Yup, the eating season is almost upon us. Others like to refer to these times as “the holiday season” or “a time for celebration,” but I prefer to be honest about it. It’s definitely a time to celebrate. More specifically, it’s a time to celebrate food and eating.
Thanksgiving is coming up, and Evonne and I will be holding the second annual Post-Thanksgiving Food Fest at my place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. She’s handling the turkey, because she has some sort of unnatural attraction to said fowl, and I’ll be handling the sides.
Thus far on the menu:
Turkey with gravy: Evonne’s tried-and-true marinade will render our 15 lb turkey luscious and succulent. Then I’ll take the roasting pan and make delicious pan gravy. The turkey will be the main focus of all our attentions on Saturday, since it cannot be made ahead of time. Although, I’m considering brining it…
Mashed potatoes: Standard, non-dressy mashed potatoes. I’m considering adding some roasted garlic. We’ll see. This will be prepared on the morning (by which I mean about 11am – 1pm) of Thanksgiving Saturday.
Salad: The usual assemble-your-own salad, with an assortment of veggies.
Probably: romaine lettuce, boston lettuce, mandarin orange segments, toasted hazelnuts, shredded carrot, sliced cucumber, thin-sliced red onion, black olives, grated parmessan.
Maybe: Sliced tomatoes, basil, sliced mushrooms, sliced bell pepper. And whatever dressings we have on hand. Or just vinaigrette. All veggies will be chopped up on Friday night.
Stuffing: I have two stuffing recipes I’m trying to decide between. One is an herb and mushroom stuffing, which sounds hugely appealing to me, but I know Adan hates mushrooms. The other, which also sounds good, is a cornbread and apple stuffing. Maybe I’ll make a half-recipe of both. Definitely to be prepared ahead of time, probably on Friday.
Steamed veggies with sauces: Broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots, green beans, steamed until just a tad crisp. Alongside these veggies, I’ll be serving two sauces: a traditional cheese sauce, and a lighter lemon-garlic sauce. Sauces will definitely be made way ahead of time (probably Thursday), and veggies will be steamed just before serving, while the fully cooked turkey is resting before carving.
Sweet potato pie with whipped cream: I’ll be using store-bought crust for this pie, and I’m going to try not to make the filling too sweet or alcoholy. Just a drop of bourbon, and no molasses, only brown sugar. The pie will be made ahead of time (on Thursday), and the cream whipped before serving, with a touch of bourbon.
Apple crumble with vanilla ice-cream: I’m going to resist the urge to make my own vanilla ice-cream, and just buy some. Apple crumble is easy to make, and I think I’ll be using Cortland apples for the flavor, chopped in large pieces to preserve their texture and keep the crumble from being mushy. Apples will be chopped up in the late afternoon and stored in a small amount of acidulated water to keep them from browniing. Crumble topping will also be made in the afternoon. I’ll assemble it just after dinner has begun, and pop into the oven for 45 minutes, with 30 minutes resting time after.
Cheese platter: I toyed with the idea of making soup, but decided against it in favor of a cheese platter. On the platter we will have brie, parmagiano reggiano, prima donna (a milder, creamier version of gouda) and the sharpest cheddar that I can find. Also on the platter I will provide some crusty white bread (fresh sourdough if I can find some) and slices of apple and pear. What little preparation is needed for this dish will probably be done on Saturday afternoon.
The action plan:
- Shopping for veggies for salad and steaming
- Ingredients for veggie sauces
- Sweet potatoes and pie crust
- Ingredients for mashed potatoes, apples and vanilla ice-cream
- Make sauces for the steamed veggies
- Bake sweet potato pie
- Food shopping for cheeses and fruit, ingredients for stuffing
- Chopping up veggies for salad and for steaming
- Maybe brining the turkey
12:00pm: Roast garlic for mashed potatoes
12:30pm: Prep turkey
2pm: Pop the turkey in
2pm: Do prep work for gravy
4:30pm: Prepare crumble topping
5:00pm: Slice up apples and pears for crumble and cheese platter
6:00pm: Make mashed potatoes
7:00pm: Remove cheese from fridge (to bring to room temperature)
7:30pm: Remove turkey from oven (around 7pm or so)
7:35pm: Steam veggies
7:40pm: Stick veggie sauces in the microwave to warm up
7:45pm: Finish gravy
8:00pm: Assemble crumble and put into oven
- Turkey and gravy
- Mashed potatoes
- Steamed veggies and sauces
- Cheese platter and a breather
And about 9:30pm: Dessert!
- Whip some cream
- Serve pie and crumble
- Coffee and tea, for those who want some
Quite a plan. Since we’re cooking so many things, I’m intending to make small portions of each thing, to ensure that we don’t have too many leftovers.