Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Rewind!

Hey there! So, hopefully by now you are out of your tryptophan coma. I spent all of yesterday working on a cook book proposal. I just sat and typed, the next thing I knew it was midnight. Because of all that work, I have some time to put up some pictures today. A special thanks to Clark Vincent for working on Thanksgiving. Sure, I was on the float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but he got up and arrived at my house at 530AM on Thanksgiving to give me a face and do my hair. I can't say thanks enough because I as told you, I found out just 2 days before that I would participate in the parade. Short notice to change holiday plans. Thanks Clark.

Ok, so after he got me camera ready and helped me figure out "red hat or black hat", I left the house and to my surprise just like the itinerary said, a Macy's employee was waiting on my curb to escort me to the parade. His name was Alex and together he and the driver tried to figure out why I was so happy that early in the morning. I just was and always seem to be, I made it through the night and get to take place in some Americana ... what's not to smile about? Well, that and in a few hours I'd be enjoying Thanksgiving dinner!

When we got to the beginning of the parade route there were rows of buses and I was shuttled onto a bus and offered a danish. I took a mini muffin and declined on the coffee, I was already awake. Two seconds later Katherine McPhee hopped on the bus, she was in the parade and looked great with her new blond hair. I'd have a picture, but as soon as she arrived, she had to leave for an interview with US Weekly. There were two soap stars on the bus (one very handsome man from across the pond) and another that worked with him on their show. I'm not into stories too much, so unfortunately I forgot the names and everything. Then Anne Burrell and Claire Robinson arrived on the bus. Finally, some one to chat with that I knew! Here we are at the table chillin' ...

Two seconds after we took this, Gloria Gaynor (I will Survive) stepped on the bus and from behind thought Anne was Cyndi Lauper. That was hilarious. Minutes later we were hustled off the bus and taken to our float.
That's my point of view as we walked the short distance to Tom Turkey, our float.

That's about 20 minutes before the parade began. Everyone else was outfitted like pilgrims and many were family members, so it was nice that they could spend the holiday together.
This is a look ahead of us before we got moving and the balloons fell into line. If you look close off to the right you can see Kermit the Frog waiting to file into place from a perpendicular street.
There he is! I have to admit, I turned into a big kid when I saw him start to move. My heart started beating fast and I thought of all the times I sat and sang songs from my Kermit the Frog CD growing up. He was such a friend in my head. I know, a frog. Too funny.
Below is a look at Tom Turkey's backside. I was taking a tiny tour of the float and saw the door open. Elizabeth and Tracey popped their heads out to say hi and I discovered they are the ones that flap his wings throughout the parade. Cool job ladies!
Take a look down one of the side streets. It was packed and everyone was waving and yelling "Happy Thanksgiving!" or "Happy Holidays!"
Then, something cool happened ... we turned the corner at Columbus Circle and headed down to Times Square.
I was just telling you how neat it felt to move to NYC and host my first event in Times Square, on some level at the age of 25, working at the country's top Hip Hop station, I just really felt accomplished in my goals. Here I was again, in Times Square marveling at how goals can come true if you only work towards them. No, my goal wasn't to be in the parade, but to work hard enough to be invited, just made me feel like I was 25 again. We made it down to the end of the parade and if you caught it, that's when you saw us for about 30 seconds just waving and smiling. The funny thing is, not two seconds after we passed the television cameras, the parade was over. We got off the float and the same guy that picked me up that morning was waiting to take me to my car to go home. I got in my car and got to Brooklyn so fast, the parade was still on television. I was telling everyone that if they saw me texting on television it was me telling my guy to take the pork roast out of the fridge so it could lose the chill. Happily he did and took this flick of me just as I walked in to inspect the kitchen.

That's my pork on the left there.
That's a top view. A lil orange juice and some of those sausage links I showed you the other day. I'll feature the easy recipe on a future show. After the overnight rest and little rest on the counter, it takes just 4 hours to turn into some yummy pernil ... oooohhhhweeee I love some crunchy skin!!!
And I know you are thinking it, yes ... I decided there would be as little to clean as possible on this day, so I made the roast in an aluminum pan. Look at the chopped garlic on the meat!
Here's the teeny mac and cheese I prepped the day before.
A lil 8X8 for two and then I also made another one for Clark along with some yams ...
In all I made, pernil, mac and cheese, yams, mofongo, seasoned rice, red bean gravy for the rice and mofongo, pumpkin cheesecake pie, tiramisu and salad. Yes, salad was the only green thing lol. He took pictures of everything, but many are fuzzy, and actually we thought about taking a picture of the mofongo only after we inhaled it. It was a good laugh. We ate it as an appetizer because we couldn't wait for the pork to get to temperature and eat it all together. We were so full by the end of the day. I think we fell asleep at 7ish. Before you wonder about the menu, it was mostly suggestions from my guy, so no turkey. Instead he requested the pernil, rice, mofongo and gravy. Then I said what about dessert? He said pie or tiramisu. Specifically the spiked tiramisu I made for Pat and Gina on Down Home with The Neely's. I said why not both because I knew I had everything in the pantry. As for my requests ... all I really wanted was the mac and the yams, without those it just isn't a holiday to me. Hope you had your definition of holiday fun and food. Thanks to everyone that caught us in the parade!! What fun!!!


