Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was a small yet lovely affair with my family (J's family lives up north) at our house. I cooked, we ate and it was a nice, intimate holiday.

I started the prep one day in advance, and the whole process was so stress-free that I found myself standing around both Wednesday and Thanksgiving, wondering if I had forgotten something. I mean, I didn't cook for an army but still managed to make a lot of food. It just didn't feel like I did. Strange, but nice, I guess!

Wednesday: I made a simple brine for Herman (our 20 lbs turkey) by combining water, kosher salt, brown sugar, bay leaves and peppercorns:

Then I baked the cornbread for the stuffing:

Thanksgiving morning was just about getting Herman out of the brine, patted dry and into the oven, drying out the cornbread, steaming the potatoes and prepping the veggies:

SO Herman cooked up really quickly (brined, unstuffed birds tend to do that) so everything was ready a little early. Here's the meal:

Turkey: Not sure why I bought such an enormous platter since I served the bird sliced, but I guess every holiday table needs a big 'ol plate!

Mashed potatoes: I was thinking of doing roasted fingerlings instead but my sister said that it wouldn't feel like Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes.

Cornbread stuffing: easily my favorite part of the meal. Slightly sweet, homemade cornbread studded with chewy bits of Spanish chorizo which I rendered and cooked the added veggies in. I could eat this everyday, but my waistline probably wouldn't be too happy about it.

Gravy, Salad with Candied Pancetta & Roasted Butternut Squash and Green Beans with Lemon Zest. Yes, you read that right. Thick cut pancetta tossed with a mixture of brown sugar, crushed garlic, salt and olive oil cooked until crispy and carmelized. I just cooked the butternut squash in the rendered pancetta fat. C'mon, it's a holiday!

Dessert was made by my sister but we didn't take a photo- it was a lovely sweet potato pie with sweet sour cream. YUM.

After we ate we just sat on the sofa and watched back-to-back episodes of Three Sheets. Seriously, how on earth do I get that guy's job? Travel the world and drink. Sounds good to me.

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!


Diana said...

I'm so impressed by your stuffing! My family always uses the cubed kind from the box. Sad. But still tasty! ;)

Heather said...

Your cornbread is smiling. Neat trick.

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