We had the honor and pleasure of cooking Thanksgiving again this year for a really great family.
I bought a local turkey as I did last year from Long Shadow Farm in Berthoud, CO. Unlike last year when I arrived at the farm to find a woman seated at a desk in the garage near a large refrigerator distributing chilled birds to anyone who had pre-ordered, this year I walked into a slaughtering/de-feathering/cleaning of turkeys small-scale processing line that I was not expecting at all. Our bird hadn’t even been chilled as she had been slaughtered just a few hours prior to pickup. Talk about having a real understanding of where our food comes from! I have that image seared into my memory… and will spare you the few photos I took.
We’re very fortunate to purchase such a quality turkey, so it’s extra important to me to serve it with all made from scratch accompaniments and sides.
I made the caramelized onion gravy base on Tuesday night. I’ve been making this gravy for more than ten years now, and each year I think it tastes better than the last. The butter and onions cooked low and slow for six hours. Six. Hours.
I started with a full pot and snapped a photo every couple of hours…
…until I couldn’t resist spooning it into my mouth.
Wednesday I made my pumpkin pie, but failed to snap a photo. I also made a cranberry sauce with roasted shallots and mandarin zest.
Thursday, Chef and I cooked the rest of the meal on site in their Boulder home. The beautiful bird went into the 325 degree oven after being rubbed with butter and herbs. She amazingly and somewhat surprisingly appeared done after just under two hours. That was a fast cooker!
I put together a wild rice stuffing while Sean made a sweet potato and chevre gratin, which has now become a Thanksgiving tradition for this family.
The ingredients in this dish are simply sinful- The health benefits of sweet potatoes are far outnumbered by the cheese and heavy cream combo. But, that’s what makes it so GOOD too!
While the gratin baked, Sean worked on maple glazed carrots in a cast iron skillet.
Next, he assembled green beans in shallot butter topped with fried shallots.
We added the pan juices to the gravy base, carved the bird,
And set up a small buffet for them.
We can’t wait until next year!
Here’s one of my favorite Moosewood recipes. They’re called “Sweet Pumpkin Cookies” in their New Classics Cookbook, and I’ve been baking them for years. As it’s pumpkin season, I picked up a local pie pumpkin and roasted it for this recipe rather than purchase canned pumpkin. Here are Moosewood’s ingredients.
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped toasted peanuts
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
I made a few changes for this batch- rather than one cup of sugar, I used 3/4 cups evaporated cane juice and 1/4 cup maple sugar, I used 1/2 cup peanuts, and skipped the raisins. I like the addition of maple sugar (which you can find at Savory Spice Shop) because maple makes most things better.
Preheat oven to 375
In your KitchenAid mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Then add the pumpkin, egg, vanilla, and mix well. In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to your mixer and mix until a gorgeous batter is formed. Mix in your nuts and chips, and be patient- don’t eat it all raw.
Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet and allow a little space for the cookies to spread while baking. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until they’re slightly brown on the bottom. Transfer to a cooling rack, and dig right in.
These cookies are very flaky and I often refer to them as delicate. They’ll store better in the fridge than in a cookie jar on the counter.
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper (pick some up at Savory Spice Shop, or use red pepper flakes)
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- Mexican Oregano
- Dried Tarragon
- Fennel Pollen
- Maple Sugar
- Sea Salt
The fish grilled for approximately 10 minutes. I let it sit sealed in the packet a couple more minutes before squeezing a little fresh orange juice on top. That’s right- orange this time, not lemon.
- 1 cup pure (bottled, filtered) water
- 1/3 cup maple sugar (you can buy some at Savory Spice Shop)
- 1/4-1/3 cup evaporated cane juice (use a little less if you want it less sweet)
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 6 or 7 whole allspice berries (which you can definitely find at SSS)
- 1/4 tsp caraway seeds (you know where I got mine…)