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Thanks 07 Report #6: The Final Menu (+ Commentary)
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thanksgiving 2007

My Vision
In staying with my efforts to eat much more locally in general, I went that way for Thanksgiving. I really want the quality of the products to shine and maybe, just maybe, convince people a little bit. I don't get on a soapbox. I just feed people and hope that they get it, or at least that they get full. And, I really wanted to share my house.

I have been terribly homesick lately and having my house full of people, women asking questions in the kitchen, football on the tv, a million pans in the oven, drinks refilling, dinner running late and general hubub, I felt like it was a holiday. I don't think I could skip this holiday ever, regardless of whether or not we travel. But travel we will, next year, because I'm ready for a cycle of not hosting. It was fun, but really, rotating plans keeps you fresh.

The Guest List
We ended up with 10 people: Lenny and I (of course we were there), Tom and Fran (neighbors), Beth and Teddy (Fran's daughter and her husband), Evelyn (the world's best sous chef) and her friend Ivan, and our last-minute vegetarians, Jesse and Leisl. We actually managed okay, setting things aside before they were meat-ified and they ate quite well, so that was a successful wrench in the works. I'm glad they ended up coming, actually, as it added a little youth to the proceedings.

Evelyn wasn't so much a guest, as she was kidnapped Wednesday night and cooked with me for the duration. She made a whole bunch of stuff, too, and it was us taking turns in the kitchen. I learned a whole bunch of Mexican techniques, too, and asked a lot of questions. I'm excited to try them out.



Northern Spy - Oooooh, was this good. And it was a sneaky drink. I definitely stayed close to this one. I really enjoyed it and I hogged it a bit. But, to be perfectly fair, I cooked for close to 24 hours straight, with an hour or three of sleep snatched while things baked in the oven and I really wanted to enjoy this drink, which had been on my mind since I bookmarked it through my Serious Eats feed.

Spiked Eggnog (Eggnog from Trinity Farms) - This got drunk, so I'm assuming it was pretty good, although I only tasted it when it was first spiked to make sure that it was up to snuff.

Dawn’s Stuffed Celery - Lenny's favorite, and simple. This was his only request for the entire meal. It's just chopped up green olives and garlic powder in cream cheese spread over the celery.

Deviled Eggs (Courtesy of Fran) - These are always good. Always.

Abuela’s Little Sausages in Sauce - My grandmother used to put little sausages in a hot sauce. My sauce wasn't hot, but it was still pretty good (ketchup, molasses, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, a hot sauce from Herban Spices which is a local seller, red pepper flake, white and black ground pepper). These were a hit with the men.

Six Grain Spelt and Pecan Raisin Bread (from Cityseed Market) - Mostly got munched on for breakfast this morning, but Evelyn really liked it dipped in her Mexican hot chocolate--and I agree.

Homemade Bread (courtesy of Fran) - I was going to make Cook’s Illustrated Best Drop Biscuits, but when Fran came through the door with her bread at the last hour, I was so happy I didn't have to. Since we have a beautiful long weekend and I bought the ingredients, I will be making them at some point.

Main Course
Heritage Bronze Good Eats Roast Turkey (Turkey from Woodbridge Farm) - Yum. Yes, I splashed brine everywhere when I turned the turkey halfway through, but it pot I used actually fit in my fridge, so it was okay in the end.

Chicken Enchiladas (Courtesy of Evelyn) - Good and spicy.

Cornbread Stuffing with Bacon and Pecans (Bacon from Woodbridge Farm) - Very good and sweet and really delicious. It actually surprised me.

Diaz Stuffing (Courtesy of Evelyn) - A ground beef based stuffing that I have Shepherd's Pie plans for. It was good on it's own, too, especially with gravy.

Pleasant Valley Mac 'n' Cheese (Pleasant Cow Cheese from Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm) - This is my local mac 'n' cheese I blogged about recently and Jesse still loves it. It really is all about the cheese. Reheated on the stove with some cream it made yummy dins tonight.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Potatoes from Waldingfield Farm) - A standard that I had to make, but wouldn't have, given the choice. They were okay and will be turned into Shepherd's Pie.

Frijoles Enpuercados (Courtesy of Evelyn) - Refried beans with chorizo. And so good. Spicy and smoky, which is not exactly how they were meant to, but it was a happy accident. I can imagine that they're good with eggs in the morning.

Kielbasa Stuffed Onions (Kielbasa from Four Mile River Farm) - This was the experiment that went well. Really well. I talked about using the idea of stuffing onions earlier, and I was totally happy with it. Impressive looking and the forbidden rice has a great flavor. The stuffing was the black rice, the kielbasa, onions and celery. I had so much extra stuffing that I put the rest around the onions for a great presentation. I was really proud of these.

Candied Beets (Courtesy of Fran) - I'm not a beets person, but Lenny was very excited to eat this and was pleased with it.

Sauces included gravy (of course) and homemade cranberry sauce which is so easy that is makes no sense to use the canned stuff.

Apple Pie (Apples from Coulton’s Corner) - I used the Cook's Illustrated Fool Proof Pie Crust and we finally dug into it today, the day after Thanksgiving. People were too full for dessert, I think. The crust is great. I loved it. It really is flaky and I suppose the vodka in the crust really worked. It's an impossibly sticky dough to work with, but it's worth the pain in the butt aspect.

Pumpkin Pie in Gingerbread Crust (Pumpkin from Northfordy Farms) - This has remained untouched. We had way too much food and the dessert of choice was flan. But I did taste the filling and crust as I was making it and it seemed good.

Darlene's Flan (Eggs from Four Mile River Farm) - A royal pain to make, but my special present to myself. It was good. A little sweet, but good. I've been enjoying it today.

There you go...
posted by Rose @ 7:23 PM  
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Name: Starry Rose
Home: New Haven, CT

A writer, cook, book-addict, foodie and pagan

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