Cyndi Palmer: Thanks for the grand giving |

Cyndi Palmer: Thanks for the grand giving

Cyndi Palmer
A Face in the Crowd

The holiday season always puts a strange stir in the air, the feeling that something interesting is about to happen.

Perhaps it is the way the holidays always brought together the McCoy family for some wild, memorable times; or maybe the anticipation is from new uncharted culinary territories my husband and I are famous for exploring.

Some of my favorite recipes are holiday humdingers. For your salad, try a maple vinaigrette, or cranberry. Vinaigrette dressing is an easy one to put together, found in most modern cookbooks -then try to zing it up. Another easy way to spice up a simple dish is to add lemon or orange zest to the common canned cranberry sauce.

My fondest appetizer has got to be my husband’s pumpkin ravioli in a browned butter sauce. I also can’t pass up the classic green-bean casserole but it so much better if one uses fresh green beans.

Honestly, they are not difficult to clean and the improvement to the overall taste is significant. For a twist, and I’m famous for skewing recipes with lucky success, I will sometimes use cream of celery or onion soup instead of cream of mushroom.

I also have had great success with a pumpkin cheesecake, even with a store-bought chocolate-flavored graham-cracker crust. Dab on a little cranberry sauce and you are good to go. OK, and whipped cream.

The creme de la creme was the beautiful Turducken my husband presented as the main course two years ago. We had heard the legend, and coincidentally I was given the recipe from Trustee Jim Peterson during a break of the Grand Lake town board. It is about 14 pages long and not for those who won’t take it seriously, but the final mouth-watering product is worth it.

The traditional Turducken is a chicken stuffed inside of a duck stuffed inside of a turkey – all deboned spare a few scrumptious turkey legs. Each layer is separated by stuffing (which we varied with a cornbread stuffing in the chicken and a wild rice, cranberry stuffing around it in the duck) and possibly sausage.

With the main areas of the meats boneless, the dish can be presented with slices that show off an impressive display of color and textures. The recipe can be found on the wonderful World Wide Web if you are up for the rewarding challenge.

Since then, we have also heard of a Middle-Eastern version of the dish. This one, however, could feed not only your entire extended family, but your harem as well. If I recall correctly, it consists of fish inside a sheep inside of a camel. I think I’ve forgotten a layer, but I will have to pass all the same. Seafood and I don’t get along, and I am not too sure about camel. Tastes like chicken?

However, you celebrate Thursday, this is the time to be thankful, and I feel especially blessed this year. I’m lucky to have a roof over my head, and nutrition and to be living close to family, in such a beautiful place.

I appreciate the fact that artists from all walks of life are supported the way they are in our community. I’m thankful for the opportunity to write about how gracious and talented Grand County residents are.

This is the season in which others, like me, feel an extra sensitivity to the needs of others less fortunate. I am pleased to hear about several food drives going on, and others reporting wide success. If you know of someone who might need a little help, talk to the Mountain Family Center about it.

You know who needs a little help? The Grand County Blues Society. The society is urgently looking “high and low and in between” for a membership director. This person would be a board member that would handle membership chores. Those interested are encouraged to call (970) 531-1641.

Other news on the Grand grapevine is that there’s a new pizza and sub place on Grand Lake’s boardwalk. The spot has most definitely been a player in the game of musical masters and menus, so I hope this one sticks around long enough to let me “investigate.”

Until then, happy Thanksgiving, and I’ll leave you with some food for thought:

“Like Christ said, love thee one another. I learned to do that, and I learned to respect and be appreciative and thankful for what I had.” – James Brown

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