In lieu of trying to maneuver around each other in our closet of a kitchen, we were given access to to the commercial kitchen of my boyfriend’s restaurant to do our prep. It was not only a lifesaver but a hell of a lot of fun! There’s something dreamy about being in a closed down restaurant on a quiet day. To look more chef-ly, I wore my hair in pigtails and wrapped my head in a bandito-style bandanna (pink of course). A girl’s gotta dress for the occasion!
In the time it took me to chop an onion and celery Derek had prepped the turkey, mashed the potatoes and collared the collards (just go with my alliteration).
There’s something sexy about seeing your partner in their element. My head was spinning at the prospect of completing four dishes with no time restraints but Derek cranks out 50-150 per night and makes them all look pretty. Respect is due.
While waiting for the bird to cook I snapped some photos of the restaurant and got a take out lunch from the new patisserie next door. There was a “muffin” of cheddar grits with sausage gravy inside. I would have taken a photo but it was devoured before I could even think to turn my camera on.
Derek’s restaurant is quaint and unpretentious. It’s homey, warm and, offers straight-forward comfort food. It’s a mom and pop place. Just before we left, the owner brought his four year old son in to make mac and cheese. Johnny the kid wore a buzz light year sweatshirt and squealed with delight as his dad wheeled him around on a rolling cart.
We decided to cook everything a day ahead to alleviate the stress. Derek’s brother is a police officer who has to report for a 24 hour shift at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. His time is precious, and the time we get to spend with his family is even more precious. With everything cooked we’ll be able to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
The Turkey is roasted to perfection.
The collards are mouth watering and layered with bacon and spiced-sausage.
My salted-caramel chocolate pecan pie turned out pretty well I think.
The only drawback to cooking the feast the day before is the fact that my fridge is stocked with food that I can’t touch. The savory aromas are torturous!
I’ll leave you with this parting thought…
Butter makes it better!!!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my stateside friends. If you don’t live in the U.S. I encourage you to indulge in a turkey or ham and cheese croissant. It’s like a little bite of Thanksgiving in your mouth!