Lana said...

Sunny, incredibly brilliant that you were in the parade. I mean, really brilliant! And of course I saw it on TV, had it on in the living room while workin' in the kitchen and listened to the commentary until they announced you'd be coming up. Totally a thrill. I think I mentioned before that I met Anne briefly in CA; she's a chatty & happy gal. Really was taken by her. :-)

Had a great T-day with daughter, son and his g/f. Made a scaled-down Thompson's Turkey - scaled down cuz I'd need an entire kitchen staff to do the full-blown version, lol. Turned out just fine. Highlight of the meal was the gravy, of all things. Taught my girl how to do it, and we all agreed it was the tastiest thing on the table.

Had to laugh at your mofongo for Thanksgiving. Not traditional! lol, but what the heck. Sounds like you're starting new trad's.

Jen said...

Looks like you had a nice Thanksgiving! I saw you on the float in the parade!

The mac n cheese and yams look great!

I cooked all day long, I was so tired. You know it's bad when I was almost too exhausted to have dessert (my favorite part!). But I had a tiny slice of pie!!!!!

Jojo said...

OK - that pernil looked tooo good! Yes, you must do that one on one of your upcoming episodes. The parade did look like lots of fun and not too cold. Nice to see you are chipper even at that hour! Always enjoy reading your posts!


Sunny Anderson said...

jojo, thanks! i was actually touched that my guy was walking around taking pictures of everything, it was our first solo holiday meal and we really enjoyed it. thanks for checking the blog!

jen, yaaaaaay! i was yelling and waving and totally having a blast. people were in office buildings stories up looking down on the parade. pretty neat. next year you gotta prep the day before! it makes it so easy, i got all the parts done so on thurs all i'd have to do is take em out to rest then cook them. custard was made for the mac the night before as well as the pasta and tossing it in cheese. then the yams i cut weds and placed a wet viva towel :-) over it. made the syrup for it as well. you get the pic. if you did all the prep and were still tired, you have a very lucky and grateful family, i'm sure. :-) hopefully someone else did the dishes!

lana, thanks! glad you caught it! I remember you saying you met Anne, she is very lively and all smiles. and talk about gravy, omg ... when it's good ... it's good. so i can see how it can outshine other things on the table, even the bird. cool you are passing on your foodie gene to your daughter! maybe one day she'll have a line of top selling turkey gravy! and yup, mofongo. after our vacay to pr, i saw how much my guy liked it and even though we've had it out to eat here in brooklyn, i'd never made it. i got home from vacay and was determined to come up with a quick and easy way to make it. i was really surprised when he suggested it for t-day dinner. he even asked for some tostones, so i gave him one while i was making the mofongo. i think it's pretty neat and hope you like it when i share it on the show. i tape in feb right before sobe. you goin?

Lys said...

The pics are great Sunny! Glad to hear that there's a cookbook proposal in the works - that was one of those questions "When the heck is Sunny going to put out a cookbook?!?!" :)

Headed to NYC in a week or so - shot ya an email re: it with some pics from the Roadshow.

Mary said...

Oh I saw you on the float too - you looked great! Sounds like you had a good day.

Can't wait to see that pork recipe - all of that is new to me, but I know that had to be some kind of good!!

LisaC said...

Sunny you looked great in the parade! Just saw the re-run of you on The Wendy Williams Show. You are too cool! I think great things are in store for you in 2010.

When is that cookbook coming out!?

Lana said...

Goin' to SOBE? Lol, is that an invite? (kidding) Naw, times are tight. The only way I'm gettin' to SOBE is if I win that Viva Sweepstakes (unlikely) or if one of my bands is hired to play there (even more unlikely). :-D You'll have to wow 'em without me, k?

And blog, sistah. Blog! So I can be there vicariously.

Sunny Anderson said...

lys, thanks! yep, finally a cook book in the works, i'm in the super early stages, but from what i understand it's all fast after this. hopefully i can publish by the holiday season next year. resend the email, totally didn't get it. we should get a drink!

mary, it was fun, it was so fast like a wedding ... over before it started and plenty of fuss around it. pork recipe is on the way!

lisac, thanks!!! i had my lil santa's helper colors on! and how about i still haven't seen my appearance on wendy? didn't air in nyc, but did in other markets ... things that make you go hmmmmmm ...
cook book, hopefully late next year!

lana, well, it was worth a try :-). good luck on the sweepstakes, they are blanketing the internet with that, so odds are tough. i'll cross a special finger for you :-). if it doesn't happen, i'll blog like the wind!

