Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Day Before ThanksGiving

Could this month possibly have gone any faster?

Everyone is headed down the wire toward that feast that is ThanksGiving, and we are among them.  Kevin is - even as we type - prepping two Holiday Birds, one for us and one for a customer.  We won't be open tomorrow for business; instead we'll be hosting a small gathering of family and friends, as is our tradition over the years.  There are always additions and subtractions, but we never fail to raise a glass to those who have left us and welcome those who spend the day with us at our table on ThanksGiving.  Or around the fire, as is generally the case!

No prix-fixe tonight, but a few photos from the week to share.

We are most excited to finally find a source for locally raised lamb.  From Shore Nuff Farm near Centreville, Sveinn Storm brought us a small example of his work.  

Mr. Storm and his family raise grass fed beef and lamb on their Queen Anne's County farm.  (You may recognize the name if you've ever been to the Annapolis waterfront and stopped into Storm Brothers Ice Cream on the harbor.)  Kevin was very pleased with the meat from this animal, which included the kidneys and liver - that's what is in the box Kevin is holding!  The liver was just phenomenal!

We anticipate and look forward to doing lots of business with Shore Nuff Farm in the future!

This is the leg of lamb skewer we served Saturday night, from Shore Nuff lamb.  Kevin could not be happier with this source for local lamb, and particularly whole animals raised by someone who really cares what they are doing, so much so that they only use certain processors to butcher their animals, traveling the distance if that is what it takes.  That is Sveinn Storm.  

Two pecan pies went out yesterday for someones ThanksGiving dinner tomorrow.

Also in the bake shop, fruitcake is stirring.  In the above photo, possibly a screen saver for your desktop, is the dried fruit for this "Free Range Fruitcake" recipe that has become my favorite.  Obviously you can use what ever dried fruit you like - in my case it is apricots and currants, golden raisins and pineapple, cherries and cranberries, plus lemon and orange zests.  I get the dried fruits from Nuts.Com which I find to be consistently the best quality dried fruit and nuts available, with that added online convenience that we can't beat in this day and age. 

I'm doing it in the two-step process this year - getting the fruit part done today and making the cake batter to finish on Friday.  Should be ready to eat by Christmas week!

Meanwhile, more pressing matters at hand - the ThanksGiving Turkey!

While our  T.A. Farm bird swims in its brine in the walk-in, the giblets get a hot bath on the stove top.

You can be sure there will be more pictures as this process moves along today - and we know it will be finished today, because one is going out this afternoon!  Kevin is apparently the only BT cook who is actually cooking on ThanksGiving this year - my survey landed me with mostly "nothing" when I queried the kitchen staff about their duties tomorrow.  Sounds like a lot of football and couch surfing to me.  Kevin should be so lucky, eh?

He's making the aforementioned turketta.  I'm making the cranberry sauce.  And maybe dinner rolls, since there will be no Orrell's Beat Biscuits - first in my memory to be without them on the TG table. 

But, in reality, ThanksGiving seems to bring Christmas and all that it entails, especially food! and especially when it is as late as it is this year, giving us just three weeks or so to have the Christmas Traditions all lined up.  We're starting now to get ready:

Christmas prime ribs are tied up with string - ordered early to beat the (price hike) rush, and to insure that we get one from Roseda.  They'll wait in the freezer until Christmas Eve, patiently biding their time to shine on three Christmas Tables.

And, of course, the Radcliffe Mill tree is up in the lobby, looking a little like it has already been hitting the eggnog in this photo!

The holiday season is fast upon us, and we look forward to sharing food and thoughts with all of you. Meanwhile, here's hoping you can take a moment tomorrow to appreciate life in this beautiful county of ours, with the geese overhead and the leaves underfoot, and that you have much to be thankful for as you sit around what ever table you find yourself.  


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