There is no photograph today. My brain wasn't together today, so I didn't take any photographs, either of myself or my family. Perhaps in future I will add photographs of the day, if my father or my sister took some... but I guess my head wasn't on properly when I woke up this morning to remember to take pictures. <sigh> I will try to do a better job at Christmas.
Ma informed me a few days ago that we had to get our Thanksgiving meal ready at about 2pm, because my uncle was leaving for the Philippines in the evening. I informed Mike and told him that we should wake up relatively early (by 9) to get the turkey cleaned and in the oven to cook. I got up early (for me on a non-work day) and started organizing the printouts of recipes that I got online from Martha Stewart Online and CNN Food Section. Mike had finished cleaning the turkey and I asked if I could help. He said that I could season it with salt and pepper and stick bay leaves under its skin to flavor it. The turkey wasn't as large as I expected it to be, but that was good since my family doesn't eat turkey in general. We look at a Turkey as a large bird that is all white meat because it has the same texture as the white meat on a chicken. We're a dark meat family. I salted and peppered it and stuck bay leaves into its skin. As I was doing so, Mike was preparing the stuffing and fretting about the lack of gibblets. I discovered the packet tucked way into the back of the bird and noted so to Mike. He was quite shocked because the thought he cleaned and searched the bird thoroughly. I proudly displayed the gibblet packet to him and continued seasoning the turkey.
Mike's job was to prepare the turkey, mushrooms, and acorn squash. My sister was preparing desert: orange iceys. My mother prepared ham, BBQ (with the sauce that I bought yesterday) and one of my favorite dishes, stuffed fish. Large bangus (milk-fish in English, I believe) is cleaned and the meat inside is taken out and cooked with some meat, raisins, peas and spices. Then the cooked stuff is put back into the fish and sewn closed. The fish is baked in the oven until the skin is crisp. Mm.. it is one of my favorite dishes. I had found a pearl onion dish on Martha Stewart's website that sounded absolutely delicious and it was my determination to make it.
In the tradition of Iko recipes, I decided not to look at the recipe and, instead, indulge in the ingredients listed for it and try to improvise my way. I got the pearl onions and started peeling them. Wowah! This was going to take way longer than I had intended it to take. I spent over an hour (my sister and Mike helped too!) peeling and cleaning 3/4 of a pound of pearl onions. The original recipe called for a pound and a half. After I had peeled the onions, I put them in a glass baking dish with butter and some herbs. I stuck them in the oven, a bit apprehensive about them. I put so much effort into making a small dish, and I was afraid they would turn out blah.
Dinner started semi-promptly at around 3:30. I decided not to indulge in the turkey and instead busied myself with the fish, mushrooms and my onions which turned out lovely! The fish was very taba (fat) and it had a great deal of fat in it that made it very delicious. It was a little too sweet for me and I picked out the raisins (like I do every year). The onions were extremely sweet and tender. Even Els enjoyed them, even though she traditionally doesn't like onions. My mother said she was going to have an American Thanksgiving and indulged in the BBQ and turkey. I had a little nibble of the turkey and it was moist and tender. Yay Mike! My relatives came over (both Tita Edith, Tito Jun, and Kim on my father's side and Tita Helen, Tito Roldan, Kim and Cathy on my mother's side) and indulged in the food. My aunt sat on my right side of me and she started fondling the circular barbell in my right earlobe. She said that she really liked it and I turned my head to show her the other earrings I had on my left lobe. She was shocked that I had three piercings in that ear. My sister than called to attention my eyebrow ring and my aunt was shocked! "Did it hurt?" she asked (like most everyone else). I said that it didn't hurt much at all and I commented on my desire in January to get an industrial. January, here I come!
For most of the rest of the day, I rested. Food was a good thing. I'm thankful for it.
ScribeTribe got me thinking about what I was thankful for. Well, I've had a great year. I'm earning good money, got a pretty good website up, gaining great friends here on the east coast, and especially love having my partner around every day. I'm hoping that Mike will get a job soon so that we can live together in our own place. I'm more in touch with myself than I've been in years. I'm very happy and very thankful for everything that I have. 23 is turning out to be a very good year.