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!
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:
- Roasted Fresh Ham with Orange Glaze – the ham came from our ranch CSA with 8 o’clock Ranch and the marmalade is from last spring’s canning efforts.
- Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Root Vegetables – I’d never made homemade gnocchi before, it was really simple, though the yield seemed pretty high (I have extra dough in the freezer) in this recipe. I’d like to try it again, perhaps with a pumpkin twist?
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?