Friday, November 23

The *Real* Big Day: Thanksgiving Revised

So I should have another storyboard, replete with coursed photos and witty anecdotes. Instead, I have the slightly revised menu, and one photo for good measure--

We snacked on baked Brie stuffed with cranberries and walnuts, gruyere, and this pear-gingerbread cake. I made the cake by browning the pears in butter, sugar, and lemon juice; deglazing the pan with pear brandy and a little more sugar; and lining a cake pan with the pears and juices. The gingerbread batter was pretty basic, and I baked in a little longer than the recipe wanted me to, so the edges got nice and crisp:

After a late lunch of butternut squash soup with parmesan-sage croutons; wilted spinach salad with poached figs, goat cheese, and a warm red-onion/sherry vinaigrette; roasted vegetable bruschetta with gruyere; and stuffed mushrooms; my cohort H. and I examined our original menu and decided to make some necessary cuts. Survival of the tastiest, here's what we ended up with:

+Brussels sprouts (caramelized in beer) with dried cranberries and feta, anyone who thinks they don't like Brussels sprouts should reconsider

+Candied yams with pecans, my Thanksgiving favorite

+Cranberry sauce made with Port, citrus, and whatever other delicacies H. selected

+Soy-buttermilk biscuits, because H. cares about my intestinal well-being

+Cornbread and caramelized onion stuffing, which was perfect with...

+Mushroom gravy (pureed, though I think I prefer it unblended)

+Turkey, which turned out perfectly to my objective and disinterested eye

And to finish,
+Apple pie and pumpkin pie with soy vanilla ice cream*

I realized that there are two kinds of people in the world: circular eaters (finishing off each item, one at a time) and mixers (self-explanatory). I'm definitely the latter, which is probably part of why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The focus on family, gratitude, and good food aside, said good food is so compatible with my try-this-with-that-and-then-that-with-this eating philosophy. "A gastronmically successful day."

*Tangentially, allow me to point out that soy ice cream can in fact be quite tasty, depending on the brand. I traditionally pledge my culinary allegiance to the former "Soy Delicious", now a slightly less punny "So Delicious". I also have a very soft spot in my heart/mouth for "Tofutti", of "Tofutti Cutie" fame. At Thanksgiving we had Whole Foods brand soy ice cream, which was quite tasty, though I little more obviously the soy variety. With any soy frozen desserts, always allow plenty of time to dethaw, as they are inevitably rock-hard straight from the freezer.


Nancy said...

Update, update, update!

One good list deserves another... Here is the proposed menu for my cocktail party. Let me know what you think! Ignore, obviously, all meat and dairy ;)

- asparagus with aioli to dip
- endive spears with pancetta, gorgonzola, walnuts, and sherry vinaigrette
- crostini with goat cheese/artichokes/sauteed mushroom puree and caramelized mushrooms
- hot and sweet italian sausage bites with roasted red peppers
- roasted fingerlings with pesto to dip
- olives, prosciutto, and aged cheddar
- tiny shortbread cups with pastry cream and honeyed pine nuts
- tiny puff pastry cups with lemon-vanilla mascarpone and berries (thanks for that one)

to drink...
- white russians in shot glasses
- moscato d'asti
- riesling or vouvray
- red wine (help...)
- gin and tonics

advice? opinions?

cmoore said...

Ohhh! Yum, yum. You have tasty plans! My only thoughts:

*I have terrible, terribly memories of white russian shots followed
by wine. They include vomiting in someone's front yard in New
Zealand. Granted, my lactose-intolerance may have contributed to
this scenario, but I generally think shots of milky things mixed with
alcohol is a recipe for disaster...

*Red wine...what kind do you want? Fruity, earthy, bold, juicy? I
think something like a nice Italian sangiovese-cab blend would be a
crowd-pleaser, or maybe a cotes du rhone if you think people would
appreciate an earthy French wine. Spanish tempranillo blends are
also really popular right now, but a little more tannic (yum for me),
or if you want to try something domestic, most of the Californian
zinfandels I've tried have been really nice.

*Your food sounds fantastic! I recently discovered mustard as an
accompaniment for cheddar, and loooove it.

I want to be there! Promise to take at least a couple photos...


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