Thanksgiving 2014 Recap – Insanity & Seabass

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The Gang's All Here!

The Gang’s All Here!

Whoa!  Thanksgiving 2014 had a trifecta of craziness.

First, my brother Kal took a few of the nephews in his old Land Rover to see the snow and to cross the river by his house.  Ahem, his truck almost overturned and it took a lot of finagling and machismo and human power to get the truck out of dodge.  In the process, a newer Ford pickup truck got stuck as well.  Lesson learned, don’t drive a truck through a river.

The Land Rover & The River

The Land Rover & The River

Next, the power went out the morning most of us planned our returnto Seattle, back to our homes or to the airport.  Laundry was undone, cleaning had to be left, poor Kal had to come back to the cabin a few days later to do the lion’s share of work.  Mind you, there had been 20 of us who lived and ate and played together from Wednesday night until Saturday in his home…  I only wish every family had a dentist/brother/uncle/great uncle/husband/brother-in-law half as wonderful as my little (age 60) brother Kal.  Oh, and most out of towners arrive a day prior to our family gathering just to have Kal clean their teeth.  This guy is something else.

Finally, there was a big Seattle Seahawks football game at 5 pm on Thanksgiving day.  Not a problem for us since we ate our huge Thanksgiving meal at 3 pm.  Those that wanted to watch the game departed for our motel a few miles away and crammed into a tiny room to watch football.   Since turkey soup making commenced immediately after the turkey carving by 8 pm we ate the soup (with gusto) and ended with apple pies and special cookies that Kay made earlier in the week.  You might want to try our method of serving the huge meal mid-afternoon and ending with soup late at night.

We tweaked the menus this year, as always.  Family requests were granted.  Less variation of food, more mashed potatoes, different (three!) types of cranberries, more black bottom pie. And as always, sister Kay (Kal’s twin) kept meticulous notes for next year’s shopping list.

This year the two youngest grandkids, Yael and Asher, were three years old.  They played non-stop, talked to each other the entire time ; both were delighted to find another small human as a friend.   All four grandkids slept on blow-up air mattresses together  The rest of the cousins and my siblings played bananagram, put together puzzles, read, knit (I made Kay two pair of fingerless stripy gloves, knitting goddess that I am.  She made me mittens.)

Daniel became our official photographer for family photos and sent us all a beautiful album of our weekend.  Can’t wait for 2015!

Full Stomachs - But Not Too Full for Turkey Soup

Full Stomachs – But Not Too Full for Turkey Soup

I am in charge of turkey soup and make all the food for our family Friday night Sabbath dinner.  The menu is usually “clean” healthful food and always includes some type of fish.  I prepared glazed Sea Bass, sauteed asparagus, mac and cheese with butternut squash folded into the mix, my pomegranate salad, cranberry applesauce and black bottom pie for dessert.  Oh yea. Our family literally inhaled the food and so little was left from my dinner, it was embarrassing.

I always listen to my fishmonger Kenny for fish recommendations.   In 2014 he cut me thick  Sea Bass fillets that I picked up Thursday morning.  Twenty pounds for 16 adults and four kids under the age of six disappeared.  The best part of all is that the fish was made, start to finish, in 30 minutes.  We baked the fillets in two disposable metal pans that went into the recycle bin after dinner.

Jake made the fish glaze under the watchful eye of Brother Tim.  He fashioned the topping with ingredients suggested by Mark Bittman, and cooked it so perfectly it melted in our mouths.  I’m thinking I might have to repeat fish preparation next year.

Sea Bass with Miso Glaze



Ingredients (for ten pounds of fillets)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup white organic miso
  • ½ cup mirin or white wine
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground white pepper if desired (I desired)
  • Juice of one large lemon or more (Tim’s major suggestion, a good one)
  • 1 bunch chopped parsley or cilantro to garnish
  • 1 additional lemon, sliced into thin circles to garnish
  • 12 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters

Whisk the pepper, sugar, miso and mirin in a small saucepan and and let it simmer over low heat for two minutes, stirring often. Add lemon juice. The glaze will not be thick.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Dry off the fillets with a paper towel and place them in a full sized  oiled foil disposable pan.  Brush the sauce over the top of the fillets and place into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes per inch of fish thickness.  This took us 22 minutes, but check a little before you think it will be done as it continues to cook a bit out of the oven.

Let the finished fish rest for 10 minutes.  Brush any accumulated glaze on top of the fish, sprinkle with fresh parsley and use some lemon and sliced tomato to garnish the platter.  Eat and enjoy.

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