Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Relish tray: pickled green beans, carrot sticks, olives, cherry tomatoes

Marinated Brussels Sprouts

roast turkey
Prudhomme's Cornbread Dressing
Sweet Potato-Carrot Puff
Cranberry-Port Relish

Morgon 2003

pumpkin cake

Another day of thanks. Bill came from Amsterdam, and we invited our new neighbor, Vanessa, and her two kids, 9 and 13, I think. They are vegetarian, so everything but the turkey was meatless. Served mostly old favorites. Looks like Brussels sprouts are becoming a tradition. Dinner was supposed to be six-ish, but I miscalculated the weight and thus time for the bird and it was just after seven thirty when we sat down. Vanessa brought an eagle feather and we passed that around, each saying what we were thankful for.

For the first time ever, I think, I managed to get a Thanksgiving starter on the table. It actually worked quite well. The turkey was out of the oven, resting. The casseroles rested in their still warm oven. Early in the day, we opted for bread from the boulanger rather than homemade rolls; otherwise, it would have worked well to pop the rolls in the oven as we served the starter.

The flowers on the table are camellias from the garden. Camellias from the garden in November? Yes. One shrub is blooming and the other two are ready to go. What will they do in the spring, I wonder? Here's the table, almost ready to start serving.

Relish tray
Nothing new here. I made my pickled green beans that I love and Ed doesn't. Company liked them too. Mixed olives from the shop.

Marinated Brussels Sprouts
Several years ago, I made this recipe a couple of times and we liked it, but I kind of forgot about it. The original recipe called for steaming the sprouts, but since I've had good luck roasting them lately, I did that instead. I used all the marinade for twice the sprouts, and that seemed fine. Served with arugula, topped with toasted walnuts.

Turkey was 4.3kg/9.5lb this year. I chopped some herbs (sage, rosemary, and thyme from the garden), grated some lemon zest, mixed with some salt, and rubbed under the skin. Stuck the grated lemon inside the bird. Followed my old Joy of Cooking instructions, used only a dishrag, rather than a dish towel, to cover its breast. Since I don't have a rack to fit in the casserole dish, I used some long bits of bread to help the bird balance. Neglected to take a picture. Tasted good anyhow.

Chef Paul Prudhomme's Cornbread Dressing
Because we had vegetarian guests, I made this with mushrooms rather than giblets. I've done this before and it works fine. And garlic broth instead of chicken broth. Really good stuff.

Sweet Potato-Carrot Puff
A double dose of this fit perfectly in the AH Wedgwood oval casserole. And it was a good thing I made a double dose, since the kids really liked it. A single dose is advertised as serving 8; I think 6 is more like it. There was only one small serving left.

Cranberry-Port Relish
Bill arrived earlier in the day, bringing three sacks of cranberries. Put two into the freezer and used part of the last to make this relish. Really easy, really good.

Sautéed shallots and 'shrooms to start the gravy made with garlic broth. Used two cups of garlic broth. Should have used more since we were quite out at the end of the meal.

Pumpkin Cake
I made this for Club Liseron last month and it was a big hit. Opting for an easy dessert, I decided to do this again. Used my standard cream cheese icing, which has been quite runny the last two times I've made it. Has the St Moret (cream cheese) changed? Could it be that the butter was frozen? A mystery. Well, the kids like the big puddle in the middle of the cake. You can see it's mostly gone here.

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