November 25, 2011
A few years ago, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my family, mostly as a joke. I said I would do it, but it would be pasta, because that was all I could cook.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve been on a concerted mission to learn how to cook for real. I realized it would take practice and experimenting, so almost every week, I’ve invited friends over and made something new, before watching Castle. I’ve made lots of different things, just trying to learn technique and what happens to food when you do different things. I’ve been paying more attention to what I like and what I don’t like.
This year, I offered to cook Thanksgiving, and I saw it as kind of a graduate project — what have I learned, and could I do a real, traditional meal? The answer is yes. I decided to roast a chicken rather than a turkey since there were only five of us eating. But if you’d told me a few years ago I’d be cooking a whole bird of any kind, I’d have scoffed. But here it is:
It turned out very well if I do say so myself. Dealing with a whole raw chicken was kind of weird, like I expected it to get up and sing “Sledgehammer” at any minute. I didn’t do stuffing or casserole or anything like that, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of them, and if you can’t decide the menu when you’re cooking, what’s the point? But you know what I am a fan of? Jellied cranberries. I can’t explain it, it just is.
Anyway, I think I need to officially stop claiming I can’t cook. I may even do a chicken again some time.