‘Possums, a whole mess of ’em, ornery ones, are fighting in my stomach. Yes, I did have a lovely Thanksgiving… filled with delicious butter-laden foods, wine, pie, stuffing, stuffing, stuffing, etc., but after hours of snacking and anticipation of the big meal, when it finally arrives, I always find it so anti-climactic. The hours of preparations–hosts organizing all the dishes as they arrive, extending the table, folks snacking–always lead to a 20 minute eating competition. Then it’s over. Then you pray for death. Then you think about how this happens every year, and it always leaves you in the same don’t-move-too-quickly-or-you-might-barf kind of state. I am not thankful for praying for death due to extreme fullness. It’s shameful and probably sacrilegious too.
I did very much enjoy preparing the ever-delicious and rich Yukon Gold & Sweet Potato Gratin with Gruyere last night. Once again, I fell in love with cooking done right; chopping up a mess* of fresh herbs, grinding peppercorns and sea salt with my new mortar and pestle**, slowly melting Hope Creamery Butter, ah… my heart leaps with happiness just thinking about it now, though my stomach be hanging out onto my keyboard. I was waxing poetic about every step of the process to my Man Friend, who indulged me with a listening ear because he is nice and patient like that. We all fall into periods of laziness where a night of cooking can mean tossing a box of pasta into unsalted water before it is even boiling and overcooking it to the point of whiskey dick noodles. I am thankful that I have become reinvigorated with real cooking.
Moving on: I had meant this to be a post about taking care of Thanksgiving food hangovers, but instead, maybe I’ll just post the recipe. You have more butter to consume in the coming month anyway, right? Santa’s reindeer slaves love a fine gratin. It’s right there in the Bible; Deuteronomy 12:22***. NEVERTHELESS! HERE IT IS! THE SECRET OF HAPPY BELLIES****:
Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin
1 1/2 lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced into 1/8″coins
1 1/2 lbs. Sweet Potatoes, yes, coined also
2 c. heavy cream, the best that cow nip has got
1/4 c. butter, more cow nip goodness
2 cloves garlic, minced up real fine
1 T each of chopped fresh Italian Parsley, fresh Sage, fresh Rosemary, and fresh Thyme (easy to remember, sing that damn song. But fresh! Gotta be fresh! You use that dried shit this time, you might as well be making hamburger helper, and if you’re making hamburger helper, you might as well be dumping it straight into the toilet, because that’s where it will be in 20 minutes after your body is done not digesting it. This is the whole “if you give a mouse a muffin” kind of story formula, but involving diarrhea. Fuck. One day I will be able to spell diarrhea with out using spell check. Maybe tomorrow! We’ll see where my bowels take me. Ok. Enough. Herbs. You will need to chop some herbs.)
sea salt, pepper to taste
1 1/4 c. shredded Gruyere (it’s cheese! fancy, tasty cheese!)
Slice them taters. Place in bowl of water while you do other stuff. Combine cream, butter, garlic in saucepan over low heat to melt butter. Whisk ‘er! (not to be confused with manly stubble) Pat potato coins dry with clean (duh.) dish towel. In a buttered 9×13 pan, place a layer of tater coins, healthy sprinkling of cheese & herb mixture & salt and pepper. Repeat. Top it all off with your cream&butter mixture. Bake, covered for 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Uncover, bake additional 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes so you don’t burn your precious tongue and so the cream mixture gets all think and delicious. Like, the most delicious. Did I forget anything? Oh, I also added caramelized shallots, but you needn’t, unless you want to feel like a real chef. That’s why I did it. They always be using the ever-elite shallot. This is the rambling-type of instructions, such as you would get from Jamie Oliver. His favorite measurement is the “glug”. Glug of oil, glug of vinegar… I’ll stick with “mess of” or maybe “mess-a” if I’m feeling more casual.
*the only word describing quantity I’m able to think of at the moment
**only I would feel so special dropping 10 bucks on something so old-fashioned and process-oriented
*** Actually, I think this verse implies that you should slaughter Vixen and add his meat to the dish, then serve to your white trash neighbors. “Eat them as you would gazelle or deer. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat.”
****Bullshit written in Olive Green