Well, considering Thanksgiving is now almost a full week ago, it's probably finally time to do a Thanksgiving recap.
I hit the treadmill both Wednesday and Thursday last week to help balance out the overeating I knew would be inevitable on Thanksgiving. Nothing too hard. I did a leisurely 2.5 mile run on Wednesday, then did intervals Thursday - alternating 2 minutes of walking at 3.2 with 2 minutes of sprinting at 7.0 (yes, that's sprinting for me). Just enough to perhaps negate half a slice of pie ...
Early in the day Thursday I got my cook on at home, making the two dishes I planned to bring to dinner: butternut squash tamales and caramelized onion sweet potatoes. The tamales were quite involved time-wise, but the actual hands-on time was pretty minimal. While I soaked the corn husks for 1/2 hour I sautéed frozen butternut squash cubes (make life easy whenever possible) with garlic, onion, and Mexican spices. Right at the end I added fresh chopped cilantro. I also mixed masa flour filling, then laid everything out to fill my tamales. During all of this I also roasted my sweet potatoes in the oven for an hour (turning once halfway through).
While the filling process took a bit of time, the real time involvement with tamales is steaming them - which I did for 1 1/2 hours. Actually, after checking the water level and making sure everything would be okay, this is the point at which I ran downstairs to get my quick workout on in the building's exercise room. By the time I was done with my workout the tamales were all set and I pulled them off the heat and showered.
Once I was all showered up I caramelized red onions and peeled and mashed my sweet potatoes. I mixed the mashed sweet potatoes, Earth Balance butter, salt, pepper, and the caramelized onions for probably one of the simplest dishes ever. The sweet potatoes mixed with onions might seem like an odd combination, but trust me ... it's very tasty!
With all my cooking pretty much wrapped up by 1 pm, Josh and I made some quick Tofurky sandwiches before leaving for his parents' house. We figured we owed it to the holiday to have some Tofurky, plus we shared a bit with Panda - one of her favorite treats. I'm pretty sure she was thankful ... in her own way.
At Josh's parents' house we walked the dogs then spent most of the rest of the afternoon eating tons of appetizers. They laid out a huge spread that included olives, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, dolmatas, and hummus with pita and falafel chips. I really tried to reign it in on the appetizers, but I was still pretty much full by the time actual dinner rolled around.
Because it was just the four of us, we tried to go pretty light on the number of dishes. In addition to the two I'd prepared, Josh's parents made delicata squash stuffed with a wild rice mixture and soup. I managed to get a picture of the soup, but somehow completely failed to get a picture of the squash.
Possibly because at this point I was freaking out over my failure to successfully reheat tamales. When Josh and I looked on the Internet, we found two different sources that said to unwrap the tamales from their husks, lay them in a baking dish with butter, and bake until the masa filling starts to brown.
THIS IS WRONG.
Baking the tamales out of their husks just makes them a horrible dry mess. I tried to compensate by adding tons of green salsa on top of the tamales, but it was no use. They were pretty horrible. I'm pretty sure the correct answer would have been to re-steam them for a bit until they are warm, then unwrap when ready to eat. Which is why you have never been to a restaurant that serves you a tamale outside of its corn husk - they always give you a plate and you unwrap it yourself. Oh well. Unfortunately harsh lesson learned.
Fortunately soon after the tamale failure it was time for dessert. I mentioned earlier that Josh's mom planned to make a "real" (non-vegan) pumpkin pie and a vegan apple tart for me. Translation: Lindsay gets an entire apple tart almost entirely to herself. Luckily, it was an incredibly delicious tart which I had both for dessert on Thanksgiving and then again Friday morning for breakfast. Maybe I should have spent a little more time on that treadmill ....