Two Thanksgivings are better than one!

Thanksgiving is a funny little holiday around our house – I grew up with this day being a rather big deal, we always had a full table (at least 14-20+ folks dining together), and always made too much food. 🙂 As a vegetarian the turkey has historically grossed me out. It wasn’t until I was married and living far away from mom’s poultry talents in the kitchen that I discovered how more gross it could be. Fishing around a slimy bird’s insides looking for assorted spare parts takes a special kind of talent to accomplish in the morning – and several cups of coffee I might add…

Back to the matter at hand though. This year we sent out an evite to a number of local friends and loved ones inviting them to partake in a Thanksgiving Potluck the Saturday following Thanksgiving. In the eight years of being in New England I’ve dreamed of hosting a Thanksgiving table that my mom could be proud of. This year I succeeded. 🙂

For our intimate Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, just the two of us, I assembled a menu that gave us some healthy leftovers. Here’s what that looked like:

  • Wild Mushroom Bulgur Stuffing – inspired by this recipe
  • Mushroom Gravy – what can I say? I have a thing for mushrooms!
  • Sourdough Refrigerator Rolls – from my vintage book (1977) Sourdough Cookery by Rita Davenport.
  • Oven-Roasted Carrots in a Maple Syrup Glaze – simple CSA carrots were transformed into a lovely side dish with a sprinkle of dried rosemary and a splash of local maple syrup!
  • Sweet Potato Casserole – a vegan version of the classic with coconut milk instead of butter and cream, and a sprinkle of shredded coconut in lieu of marshmallows.
  • Mashed Potatoes – my husband’s mean side dish with fancy sea salt and a dollop of cream cheese. Yum!
  • Brined Turkey with Orange Glaze – I turned to my worn copy of The Joy of Cooking and tried a four-hour salt brine followed up by my signature basting technique using orange juice (because it smells nice :-)).
  • David Lebovitz’s chocolate pecan pie – using a sugar cane syrup instead of corn syrup.
  • Apple Cranberry Pie – a delicious vegan pie inspired by a recipe I found in the November issue of Yoga Journal.
  • Cranberry Red Wine – from our favorite town on the Cape.

If we didn’t look like over-fed turkeys after our first Thanksgiving we sure did after the second round!

Drinks
I was delighted to find a recipe for my syrupy kumquat marmalade that I put up last May in Canning for a New Generation. The inspiration behind the Wintry Sangria was a fresh batch of elderberry syrup a la Rosemary Gladstar’s formula. My version included a couple of sticks of cinnamon, a few cloves and some fresh-grated ginger root, perfectly aged in the refrigerator a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a bottle of bubbly made this sangria very refreshing.

  • Kumquat Knickerbockers – featuring my own canned kumquat syrup that I put up last May.
  • Sangria with Spiced Elderberry Syrup – featuring my homemade elderberry syrup I made earlier in the month.
  • Beer from the Mr Beer Kit:

Food

We pulled out leftovers from Thursday and some of my favorite potluck dishes from friends included baked mac n cheese, petite pastries from a local bakery, mini cupcakes (they were so cute and tasty!), a giant fruit tower (very popular with the youngest guests). Local cheeses from Robinson Farm also made a great cheeseboard.

Did you try something new this year for Thanksgiving? What dishes were you able to source local ingredients for?

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