Worth Eating

I thought I scanned a really old, like 60’s era, Thanksgiving photo earlier this year but I can’t find it so I’m posting a picture from the Orleans post office instead.

So far all the cooking I did in advance is having problems. Except the pumpkin pie which I didn’t really make for dinner today, more like an ongoing snack all weekend. We already cut into it.

Several years ago we were at a party where they served the best chocolate mousse on 9 planets. It was the kind of thing you thought about for days after. The taste, texture and tiny flecks of chocolate. It was a spectacular dessert and I’ve wanted to make it myself ever since.

I used the Cooks Illustrated recipe and it did not go well.

Perhaps I should back up and confess that I was über-multi-tasking yesterday. I had Star Wars IV, special edition on the tube, I made the pie from my own pumpkins (photos sometime this weekend) so I had to process those and make the pie (also crust disaster as per usual) I made the salad, the mousse, our Wednesday night dinner plus I intended to bake some breadsticks which I ended up passing on but I did do step one of the no knead bread recipe.

The mousse was a large pain in the ass and involved melting things in a double boiler, separating eggs and whipping this and that or the other thing into soft peaks and gently folding this into that and everything needs to be smooth. I was also fretting about the not really cooked 2 eggs thing. Is stirring egg yolks into melted chocolate enough? Is the food safety industry overly paranoid and do we not really need to worry as much as they seem to want us to?

By this point dinner was ready and the season finale of Weeds queued up (aside- tiny spoiler: Kevin Nealon, banjo, awesome.) I folded everything as best I could and reminded myself about Julie and Julia and I’m not the first cook to curse at a cooking project that’s not going well. There was no graceful way to get it into the serving cups. My attempt at gentle spooning turned into violent glopping.

Meanwhile, husband and hot food wait at table.

Then I tried to carefully wipe the mess off the rims of the serving cups and it smeared unprettily. At this point I said ferk-it and covered each dish as instructed then threw them in the fridge.

Dinner went fine. We cut the pumpkin pie which was delicious. I finished making the salad without incident and hit the sack without causing harm to myself or anyone else. I worried about the mousse all night and came up with the idea to transfer them into new, clean serving cups.

The mousse transfer is a wonderful idea that totally didn’t work. I only did one cup and it looks like someone dropped it and then scraped it into the dish with a tree branch. I tasted it. Fantastic. I left the rest as they are. Not pretty but taste good, dammit!

Meanwhile, my bread dough came out like bread batter. I’m not sure if I spaced and didn’t put enough flour (probably) or spaced and added too much water. I shaped it the best I could and it’s rising now but I don’t think it’s going to work. I dug out the bread stick recipe from last night because it only needs 45 minutes to rise. Let’s just hope I can turn out decent risotto or we’re going to be eating pizza tonight.

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