A Better Black Friday (The 21st Day of Thankful)

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Let me preface this by saying that I’m always up for a good deal. Always. But recreating a tackle football game with a bunch of fellow stuffed Americans in the name of a bargain just isn’t my idea of a good time. So I’m going to go ahead and put it out there that I’m having a better Black Friday than those people, and for a few reasons:

1) I Turkey Trotted.

I’ve always wanted to do one of these really smart pre-gluttony 5K runs, and yesterday it finally happened! The best part? In lieu of a registration fee, the Hillstriders Running Club accepted donations for the Crystal Lake Food Pantry and volunteers filled up a huge trailer with non-perishable items. To say we crushed that cold (cold!) 5K would be an understatement. This lady is not a runner, but an easy 33:41 later I had wiped away any guilt of the upcoming bucket of creamed corn that would eventually make it’s way to my face.

2) Just because I don’t like Wal-Mart doesn’t mean I don’t like a deal.

Here are a few you might want to know about: The Joffrey Ballet is having a Black Friday special on opening night Nutcracker tickets. The Nutcracker isn’t something to be scared of, and now that it’s 25% off (using the code FRIDAY) there’s no reason not to go. Oh, and while you’re at it, work off your pumpkin pie at SixPax down in the South Loop. They’re great people, and also super chiseled, and you want to look like them. Plus, they’re having a sale today on Pilates lessons and group classes.

3) I’m going to the gym, and I might be the only one there.

Though I hope the best for the American obesity crisis, I have to admit I like going to the gym and knowing that no one else will be there. The day after Thanksgiving, in the middle of the afternoon, I’m banking on having the place to myself while the rest of suburbia feasts on leftovers and takes naps. I could probably ride on the whole Turkey Trot thing as being enough to justify doing the same, but I have a high stakes event tonight that involves fishnet tights and seeing people from high school. This makes me anxious, so I want to burn as much of that creamed corn as possible before seeing anyone who knew me before the turn of the century.

So, how are you spending your Black Friday?

Creamed Corn is Actually Delicious!

This post comes from my Mom, Cheryl, who I’ve finally coerced into giving up her recipe for creamed corn.  I know what you’re thinking… Creamed corn? But there’s nothing quite like this.  It’s a staple at my family’s holiday table, and perhaps you’ll add it to yours this year too…

A little history on this recipe:

When I was growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area my Dad had a favorite restaurant called Gullivers.  He would love to gather the whole family there as often as budget and time allowed. It was a meat and potatoes place and designed along the lines of King Arthur’s court.  It was a huge beamed room with wooden tables and benches and everything was served on pewter dishes.  They served the best prime rib around.  All the servers were dressed in period costumes and the food was awesome, the atmosphere loud and bawdy and it was a great fun place to go.  As we got older and our family grew, we went to Gullivers less and less simply because it was too hard to get everyone there at the same time and no one had the money. We were all starting our families, buying houses etc.  So my dad got the idea to create Gullivers at home!

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He could do the prime rib and the Yorkshire pudding and the garlic mashed potatoes,  and serve the wine, but he simply could not recreate the best side dish ever.  Gullivers made a creamed corn that was to die for.  My dad tried and tried and it just wasn’t the same.  So he went back to Gullivers and simply asked for the recipe.  The manager claimed that they could not give it out.  My dad did not give up easily once he got something in his head.  So, my dad being my dad, simply charmed one of the female servers and she gave him the recipe!
It became a Clements family tradition that every Christmas my dad served prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes, and Gullivers corn.  When I moved to Colorado and wasn’t near my family for the holidays, I asked my dad for the recipe so that I could continue the tradition for my own family.  All these years later,  it is still a staple at our Christmas table and is so popular that it even shows up at Thanksgiving alongside the turkey. I have now passed the recipe along to my children so that they can continue to carry on the tradition.  Literally, every time I make it, I think very tenderly of my dad!  I hope you will enjoy it as well!

Gullivers’ CornCorn 1

Ingredients:
  • 20 oz frozen corn
  • 8 oz whipping cream
  • 8 oz milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tsp sugar
  • pinch of white pepper
ROUX:
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  1. Mix corn, cream, milk, salt, sugar, pepper in a sauce pan.  Cook on LOW heat until bubbly.
  2. Watch carefully so it does not boil.  Cook about six minutes. Longer is ok as long as you keep the heat on LOW.
  3. Make the roux and add in small batches.
  4. Continue to stir to mix in roux and keep the heat low until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
Makes about six good size servings.  I don’t know if it freezes well because I have never had any leftovers!