Of the many things I am thankful for, it’s was the opportunity to move to Texas that still resonates with me. Without that bold change, I never would have met the love of my life, husband and best friend. Together we have two healthy children, and that was also very important for me this year at our quiet Thanksgiving feast.
Big brother munched on the orange segments from the Arugala salad from Angel Valley Farms, Little sister was entertained during the home stretch to finishing off the gravy and warming the sides.
In the haste of making a pumpkin pie I forgot to add sugar to the custard filling. It turned out to be a savory pumpkin pie, but pie nonetheless.
With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the pie was alright. Next time I want to make the pie ahead of time, or *gulp* buy one. I don’t like buying stuff because I don’t know what could be lurking within the sweet treat. How careful are bakers when handling nuts, and equipment that once had nuts on them? I can’t be sure so I bake my own. The silver lining to this pie flop is that it contains no sugar whatsoever, so my sugar sensitive friends could enjoy it, if they were here for the holidays.
Then there’s big birdy! I went with the apple and sage flavours from last weekend’s roasted chicken. I stuffed the cavity with granny smith apple, celery, salt and pepper. A compound butter (a whole stick) was made with plenty of salt, and lots of sage (a good palmful), pepper, some thyme. The butter is tucked under the skin and the entire surface of big birdy. Then I sprinkled more coarse sea salt and pepper on top of the butter slathered skin. Make sure you first lay thick slices of onion in the roasting pan, then rest big birdy on the onion. If you have white wine, pour a glass or two into the pan and this will add another dimension to the resulting liquids. The oven started at a blazing 475°F until the skin started to brown, about 45 minutes. Then the heat was reduced to 325°F until the thick part of the breast (pectoral) meat reached 180°F. And voilà…
Once big birdy was out of the oven, it was time to warm the side dishes. I made the green bean casserole and prepared the sweet potatoes earlier in the day. Some fresh beets from the farmstand snuck into the oven with the bird for a while, I roasted them whole with the skins on then peeled the skin off and finished them in a foil bag drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
The normal accoutréments joined the star of the meal: garlic mashed potatoes topped with chives, stuffing with raisins, cranberries, and gravy. I was full just by looking at my plate, or maybe it was pure exhaution.