This is the year of doing things on my lonesome, and as it turns out, holidays are included on that list of things. Sure, I could have finished up my Wednesday shift at 4:00pm, packed up the dog and driven 200 miles to rural Pennsylvania, spent the holiday in a flurry of turkey gravy and visiting relative after relative after friend while fighting off a food coma, then rushed around Friday morning to drive 200 miles back, plop the dog at the house, and go to work at noon trying to look halfway decent. I could have done that, but I didn’t. And I don’t regret it one bit.
Instead, I came home Wednesday, happily ignored the dishes piled in the sink, threw on sweatpants, and leisurely debated what I wanted to smother in bacon the following day.
But first, some exercise.
I woke early on Thanksgiving to drive to Madison for the 36th annual Turkey Trot, one of many Connecticut-area Thanksgiving Day races that I’d never been able to participate in before. The 5 mile race around Hammonasset Beach State Park was pretty cold, but I felt great and even managed to pick up the pace for the last mile and a half I finished in 54:54 (that’s a lightning fast pace of 11:22 per mile – terrible for most people, but not bad for me).
After scarfing down some post-race apples, I ventured home and took Little to the dog park. Which she liked as much as she likes anything, I suppose.
Then it was bacon turkey time.
I stuffed a couple pieces of bacon under the breast of half a turkey and roasted it in a glass casserole dish for almost 90 minutes at 375 degrees F. It slept on a nice soft bed of sliced onions and a fennel bulb cut into wedges. (If you’ve never had fennel before, it has a very mild licorice taste, and it was like a divinely soft, sweet onion when roasted here.)
There were honey-orange glazed carrots with ginger and Chinese five spice, bacon braised Brussels sprouts, garlic mashed cauliflower, and gravy made with turkey drippings and a touch of vermouth.
Not pictured: Haagen-Dazs Caramel Cone.
Yep, Single Thanksgiving was a success.