My attempt at an auxiliary Thanksgiving dinner went off beautifully, except for one little hitch. Dinner was scheduled to begin around six, and I started fixing things and doing prep work at two. I was dicing an onion when, using a lovely Henckels chef's knife, I sliced off the tip of my left thumb. The nail is fine, but I managed to perfectly remove everything above the muscle layer. I wrapped up my thumb, and assessed my options. I could go to the doctor, but I really needed to put the turkey in the oven, and I had a lot of other things to take care of. Plus the fleshy bit of my thumb was already down the drain and this wasn't something that simple stitches would fix.
So I tightened the bandage, taped it up, and continued working. I resisted the urge to simply cauterize it on the oven, though that would have been the true hardcore route. I won't be posting pictures tonight, but I managed to roast a turkey to moist perfection, make savory black beans and rice, a lovely mushroom gravy, homemade cranberry-orange sauce, set the table, wash dishes, open bottles of wine and even make my Mom a customized citrus cocktail all with only one good hand. Mom & Dad brought green beans and Mom's wonderful sweet potato casserole (lots of butter, brown sugar and pecans on top). I did let Dad carve the turkey, as the family was a little worried about me handling an electric knife in my condition. Plus at that point, dinner was mostly done and I was already drinking wine...
Several of the wines we had were ones that I've reviewed here before, but the one new one was another mystery wine from Dad, the 2002 Atrea Old Soul Red. It's a blend of 46% Zinfandel, 37% Syrah, 10% Petite Syrah and 7% Malbec, from Mendocino County. The "old soul" bit is a clever reworking of the "old vines" tag, and I for one love it. Alas, I can't give you any specific tasting notes on this wine, other than I really loved it. It appears to be a specialty offering from the Fezter family, and retails for around $25 a bottle. Classy packaging and a well refined balance on the palate.
My brother and his new bride were able to join us, and I suggested that we should repeat this next year--basically a no-stress, low-frills, high-fun dinner party in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. An extra holiday dinner when you don't have to decide which family group to join, and one in which we can forge our own separate traditions. Hell, if I'm cooking next year, I might just tie my left hand behind my back and once again build a harvest feast single handedly.