Today we gathered with friends and family — well, really it was just our little minimalist nuclear family and our friend James.
We thanked Dame Fortune for the health of our new child, for all our friends, and for gainful employment in these grim economic times.
We had a fantastic meal. I made the smoked turkey legs in a satsuma-honey glaze — second year in a row for these, and I’m closing in on perfection. They were pretty good, but the skin was almost black in some spots rather than that deep dark golden brown. I think the grill was too hot at first. Also, I think mesquite would be a better choice than hickory. But the glaze was a screaming success: honey, oil and freshly-squeezed satsuma juice, with a dash of cayenne, salt and pepper, fresh rosemary and sage from the garden, and just a dash of Rhum Clément Creole Shrubb liqueur.
I also made dressing for the first time ever. Frankly I’ve never liked dressing. I’ve never even understood dressing. But then I’ve never had oyster dressing. Never even heard of such a thing until we moved down here to New Orleans, though it turns out Xy’s uncle made it every year back in Evansville, Indiana. I found a recipe and gave it a try, and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t pretty tasty. James, a native New Orleanian, pronounced it similar to what his Mom used to make, which I consider a high compliment.
Also on the menu: salad in imitation of Venezia, mashed potatoes and yams, and fresh-baked bread.
But the highlight of the day? No doubt. That came early when Xy organized a cleanup of the overgrown vegetation in front of the derelict property next door. Here she is with Josh and Lamar: