I just got back from our day trip to Jungle Jim’s down near Cincinnati. If there’s any such thing as an amusement park for foodies, this would be it. It’s easily the size of a couple of Walmart Supercenters, with an international section alone that’s the size of our local grocery store. And whenever we go there, I always end up going a little nuts – they have a bunch of things that I usually end up going through igourmet.com to get – like Vermont Butter and Cheese Cultured Butter with Sea Salt Crystals, various types of Blaze Balsamic Glaze, etc. – I even got some beautiful frozen grouper fillets for $3.99 for about 12 oz. We had originally gone down there to get Turducken, but when we saw our options close up (either a turducken roll – no stuffing, just turkey, duck and chicken – for $27.99, or a whole turducken (stuffed with sausage) for $69.99), we instead opted to go with a traditional turkey, in this case, a nice 12 lb. Amish turkey that we’ll brine tomorrow night.
So for actual Thanksgiving, we’re doing a mix of convenience foods and also old favorites – we figure that since it’s just us, it makes sense to use convenience foods for the things you can’t tell a difference with – so it looks like the final menu will be the turkey stuffed with bread stuffing (we both agreed this is something neither of us wanted to miss out on), Yoder’s mashed potatoes (enough for the two of us), my own candied yams - made with pre-cooked (not canned) yam rounds from the supermarket, Bob Evans Green Bean Casserole, Ocean Spray Jellied Canberry Sauce, and for dessert, a rum cake we made last night (will probably blog about it tomorrow), and some leftover Brown Sugar Squash Pie that we made and froze about a month ago. This way, we don’t miss out on Thanksgiving (or the fantastic in-bird stuffing), but I won’t spend the next week recovering from a marathon cooking session either.
Maybe next year I’ll have the energy to try to jazz things up a bit and maybe invite others to join us. But this time around, even though it isn’t the “ideal” foodie Thanksgiving, at least it won’t be something quite as pathetic as sitting in front of the TV with a frozen Hungry Man turkey dinner. Ew.
So the rest of you local foodies – have you ever been to Jungle Jim’s? If so, what items are on your “must get” list for every trip?