I think my Thanksgiving is best summed up mostly in images.
I took pictures as much as I could during the process until things were really out of hand.
Considering this was my first Thanksgiving that I personally hosted, I would say it went rather well.
I made a side of roasted cauliflower and broccoli because they were in my fridge and desperately needed to be used. I also roasted a whole head of garlic in the middle of the pan and then tossed the whole cloves with the veggies. I roasted everything the day before. The day of, after the Turkey came out of the oven, I tossed them with some pecorino romano, topped them with breadcrumbs, and popped them in the oven until the breadcrumbs were a little crispy.
I roasted brussel sprouts the day before also. I found a recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Wild Mushrooms and Cream in the Thanksgiving issue of Fine Dining (full recipe at the link). I loved this recipe. I, of course, burnt my little sprouts a bit… luckily you can just peel off that layer.
I’ve also been a big fan of dehydrated mushrooms lately. It’s the only way I can get anything more exotic than a portobello. But the dried Chantarelles I bought did not rehydrate nearly as well as the Porcini. I guess they needed more time in hot water, but I had followed the packaging instructions. Everything tasted good, the mushrooms were just a bit too dry. Overall, though, a stellar dish. The touch of white wine that’s added really brings everything together.
After that, I made pie crusts:
For my pumpkin pie, I substituted a cup of flour in my pie dough recipe for a cup of pecans. Turns out, because of the oil in the nuts, it’s a really loose sticky dough, so I wound up adding back in about a half a cup of flour… basically until it held together. But it was a very nice addition to the pumpkin pie.
I managed to not photograph any of the pies, but they were all beautiful and delicious.
The next day I made my cranberry sauces:
I made a Pear-Cranberry pie and had leftover pears in cinnamon and sugar. So I heated up about half a stick of butter, browned it, added the pears and some maple syrup and then the cranberries and had an amazing sweet sauce.
I’d read a few recipes for a spicy cranberry salsa and wound up not having any of the ingredients for any of them. The only thing I’d managed to buy was the cilantro, a jalapeno, and a chili pepper. So I sauteed some red onion with the peppers, then added about a cup of sweet red wine and the cranberries. I think I ended up adding about 1/2 cup of sugar because the cranberries were very tart. Then I mixed in the cilantro and let it cook a little longer. It was spicy and tangy and paired incredibly with the turkey.
Then I prepped the turkey. Tell you what, tucking turkey wings is the hardest thing ever. I had to enlist Dan’s help.
Also, this is how my mom brought her half of Thanksgiving down:
Then everything got too crazy for picture taking. The last thing I did, after the turkey was out of the oven and resting, was make a sausage bread stuffing recipe that I found in my Food Network Magazine Thanksgiving issue.
The turkey was a Bell and Evans turkey. Pricey, but their meat is always good.
But we all had a wonderful time, all of the food was delectable, and Thanksgiving again proves to be my favorite holiday.
Hope you all had an extraordinary Thanksgiving as well. Now, to plot for Christmas…