Monday, November 28, 2005

Look Good or Taste Good?

Other-Worldy Turkey Loaf and Pasty Stuffing
Thanksgiving is always a wonderful time of the year. There's a chill in our SoCal air...sometimes the temperature gets as cold as 60 degrees! We can start wearing all of our knitted and crocheted creations that we've been laboring over all year. There's no smog in L.A., you can see the ocean from The Griffith Park Observatory and most of the time, the traffic is light on Thanksgiving day.
Incredible Balloon Centerpieces
This year, as in the past few years, my Mother's side of the family has celebrated at our local yacht club (it shall remain nameless, to protect the chef). We reserve a private dining room so that all 30 of us can yak loudly and generally have a good time. The tiny kids like to run around and chase each other while's the usual fun, family get-together. My aunt and uncle are the hosts. They used to host the meal at their palatial home in the hills, but they're getting up there in years, and have opted to host the dinner elsewhere. My aunt is a real professional when it comes to decorating a table. She always has the most gorgeous displays of flowers, decorations, candy, silverware and plates. Also, she's a truly lovely person who makes us all feel extremely welcome at her bountiful table.
This year proved no different. The tables looked amazing. My aunt and uncle were gracious, as always. We all had fun seeing each other, yakking, trading recipes and catching up on family gossip. This side of the family has a credo: It's better to look good than feel good. It seems that the chef at the club must have taken this credo to heart. The meal looked good, but it just didn't taste good. The salad had this other-worldly looking salad dressing on it...kind of orange/red in color. The main course (turkey or ham, not both) was de-boned and pressed into a roll; the stuffing was like some sort of pate' loaf, the yams were good, the green beans were OK. Dessert was inedible. The pumpkin pie didn't even taste like pumpkin. I suppose it was trying to be a chiffon pumpkin pie...light. The chewy chocolate cake was dripping with raspberries (I don't like mixing fruit with chocolate). The filling in the mincemeat tarts was OK, but the pastry crust was rawther cardboard-like. Alas, it was a Hollywood meal. It looked good, but tasted awful.
After much discussion with my cousins, we've decided to hi-jack Thanksgiving for next year and take it to one of our homes, cook all the food and have the whole family over. My generation is middle-aged...I think it's time we took over the reins from the old folks. Why can't food look good AND taste good?



At 12:23 PM PST, Blogger WineGrrl said...

So....I'm not the only one to be unsatisfied (from a culinary standpoint) this Thanksgiving. ;-D

See ya Thursday!

At 1:56 PM PST, Anonymous Christine said...

Hi Ellen, I'm sorry the food was not up to par. My vegan dinner turned out great! I'm going to send a photo of the finished was yummy.

At 2:38 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Hi Winegrrl! Can't wait to hear about your food adventures during Thanksgiving! Hey! We all drink wine at the WeHo SnB. Which wine girl are you?

Ellen B.

At 10:05 AM PST, Blogger Sara said...

There's nothing worse than a disappointing Thanksgiving -- a day that the nation sets aside to celebrate food. My mother-in-law's turkey was good, but because she grabbed polenta instead of cornmeal for her stuffing, we got Stove-Top. I'm thinking of taking that duty away from her next year.


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