Rich'n'Rach said...

I saw you on the parade, and I definitely yelled "There's Sunny!" Only my hubby knew why I was so excited, then after he explained to my crazy in-laws that you've left a comment on my blog, and that you're a HUGE cooking start ont my fave Food Network, they they were excited with me, too.You looked beautiful, by the way! And That mac&cheese looks soooo good!

LaDivaCucina said...

Sunny, I am SO LAUGHING about the text you sent to BF about taking the puerco out! haha!

How did your mofongo turn out mama? Will we see the recipe? I've never eaten it but there is a PR guy that owns a restaurant down the street and offers it every Friday, keep threatening to go there. Will you post your recipe?

Congrats on the parade! You did stand out in your red hat and scarf, good move. I vaguely remember seeing the FNW float as I drifted in and out of conciousness! I spent the entire weekend in bed sick as a dog with four uneaten pies in my fridge and hubby eating Boston Market for his holiday dinner!!! It was a drag but I lost three pounds! hehehe....

Hey are you going to participate in my culinary throw down for Salt? I'm going to make mine on Sunday! C U Sunny!

I'm hungry and your pork looks divine!

Sunny Anderson said...

rich'n'rach, yaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!! you shoulda yelled "sunny, it's rich n raaaaaaaaaach!" lol ... it may have taken a secon, but it would've registered!!! glad you saw me ... hope i did my non-pageant-like wave towards you guys! are you guys from here? or did you come here for the parade? btw, thanks about the mac n cheese, it met it's demise 2days ago. i miss it :-(. it was so good to me teeheehee. had some pesto n pasta last night, but woulda blinked back to the mac if i could've.

ladicacucina, girl. no joke. i got in the car smiling and the after the 'why so happy' conversation they said well are you stressed at least about cooking thanksgiving? and i said, nope, my guy is gonna take the pork out of the fridge and everything else in a pattern. right then, i got nervous and bbm'd him the list of times and activities. lol. even though i told him verbally i wanted to be sure. he did everything great and when i got home things were all room temp and ready to combine and cook. best sous chef eva! congrats on droppin lbs! if you are like me, you'll take em where you can get em ... or rather lose them. i was gonna do the throwdown and then i got a last minute request for some other recipes, tied me up... i made funnel cake all day though! and now i'll be on nbc monday morning on the today show, so i have some prep for that. posting about it this weekend. i can't wait to see the entries!

Sarah Caron said...

That sounds like so much fun. Growing up in New York, I have always had a slight obsession with being in the Macy's T-day Parade. Someday.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny - I'm Vicki from NJ!

I just found your blog because I was looking for one of your recipes from an alternate source than the food network website.

My job blocks the food network website now because of one bad apple that use to watch the videos, all loud, all day long instead of working (duh! way to ruin it for all of us) - anyway, I guess I am just going to have to try that wilted spinach with the red onions and pineapple chunks from what little I saw of it! Wish me luck! :)

Oh and I wanted to tell you that I really like you and your show. You inspire me to try and conquer my fear of failure in the kitchen. I am not at all comfortable there, but I want to be!

Rich'n'Rach said...

Sadly, no, I've never been to NYC, but planning a trip for next fall. I live in Ogden, UT - so not loving the snow right now haha, only on Christmas! Ogden's not too big, but you'd probably like it - there are so many delicious restaurants downtown! our faves are Roosters (a brewery/restaurant), Tona (sushi bar), and Bombay Grill (delish Indian cuisine!

Selenasking said...

Yes, I saw you in the Thanksgiving parade. It was a very brief shot though. In Philly, at the same time, my sister and her family were pulling the lead Turkey float down the street there, lol, but I missed seeing them do it.

Sunny Anderson said...

sarah caron, it was plenty of fun and i'm glad the weather wasn't freezing! good luck on the parade dreams ... just get a job at macy's! they train employees at clown camp!

vicki from nj, argh ... one bad fuji spoils it for the rest of the macintoshes ... literally lol ... glad you found me anyway! i'm here most days answering comments and i try to post about twice a week. thanks so much for the kind words about the show, i'm still having plenty of fun sharing stories and recipes. glad to have you along for the journey! welcome to the blog!

rich'n'rach, ahhhh i misunderstood your comment, teeheehee, sounded like you were there! i was gonna say how dare you come all this way to town and not reach out for at least a hot cocoa the day of! what a neat trip if you ever make it! the city is so nice during this season. seeing the tree this morning was pretty neat. thanks for the food places in UT, i'll file em away!

selenasking, yaaaay! hope you had a yummy turkey day! sorry you missed your family in the philly parade :-( ...