Thanksgiving Menu 2016

Doing the Jas Townsend 17th Century Thanksgiving [from their youtube channel] with some additions -

Turkey - roast unstuffed as normal
Bread Pudding in place of regular stuffing:
1 pound Wheat Breadcrumb
3 Eggs well beaten
3 ounces Suet
½ cup Wine
Combine all ingredients, add spices to taste, and mix thoroughly. Lightly pack in baking pot that has been well buttered. Bake with lid on for about 75-90 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cranberry Sauce and Cranberry Pie:
2 pounds Cranberries
1 Paste or Pie Crust
Add just enough water to cranberries in cooking pot to cover and boil about 15 minutes until skins break open. Mash up cranberries to desired consistency (Be aware that cranberries stain everything). Strain in jelly bag. Add about the same amount of sugar as you have cranberry sauce to the cranberries and simmer another 10-15 minutes.
Pour half of cranberries into well buttered tart tin with paste, skimming off any foamy skin on top, and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes. Pour other half into bowl and allow to cool.
A Ragout of French Beans
– 1 to 1-1/2 lb. fresh Green Beans, with ends trimmed and cut into thirds
– Enough Fat with which to fry (The amount will vary depending on the size of your pan. You’ll want about a half-inch.) Oil, suet, or lard will do. We used lard in our recipe.
– 2 oz. (half stick) Butter, rolled in flour
– 2 T Water
– 1 to 2 T Mushroom Ketchup. (Mushroom ketchup tends to be very salty, therefore we eliminated the extra salt altogether.)
– 2 to 4 T White Wine of Sherry
– 1 medium Onion, peeled and stuck with six whole cloves
– 1/4 t Nutmeg, grated
– 1/8 t Mace, grated
– 1/8 t Black Pepper, ground
Heat your fat to about 300-degrees (F) and carefully add your beans. we skipped the soak that was prescribed in the original recipe. If you opt to do this, be sure to dry your beans completely before adding them to hot fat. Fry the beans until they begin to turn a light brown. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and drain them. Set them aside and allow your hot fat to cool before pouring it off your pan. Once your frying fat has been poured off, add the butter dredged in flour to your pan and stir until the butter is sizzling. The original recipe suggested adding the water to the pan first, however, we found that this resulted in excessive splattering. Once the butter is melted and the flour has begun to turn to a light brown, add the water, mushroom ketchup, and wine, along with the spices and the onion. Stir until the liquid has reduced to about half its original volume. Remove the onion, return the beans, and stir them for a minute or two to reheat. Dish the beans and serve them up!
By the way, Mr. Farley offers no instructions on what to do with the onion other than to remove it before serving. This was a fairly common method of seasoning in that day. Use it as a garnish, if you wish, or serve it up along side the beans. You’re on your own with that one.

Sweet Potato Pudding:
1 ½ pounds Sweet Potatoes (Can substitute Winter Squash, Crookneck Squash, Pumpkin, or any Potatoes)
3 Large Apples
3 ½ tablespoons Breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup Cream
1 tablespoon Wine
3 Eggs well beaten
¼ cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
¼ cup Dried Black Currants (Can substitute with Zante Currants or Whortleberries)

Bake or boil sweet potatoes until soft. Pear, core and chop apples, then boil until soft. Mash together sweet potatoes and apples until fairly smooth. Mix in breadcrumbs, flour, cream, wine, and eggs. Add sugar and spices and mix well. Gently mix in currants. Place inside of cook pot without the lid. Bake at 325 degrees for about 75-90 minutes.
Indian Pudding:
3 cups Milk
1 cup Cornmeal
1 egg well beaten
2 ounces Butter
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Ginger
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ cup Molasses

Bring milk to a gentle simmer on fairly low heat constantly stirring so milk does not burn on the bottom. Once simmering, add cornmeal and continue stirring and cooking until it thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool just enough that it does not cook the egg when added. When cooled enough, add egg, butter, spices, and molasses and stir until well mixed and the butter is melted. Pour into well buttered mold and bake at 325 degrees for about an hour and a half.
Pumpkin Pie:
1 pint Pumpkin
1 quart Milk
4 Eggs well beaten
½ cup Molasses
1 teaspoon Ginger
1 teaspoon Allspice
2 Pie Crusts
Cut pumpkin in half, gut and bake upside down at 350 degrees for about an hour to soften. Peal and mash then add milk and mix. Next, add eggs, and molasses. Finally, mix in spices and pour into pie crust. Bake in oven at 325 for 75 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.

