I made good on my threat to bake off the two remaining loaves of bread. Bread isn't generally a part of our traditional meal, but who knows? Many of the home bakers I've been watching on Facebook were making the yummiest looking dinner rolls. Perhaps over the coming year, as I make my way through the book, I'll learn to make them...and I'll probably keep a package of "Brown 'n Serve" handy, just in case. Anyway...bread. We ate one loaf, and Matthew took the second loaf home with him.
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[Please excuse this blog interruption.] Just now when I went to post that picture, I noticed that Blogger now has a "special characters" option. So, just to give you a taste for this new thing, I'll say this:
My 🐈 went outside this morning and caught a 🐁, which he proceeded to eat in plain view at the glass door. I won't post a picture. You're welcome. The 🐁made my cat look like this: 😸. On the other hand, it made me look like this: 😬. Don't worry. I really hate emoticons, and so don't expect to see them very often.
[We now return you to the blog post in progress.]
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Usually, I try one new recipe for Thanksgiving because my family insists that the old favorites return year after year. Frankly, its distracting to hear wailing and moaning at our Thanksgiving table. So if the bread wasn't enough, I also tried a new cranberry recipe that was billed thus: "It practically makes itself!" And on Thanksgiving, that's a big selling point, so I tried it. It was really good! I have a lot of good cranberry recipes, but this one wins the prize for being the easiest. You roast two bags of cranberries with a thinly sliced shallot. (I had a red cippolini onion from our last CSA share, and so I used that.) To that, you add some brown sugar, lemon and orange zest and some orange juice. Then roast them in the oven for about an hour.
Roasting them in the oven probably caramelizes them a bit, and so I believe they use less sugar. When mine were close to finishing, I tasted them, and thought they needed just a little bit more sugar. Of course, that would depend on the berries you're using, and mine were just a little too bitterly tart. Just a little added sugar made a big difference. They were very easy, and took almost no hands-on time at all. If you'd like to try this simple recipe, you can find it right here.
Setting the table always hangs over me a bit, and so I did that early in the day. We're usually stoneware kind of people, but I have lots of china and silverware inherited from both sides of our families. The china is from Mike's grandmother. The silverware is from my great aunt. I didn't have enough wine glasses for seven, and so I mixed two different ones. One set was given to me by my mother. The other set was purchased from local wineries by Mike's mother when she visited many years ago.
The water glasses came from my mother. She and I were walking the streets of Oceanside, California, one day (when I was a teenager) and came across a store-closing in progress. She bought a bunch of pretty glasses that day, and for whatever reason, the memory sticks with me. They didn't have a lot of money in those days, and so she was thrilled to find pretty tableware that she could afford. My mom passed away in March of 1997, nearly 20 years ago, and so any clear memories of her are precious.
There were plenty of vegetables from a few weeks of CSA shares to make a pretty roasted vegetable dish. The only thing I added from the grocery store were some shallots and parsnips. Otherwise, it was CSA all the way. There was delicata squash, rutabaga, red and gold beets, garlic, turnips, fresh thyme and rosemary. Yum.
This is my favorite pumpkin dessert: Bourbon Pumpkin Tart with Walnut Streusel. The topping makes this especially delicious with the walnuts and some crystallized ginger. I can't say how the topping pulls it off, but it's so light and crunchy, it practically melts in your mouth.
Erik deep fried the turkey this year (and last year too). It's kind of a guy-bonding event. Here are the two fryers-in-chief.
Our weather was absolutely horrible yesterday. It rained hard the whole live-long day. They were able to set up just under the eaves of the patio on the lower level. It was pretty well sheltered from the wind and rain, and the two of them did a bang-up job on the turkey.
Before we parted for the evening, I asked our guest to take a picture of the family. It's pretty hard to get a picture of the six of us together unless we set up a tripod, so I was glad for this opportunity. Erik got it in his head to include Smitty in the picture, and Smitty was amazingly cooperative. (Sadie was hiding out in the farthest reaches of the basement. Too many feet for her little nerves.)
And there you go. Thanksgiving 2016 is history now.
Today there's still some clean-up to do...mainly taking the leaf out of the table and putting some stuff away. Now I'm motivated to put out some Christmas stuff this weekend...always kind of fun to do when Thanksgiving is officially over. If there's time, I'll finish quilting the last bit of the Sunflower Sampler, and maybe get the binding sewn on too.
I'm hopeful you all had a happy and safe Thanksgiving celebration.