I'm going to admit it right up front: I've been a NaBloPoMo failure. It was definitely a lofty goal for me to try to post here every day, but unfortunately, I just can't do it, during November or any other month. My heart it is rebellious, and even though my intentions are good, I just can't post this often. (I'm trying!) If you blog every day, my hat is off to you.
Having said that, however, I do want to talk about Thanksgiving since it is my favorite culinary holiday. It's the holiday that in the United States and in my house, always features the best of what fall has to offer: fresh poultry, grains, nuts, legumes, potatoes, berries, greens, fruity olive oils, and local wines. I so look forward to this Sunday's Farmer's Market trip. We've been avoiding the farmer's lately in the interest of saving a little money, but you couldn't pry me away from the farmer's market the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
I break my Thanksgiving into three parts: appetizers, main meal, dessert. (This is last year's menu.) Because my family traditionally eats our Thanksgiving dinner late, at dinner time, the day is spent noshing on an assortment of lovely hors d'oeuvres accompanied by drinks as we take in the Thanksgiving Day Parade and also a parade of football games. My sister and I cook and fiddle about in the kitchen, cousins play, my brother and J. spend the day on the couch (or making us martinis), my mom is in charge of hors do'oeuvres and making oyster bisque. Our list of Thanksgiving Day pre-dinner nosh doesn't change much and usually includes:
- assorted cheeses and salumi
- chicken liver-truffle paté with plenty of cracked pepper and accompaniments (French cornichons, onions)
- Wallie's favorite smoked salmon and accompaniments (capers, onions)
- clam dip and potato chips
- martinis and old fashioneds
Here are some of my thoughts about Thanksgiving last year in the hopes that it might inspire you to start thinking about your own meal. But we're far from done here. Let's keep talkin'.
If you want to talk turkey, we can definitely do that again. Last year I shared my trifecta of turkey goodness: the brining process (Though now I dry-brine. It's far less messy.), the herb butter, and the basting sauce which gives the turkey a special glaze and makes the most delicious gravy.
In terms of side-dishes, we are pretty traditional, too, but this year, I think I might swap the oyster pie for a walnut-cranberry-blue-cheese tart (I will share the recipe). I'd also really like to see an unusual green on our Thanksgiving table, but I have to see what looks good at the farmer's market.
My sister has declared that she is making the pies this year. We're going to get together early next week to make the pie dough. We will absolutely have pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream and we'll have to see about the other one. I love sour cherry pie with crumb topping which I make for my mom, but maybe we'll do something really wacky. Pie will be served with piping hot coffee, probably about an hour after we eat, when everyone has had a chance to digest a bit, and the kids are ready to drift off to sleep.
Speaking of which, I've been reading about making digestifs and this fennel one has caught my eye. (We've made our own limoncello, kahlua, and cranberry cordials and this seems much easier.)
I just wish we could move past this freak heat-wave so it can be cold again. I'd like to take some long walks through our pretty neighborhood when the cousins are here, but I want it to be crisp and cold when we do.
Please share your Thanksgiving traditions with me! As always, I am inspired by you.