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canadian thanksgiving

October 13, 2008

Although I forgot to take many photos at our Thanksgiving dinner for nine last night, these ones pretty sum up our evening:


                             Full Plate


                   Empty Plate

We at the the following menu:
Appetizers: sundried tomato brie, and bacon scallops
Mains:  turkey, stuffing with dried apricots and cranberries, mashed potatoes, maple tangerine cranberry sauce. maple roasted sweet potatoes, shallot dijon gravy, creamy butternut squash, roasted beets, swiss chard with garlic
Dessert:  pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust
Drinks:  c
rantinis, red wine, beer

For the appetizers, dumping sundried tomatoes and garlic on top of a round of brie, and wrapping scallops in bacon is dead easy.  Those were gobbled up quite quickly.

I have to admit – salting the turkey for 24 hours really made it flavourful and moist.  I have eaten many many bland turkeys.  This turkey was not bland. It was worth the effort.  The gravy for the turkey was delightful with the addition of green onions, wine, dijon mustard and chicken stock.  Here’s the whole recipe.  I did not make my own turkey stock because I’m a lazy ass.  I used a container of organic chicken stock instead.

I made my own cranberry sauce, which is dead easy.  Throw a bag of cranberries in a saucepan.  Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar, maple syrup, two cinnamon sticks, and the juice of 6 oranges.   Simmer on stove for half an hour.  This avoided the ole ‘cranberry molded in the shape of the tin can’ problem of Thanksgivings past.

For the stuffing, I embellished store-bought with dried apricots, craisins, celery, onion, chicken stock, italian parsley, thyme, sage and rosemary.  I mashed up some plain ole potatoes with their skins on.  The beets I pre-boiled and then roasted with garlic, balsamic vinegar and thyme.  The squash casserole was sweet and delicious, and added the different tastes of parmesean and whipping cream sauce.  I had a lot of thyme-based recipes and the sweet added a new kick to the meal. 

I love swiss chard, so I took the stems off two big bunches, threw in a glug of olive oil, minced some garlic, added salt and pepper, and cooked the chard slowly until it reduced. 

The sweet potatoes were my only flop.  They went to mush while roasting and ended up less like roasted maple sweet potatoes and more like mash.

Finally, for dessert, I tried this pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust from Bon Appetit.  I left off the marshmallow topping.  I think I overcooked the crust a bit, but the filling was light and fluffy, and not the normal pumpkin-dense.  The cheesecake cracked while cooking  (why oh why does it do this?) so I covered the top with whipping cream (the real stuff).

In between turkey and cheesecake, we went for a long walk with the dogs in the dark on the farm that borders our neighbourhood. 

This helped with the  I’ve eaten so much I am going to puke phenomenon that is Thanksgiving.

 

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