So the in-laws were in town this weekend. As usual they were totally wonderful, Much good food was to be had and miraculously (and because we spent Sunday happily at home) J and I made a meal for his parents as opposed to them taking us out everywhere. Saturday consisted of an early dinner at the Crystal City Jaleo where we ordered the bacon wrapped dates, the stuffed peppers, beet salad, and the mother-in-law favorite - codfish fritters with aoili. The 'rents adored Jaleo and pronounced it one of the best meals they've ever had. While I'm sure Jaleo had great desserts, there's no way we would have skipped going to the Del Ray Dreamery (aka the Dairy Godmother) for dessert. Married boy loves this place and even after we eat a five course Indian meal, he will always ask if we want dessert at the dreamery. In a bit of splendiferous luck, they made an apple crisp fresh out fo the oven in a pyrex baking dish. With a scoop of maple walnut frozen custard, this was the most perfect fall dessert ever made.
Sunday, we invited friends over for brunch where the conversion of my MIL to the seductive charms of Barefoot Contessa began. From the Barefoot Contessa parties, I made a sour cream coffee cake (with vanilla yogurt instead of sour cream) and a smoked salmon fritatta. I supplemented these with a citrus salad of mandarin oranges, Valencia orange segments and grapefruit segments, a potato a roasted pepper fritatta, maple glased vegetarian sausage patties and maple glazed bacon. When my MIL saw the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and their lovely pictures, the deal was sealed, she was a Ina Gartenite.
What did stir up controversy was the subject of stuffing vs. dressing. Should stuffing be inside the bird or baked in a separate dish? I firmly belive that hte stuff needs to be inside to soak up all of the lovely turkey juices. And really, how many people have gotten sick on stuffing that came inside the bird? But others feel that there's never enough stuffing it it's inside the bird and the stuffing comeso ut to wet. Pluh-Ease! Didn't anyone see Paula Deens Thanksgiving special where she made a casserole full of jiggly, wet, GRAY oyster stuffing? So what are your thoughts? Stuffing or dressing?