitchen, I take on the role of sous-chef. It's so much easier than assuming responsibility when you don't know where things are or the idiosyncrasies of the appliances. I've run into enough snafus lately from forging ahead on overly ambitious dishes in under equipped kitchens- it's like trying to strategize for battle on foreign terrain.
So I kept it simple today with peeling vegetables and prepping stuffing at a leisurely pace. The cranberry sauce is done, the pies are in the oven, and the stuffing is ready for the turkey, as am I.