As is our wont, Evonne and I have held yet another Post-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving, our fourth successful one! Or, as it’s best known to Evonne, a convenient excuse to have a second turkey. I really like this tradition; since most of our friends have plans for Thanksgiving dinner with family, it’s nice to have a Thanksgiving dinner with friends as well. Friday is a day of recuperation, and Saturday a day of reindulgence.
On the menu this year we had:
- turkey with cranberry sauce and gravy
- sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel topping
- bread stuffing with sage and thyme
- buttermilk ranch mashed potatoes (tasted like sour cream and onion – yummy!)
- glazed carrots
- stuffed mushrooms
- steamed broccoli
- pumpkin pie w/ grand marnier whipped cream
- espresso cheesecake
The turkey was basted with our usual Chinese preserved bean paste – we use the same ingredients every year, and every year our friends are stunned to find out they have enjoyed preserved beans with their turkey. We made a small change this year and pureed the preserved beans before slathering it onto the turkey, which made for a smoother application, and a better gravy. The gravy this year was excellent, partly due to my handy-dandy new fat separator, which removed a full CUP (that’s 8 ounces) of fat from the pan drippings. Good lord, it was scary watching that rise to the top.
Cranberry sauce was a variation on a recipe that Nina pulled together last year – we just added some Grand Marnier to the mix, for a nice counterpoint. I did, however, receive feedback that the cranberry sauce was just slightly too sour, and have adjusted the recipe to add more sugar for next year’s food fest. Ah, the hazards inherent in cooking dishes which I do not personally consume.
The sweet potato casserole was yummy! I have two requirements for sweet potato casseroles – that they are not watery (I prefer a mashed potato consistency that can hold its own shape) and that they are not too sweet. To that end, I bought naturally sweet sweet potatoes (garnet yams) from Whole Foods, and did not add extra sugar into the casserole, except on the topping. I also decided in favor of a pecan streusel topping instead of marshmallows, again to cut down on the candy factor.
The stuffing was pretty standard, mashed potatoes were like sour cream and onion chips, but in mashed potato form (upon tasting them, Evonne immediately said “You should make these again,” quite ignoring that I had just made them right then). Glazed carrots and steamed broccoli went some ways towards making this a healthier meal, although that was probably offset by the pumpkin pie and espresso cheesecake. And the stuffed mushrooms recipe, I think, has been tweaked a few times, and I’ve finally arrived at a recipe I absolutely love.
If you want any particular recipe, I can definitely post it, but didn’t want to make this entry any longer than it already is.
Thanks to everyone who came and feasted with us. Another year, another day of gluttony!