We used to go to friends’ for Thanksgiving, and it was a lot of fun, but we really missed cooking Thanksgiving dinner. So, the day after Thanksgiving, we’d spend the day making another Thanksgiving dinner.
One year, after a heavy morning of cooking, we paused for Cranbellinis. I made cranberry syrup by cooking cranberries, sugar and water and straining out the berries. A simpler method is to use cranberry juice. If you buy unsweetened, you’ll have more control over the sweetness level. We used Cristolino cava, inexpensive, yet made in Spain using the methode Champenoise.
Roasting rutabagas and turnips brings out their sweetness. Here’s a tip we learned from watching Lidia Bastianich. Add some water to the roasting pan and cover with foil. This will start some steaming action when you put the pan in the oven. When the vegetables start to get tender, remove the foil and let them get some color.
I’m thoroughly tired of Brussels sprouts on every menu, and all the ways chefs try to make them sweet, and all the extra ingredients they add to distract from the sprouts. Spare me the candied nuts! ( I call for a moratorium on the expression, “These Brussels Sprouts are like crack.”) I made these hashed Brussels by searing them in a hot pan with olive oil, some salt and pepper. When they were tender, I added caramelized onions.
I like to add fruit and color to the Thanksgiving table. In addition to cranberries, I make pears poached in red wine.
My husband makes the stuffing. He uses Fairfield Bread Co’s bread, of course.
He get a nice brown crust by topping it with pats of butter and putting it back in the oven.
My mother used to make creamed white onions for Thanksgiving. I hated them. I didn’t like that white sauce invading and infecting the rest of my plate. My mother bought little white bowls so I could have a separate serving. She believed in tasting things even if you didn’t like them. I never changed my mind about creamed onions. One year I made these caramelized onions to try to break the creamed onion curse. Last year I dropped the little onions from the menu altogether. Got to leave room for pie.
And there were mashed potatoes, lots of gravy, sweet potato casserole, and, oh yes, turkey.