I find it incredibly ironic that I literally cooked and cleaned for days and I have not a single photograph to document the work. So for lack of anything else to offer up, I am going to share the menu and maybe a recipe or two. Depends on how many interruptions I get trying to type this all up. The kids are home from school, after all.
12/3 update: I have grabbed some photos that my friend took. Hopefully they will translate well to this site. Who knows…
Appetizers: We had a cheese plate with a bleu (a light flavored one, as my husband balks at the stronger bleus), a Manchego, aged Gouda, brie, and another that I am completely forgetting right now. I also had water crackers and quince paste. My husband bought a truffled pate that was very popular. I honestly didn’t love it. Maybe I am a hotdog pie gal after all…
We also had a crudités plate with an onion confit spread that I made from the confit my husband made earlier. It was very yummy.
Turkey: Of course. This was a locally raised, heirloom bird. We ended up with a bird that was just shy of 16 pounds. It was huge! I really noticed just how huge every 30 minutes when I had to remove it from the oven for basting. BLAH. Backbreaking is the word that comes to mind. I had saved some duck fat that I had rendered earlier just for this occasion. We had already slathered the bird with the compound butter (chives, parsley and thyme) I had made, including under the skin. It was a beautiful, tasty bird. Worth all the visits I will need to the chiropractor.
Roasted Root Vegetables: I used Brussels sprouts, red and yellow beets, a bulb of fennel, one large shallot and a couple of carrots. I tossed them in olive oil and liberally salted and peppered them and then gave them a good drizzle of balsamic vinegar before roasting for 45 minutes. These were delish!
Salad: We had one vegetarian among us, so she brought a salad to hedge her bets on having enough to eat – LOL! This was a refreshingly light addition to the menu. She used mixed greens and added to them candied almonds, fresh chanterelle mushrooms and dried cherries. All topped with an orange-champagne vinaigrette. My middle child ate nothing but salad. I am not exaggerating. He didn’t even touch his plate and ate 5 helpings of salad. Glad she brought it!
Turnip and Collard Greens: These were made by my husband for the first time yesterday. They were spicy and they totally rocked! They had bacon and ham base (I had never even heard of this before), along with onions, red pepper flakes, horseradish and wasabi paste. I LOVED them. We will definitely make these again. These would be so yummy with a pulled pork sandwich. I am drooling just thinking about it!
Cranberry Compote: These were very popular. I love cranberries and will even eat the gelatinous rounds out of a can, but I can honestly say that these were spectacular! They had apricots and star anise in them. YUM!
Mashed Potatoes with Celeriac: I liked these a lot. They were just different enough from straight up mashed potatoes. I also used some of the compound butter in them. Again, very tasty.
Rolls: I totally cheated on this, as I knew I just wouldn’t have the time to get them made from scratch myself. I bought a basic roll and then one with rosemary. Both made tasty little sandwiches today. I love that about Thanksgiving leftovers!
Drinks: I made a holiday Sangria that was so delicious that I was afraid I was likely to find myself lying on the floor later if I kept drinking it. It was “adult cool-aid”! I kid you not. I could have easily sucked down a dozen of these, no problem. We had a stocked bar, but outside of a few beers, most people drank the Sangria.
Dessert: I made a cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. This was topped with black cherry preserves. The crust came out like a brick, but otherwise tasted pretty good. They brought a couple of pumpkin pies, which were the perfect ending to the meal.
Overall, I was very thankful for the lovely meal, shared with my wonderful family and friends. I am very lucky indeed.