Thursday, November 08, 2007

Okay, NOW It's Thanksgiving

Okay, NOW I can think about Thanksgiving. Not that I didn’t months ago when I claimed one of only eighty pastured turkeys from a local farm, but now I can finally start thinking about how to cook the beast. And what to cook with it. And the wine. Oh, my, yes, the wine.

I have this thing about pushing the next holiday before the current one has been celebrated. This is especially true in the fall when retailers are shoving catalogs at me before the Halloween candy has even hit the shelves. When the bizarre cologne ads hit TV at the same time as the NFL, and every billboard starts to scream “Bling!”

Hey, what happened to Thanksgiving?! Retailers are just drumming their fingers until Black Friday. Enough, I say, heathens. Let there be Thanks. Giving.

Thus, finally, as the jack-o-lantern heads to the compost pile, as the Elmo costume mercifully makes its way to Goodwill, and the last of the sugar buzz fades. Only now, do I contemplate my favorite holiday of the year. And what a feast it shall be. Let the menu planning begin.

Some possible favorites to go on the menu:
Cinnamon-Vanilla Applesauce
Delicata Squash with Red Rice, Cranberries and Pecans
Maple-Orange Sweet Potato Souffle
Vanilla-Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan-Brown Sugar Crust
Red-wine Caramel Apple Tart with Gorgonzola on a Walnut Crust
Pumpkin Puree (for pies from scratch)

We're keeping local ingredients as the center of the meal with a pastured turkey from a nearby farm. I'm thinking that will be brined, stuffed with sage and apple and given a maple glaze. I'd also like to do a variation on my Honey Cornbread to make that into a stuffing using local cornmeal and honey. I've got a couple weeks, I have some time to invent a few new things as well.

Earlier in the season, I blanched and froze fresh green beans for Roasted Green Beans. I wanted something green on the plate. The good news (sort of, with a worried glance toward global warming news) is the long fall we are getting may allow for a few local greens from our CSA.


jen said...

alight wise woman. i need a kick ass stuffing recipe. one that has no fruit (that's just weird) and no fish or beef products (some of the eaters are also weird)


The Expatriate Chef said...

You got it. I will work on that for us both.

Jenni said...

Ooh, and I was just found what I hope will be good heritage turkey cooking instructions yesterday:

gotta eat 'em to save 'em

- Jenni

The Expatriate Chef said...

I'll have to check what kind of bird this one is. We're picking it up never frozen, so I have high hopes.

Cate said...

I can't believe Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away! Just started planning our menu...