Monday, December 5, 2011

When Was Thanksgiving?

Oh...right, almost two weeks ago. Can you even believe that? When I was little, I never understood why my mother was so stressed out around the Holdiays (even more so than usual). She would always sigh and say how time went too fast and there weren't enough days in a year, and I would think "How silly! I have all the time in the world, and Christmas just can't come fast enough!" ...Well, here I am at twenty-three and time seems to just be flying past me and spinning me in circles as it does so. A day seems to be over in a matter of hours, and a weekend in even less. If this is how time moves for me now, I can hardly imagine what it was like for my mother having four children and a husband to take care of!

But enough about time, let's get back to the subject at hand: Thanksgiving. I meant to write a Thanksgiving post that weekend, but the days ran away from me. But I've finally received the beautiful photographs via email (which my sister had graciously agreed to take for me), and it's time to talk about some Pumpkin Manicotti with Gorgonzola Creme Sauce (hey, you've got drool on your face).

This year, my cousin Tina (our Thanksgiving hostess) asked me to provide the pre-dinner pasta course (pumpkin ravioli, she stipulated) and the dessert. So, because I didn't end up having time (ha!) to make homemade ravioli dough, I had to improvise...and manicotti seemed to be a nice little semi-homemade (back off, Sandra Lee!) alternative. Unfortunately, silly me didn't write down the steps I took to get to the delicious filling, though it comes very close to my Pumpkin Baked Ziti, the main difference being that I roasted garlic for the filling this time (and I totally recommend you do the same if you take on the this endeavor). 

When my cousin initially asked me to make pumpkin ravioli, I was so excited and couldn't wait to make another savory pumpkin dish; but I had to think long and hard about what type of sauce would top my creation. I wanted to do something different from the classic Sage and Butter sauce, so I searched the web, for some ideas, and found a recipe for a Gorgonzola Creme sauce. (I apologize for my unpreparedness because, although I used the recipe only as an inspiration, I feel I should've given the source some muse-credit).Needless to say, the sauce was a perfect creamy compliment to the manicotti, and the added crunch of crushed walnuts only made it that much better!

Thanksgiving is the super-spectacular kick-off to my favorite time of year (it is preceded by the super-wonderful pre-kick-off to my favorite time of year...I'm referring to the time from October 1st-ish to about the week after New Year's...). The transition from Autumn into Winter is, for me, the best of the best. The most beautiful crisp mornings, the flamed-foliage like fire in the trees, and the food - the food! When someone asks me what meal I'd eat before getting strapped to an electric chair, it's Thanksgiving, every time.

Thanksgiving also happens to be my cousin Tina's favorite holiday, and she definitely knows how to host an amazing dinner party down to the slightest details (her infant son was decked out in turkey gear, while her four year old marched around the house saying "Gobble, gobble!").

 As party favors, Tina decided to get everyone cute, festive slipper-socks. Can you tell we're all related?...we all picked the penguins.

With only a few weeks left in my holiday kick-off, you can probably guess that I'm getting as much of my fill of Christmas music, Holiday movies, and peppermint hot chocolates as I did of my eight-course Thanksgiving extravaganza!

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