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Thanksgiving and post-Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving came off very well. The menu for the big meal, which we have in the middle of the day, was just as planned, and followed in the evening by turkey and rice soup that was supposed to be turkey chowder, but I completely forgot to add the milk at the end. Oh, well, it was fine as a non-chowder. I supplemented mine with an angel biscuit and smoked turkey, others did variations on sandwiches with bits of leftovers from earlier meals, and then we all had Pie.

The black bottom pie was definitely the star. It's just a lovely combination--dark chocolate bottom layer, and rum-flavored layer above that, and whipped cream with chocolate shavings to top it off. Comparing to my older brother's version, mine was, I think, a slightly stiffer texture in both layers. The chocolate might be attributed to the chocolate itself--I used 70% Vosges, I think he uses Bakers. The rum layer, I don't know. Might be that I needed to work a little more on folding in the beaten egg whites-- we did notice a little separation in that layer. None of this hurt the flavor, however.

Before supper we walked to the downtown Christmas celebration, where they officially kick off the season by turning on the lights strung to the top of the courthouse, and have a street festival with pony rides, food, and Santa. Many of the stores around the square open for the event, and have special sales as well. (The downtown shopping area basically is the square plus one block in each direction--Moultrie is not a big town.)

We did manage a Thanksgiving morning bike ride or walk, in various groups. The nieces went with me. S-i-l and nephew walked (he doesn't ride a bike yet, and her bike had a flat). My brother, who's been riding regularly, took a long and vigorous ride on his own. I'm sure none of us worked off the calories we then ate in pie, but it made us feel better.

Today I tackled another attempt at Beatrice's chicken pie, which meant starting this morning by cooking a pot full of chicken leg quarters, removing skin, bone, and fat, and cutting up the meat. Then that got put aside for a lunch break--everyone else went to the Chinese buffet, and I stayed home with leftover turkey soup, nursing the head cold I seem to have developed. After lunch we all made a quick trip to visit Beatrice herself. She worked for my family for many years, retired a couple of years ago with knee problems, and suffered a stroke earlier this year. She's recovered some but still has little use of her right hand and some limitations on her walking, so her daughter Dorothy has moved in with her. I took the opportunity to tell Beatrice we were trying the chicken pie for supper, and after we'd gotten back to the house she called with a few more hints.

And the results were good. Not the same as the version baked by Beatrice, of course, but pretty close. My father noted that Beatrice cooks the chicken much longer than I do so that her pie is almost shredded meat, where mine is in small chunks. I like the chunks--but I may have to do it once cooked to shreds just for comparison. Will have to keep working on developing the written recipe, as Beatrice was not a measure-it-out cook.

So, what else have we done? I managed a solo bike ride this morning, just before the rain settled in for the day. We all had another round of Pie in midafternoon. (S-i-l and I actually had the rum part of the black bottom pie covered with ganache--not all the rum had fit in the pie shell, so I put it in a large custard cup. Didn't want to waste it but thought it needed the chocolate to set the flavor off, so a quick ganache was our solution.) And we managed some board games today--Ticket to Ride this afternoon with 5 players (me, s-i-l, nieces, and nephew), and Carcasonne this evening after supper with just me, s-i-l, and nephew, though younger niece watched and kept the score board for us. I baked some chicken for my father's freezer, and will try to do one more dish tomorrow to give him some variety. (Plus we'll leave some leftovers, I'm sure.) My brother has been working on some of my father's list of chores he wanted assistance with.

Tomorrow we'll do a little more of the chores-and-shopping before the Georgia-Georgia Tech football game starts at noon. I'm assuming we'll have lunch in front of the TV, then I plan to hit the road after eating (and will listen to the game as I drive). Brother and s-i-l will watch the game in Moultrie before starting home.

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Fish-Fred
nlbarber
Nancy Barber

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