Friday, November 21, 2008

It's that time of year

Although I announced in August (and again in September & October) that I would be making Thanksgiving Dinner, it was not until last week that we finally confirmed that yes, on Thursday we would be cooking. Here. I won't go into all the reasons why it went zipping around, but I finally started planning this week. It will not be large, my aunt & uncle, along with their 2 (adult) daughters will be joining HP, The Boy, The Girl & I.

I spent the beginning of the week pouring over this year's Thanksgiving issues of Bon Appétit & Food & Wine, searching for inspiration. I was also trying to channel some of my recent vacation, and find a little Italian flair where appropriate. What I came up with (with some help from HP) was a traditional menu, with a few small kicks.

Pumpkin Soup with Chipotle Mousse (very loosely based on this recipe from Gourmet)

The Turkey:
I think our turkey is probably still alive at this point. I get my turkey from the guys I know at the farmer's market. While not certified organic, it is happy, healthy, hormone free, free to wander the farm, and from past experience the best turkey ever.
It will be salted instead of brined, then roasted walnut, bay, rosemary and garlic. The gravy will be flavored with wine & maybe caramelized onions.

The Potatoes:
Whipped, creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes. HP requested, "nothing fancy; a traditional, yummy, creamy gravy holder" maybe not as exciting as some of the choices I was thinking of, but hey, I can do basic. (although I may have sneak a little garlic in, or a hint of cheese...)

Sweet-Potato-Parmesan Gratin, no marshmallows for me. I want savory! This recipe came from the best ever Thanksgiving issue to beat all magazine issues ever.
Bon Appétit November, 2001. Every year since it came out I have had something from that issue. Sometimes cooked by me, sometimes by someone else. It has never let me down & is more reliable than my stove!

The Veggies:
Grill Roasted Vegetables with Pine Nut Pesto. There will b a few substitutions, no one here is big on brussel sprouts so they are OUT and I'm considering throwing something else in to replace it. Maybe some spinach, wilted in the vegetables. We'll see! I love the fact that it uses the grill and dosen't take up oven space. Hopefully it will warm up a little that day. But not before, right now the grill is my back up refrigerator. (Yes everything is sealed up tight! With temperatures only reaching mid-thirties, it is the perfect place for the stock I've started stocking up on...)

Gigante Verde broccoli & cauliflower in cheese sauce

I'm skipping our traditional creamed pearl onions, in favor of this yummy sounding tart: Belgian Leek Tart with Aged Goat Cheese (Flamiche Aux Poireaux)

The Stuffing:
Sweet Stuffing a la HP

HP's sausage & stuff stuffing.

apparently, I am not qualified to make stuffing, but that's ok. I am pretty neutral on stuffing anyway.

The Cranberry:
Another favorite from my favorite Thanksgiving issue, Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel it is easy & good & ALWAYS a winner. This is one of the few dishes that I'm not allowed to switch up from year to year.

So that is the dinner table! I think that I was relieved of dessert duties; between my Aunt Chirp & The Girl I think it is covered! Am I ready? Will I have everything done ahead of time so I can relax and enjoy my day? Sure, of course that's what I thought last year!

Tomorrow I do the first phase of shopping & make the soup (I roasted my pumpkin yesterday).

What's on YOUR table?

I have decided that last year's Sushi idea was the best new tradition ever. With days of cooking, a little rice & some raw fish sounds likd a nice departure!

2 garnishes:

noble pig November 22, 2008 at 11:49 AM  

Sounds delicious...can I come! That soup sounds mouth-watering!

Sarah Louise November 23, 2008 at 11:53 AM  

I'll be there or be square!! Woot! Isn't web 2.0 great? Now I know what we're eating, whose gonna be there, and HP said all I have to do is drive on the turnpike East. Now, if only my bag would pack itself.

I am doing laundry right now, but I am not cooking.


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