Monday, December 3, 2007

“A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine, except that on a day without sunshine you can still get drunk” - Lee Entriken

So, that about sums up my mood. Crappy. Ready for a glass of wine. Or, better yet, a double martini.

I was tagged on Myspace and had to write a blog that named 10 weird things about myself. Coming up with 10 is not so hard. I could come up with more if I really needed to. The hard part is sharing those weird idiosyncrasies that you know you have but hope no one else notices.

Anyway, #2 on my list is my annual holiday funk. It starts the day before Thanksgiving and runs all the way through Christmas. I wake up the day after Christmas and my depression and vile mood is miraculously gone. I've been this way since I was a kid.

So, for now, I am in the middle of it. I'm pissy. I'm bitchy. I don't like anything. Everything and everyone makes me mad. No one measures up. I don't take a lot of pleasure in much of anything. Try as I might to smile and be happy, I'm just not. And, that pisses me off, too.

So now to Thanksgiving. I mentioned in an earlier post that we were having Thanksgiving dinner at Tom's sister's house.

Christina did a great job for someone who really doesn't like to do such things. She roasted the turkey early that morning, pre-sliced it, to warm later for dinner. She made a very tasty dressing with dried cranberries and apples. She ventured a new recipe for sweet potatoes; whipped up homemade yeast rolls and made mashed potatoes and gravy from scratch... not a box or a can. She served a lovely green salad with sliced strawberries and a raspberry vinaigrette.

It turned out very nice. I actually enjoyed myself, even through my depression. We laughed and ate and had a good time.

We started the afternoon with appetizers. Christina made a fresh Cranberry Chutney poured over a block of cream cheese and a Spiced Pumpkin Dip. Although I don't particularly care for sweet dips to start a meal, I did like the Pumpkin Dip. I will get the recipe from Christina and share it with you. I added two of my own appetizers. A Chicken Sate (grilled chicken skewers, marinated and served with a Thai Peanut Sauce) and Hot Artichoke & Crab Spread.

Thanksgiving dessert was also my contribution. I made a Chocolate and Pumpkin Flan Cake.

Chicken Sate

The original recipe is from a cookbook I've had for years (since about 1980). It is an HPBook entitled "Appetizers" by Mable Hoffman. I have revised it to suit my tastes. The original recipe called for a tomato, which I do not use.

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes
1 to 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12 to 16 bamboo skewers

In a saucepan, heat oil and garlic. Stir in peanut butter, broth and red pepper flakes. Simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

Cut chicken into 3/4 inch to 1 inch pieces. Thread 3 to 4 pieces on each skewer. Lay the skewers flat in a baking dish. Pour half of the peanut butter marinade over the skewered chicken and cover and refrigerate at least 5 to 6 hours (better if left overnight).

Preheat. Place oven shelf 3 to 4 inches from heating element. Broil until done. You can also grill on a barbecue.

While cooking the chicken, simmer remaining marinade/sauce until slightly thickened. Serve with chicken as a dipping sauce.

Note: I removed the chicken from the skewers and served the individual chicken pieces with toothpicks and the dipping sauce. It makes the chicken go just a little bit further.

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