Add roasted potatoes [olive oil, lemon juice, italian herbs, black pepper]
Add Rum Hard Sauce for the pies [rum, 10x sugar, butter]
Add Baked Apples the way Mom did them

Turkey (Alton Brown brine method)
Cranberry sauce
Sweet potato casserole (with melted marshmallow topping)
Glazed carrots
Spaghetti squash
Apple Pie

I found out yesterday that I’m serving 7, not 4…although only 6 will eat the turkey. I might add a second dessert, and I think my sister is going to bring an asparagus dish.

I didn’t add gravy to my list because, if there is turkey, of course there’ll be gravy!

I quit “pairing” wine with food using the red/white divide. Ok, except fish.

A Shiraz might be nice with the capon (which is just a fattened and neutered rooster, IIRC). I sampled (and bought) a 2012 red blend by Paxis which is very good.

If you prefer white, go with something that can stand up to all the heavy dishes of Thanksgiving. I have used Gewürztraminer at Thanksgiving and Christmas and people liked it. Chateau Ste. Michelle’s 2012 was good.

A white burgundy might work as well, but I don’t know anything about them.

Gravy is a food group! Not having gravy with roast turkey is a crime against humanity.

Turkey Breast
Mashed potatoes
cranberry sauce
If I’m feeling ambitious, baked onions from a family recipe
Green beans (not casserole)
Cole slaw

We get to go to my daughter’s in-laws once again. Oh yeah. Becoming a thing. And since they’ve already got a lock on the turkey part, even though my Weber grilled turkey beats anybody else’s this side of the Mississippi, I will accept their request. A whole smoked brisket. Fuck, there goes Wednesday. I used to just bring it at Fourth of July parties and such, but they really kind of like it. So our traditional Thanksgiving dinner includes, not only the turkey/stuffing standard, but a fabulously smoked (it really is pretty good) brisket. No barbecue sauce necessary. Wouldn’t work with the stuffing.

Pizza. I hate turkey, and most anything that comes with it.

I don’t like most conventional fare, so we’re going out to dinner. To Alice’s Restaurant. I hear you can get anything you want.

Excepting Alice …

Alice? Who the fuck is Alice?

< faints >

Spicy cranberry BBQ meatballs
Deviled eggs
Persimmon nut bread

Isn’t that what ham is for?

Which is a common ingredient on pizza.

Just the three of us as usual so no turkey. We had turkey a week early at a dinner hosted by the organization that used to provide our housing (SO still utilizes their counseling services).

Loaded potato skins as appetizers followed by a ham (simmered all day in the crockpot), cheddar biscuits (from a box), mashed potatoes (from the potatoes used for the skins), stuffing, and my homemade egg nog for dessert.

We’re procuring a local free-range turkey, which Mom will cook. Hopefully she will do the usual wild rice stuffing, unfortunately with no mushroom because BIL can’t eat them. She will also do gravy and homemade whole cranberry sauce.

We’re making bread (I usually do a rosemary/dill/onion bread) and a Derby pie, and bringing wine. Remind me to make sure Mom is making sweet potatoes, or we’ll bring those too; Tom Scud can’t eat those, either, and I am jonesing for them.

My sister…well, I have no idea what she will bring. She eats primarily beige food.

Also remind me to check with Mom what the veggie situation is…and the appetizer situation.

Scratch the above. Our complex plays Bingo occasionally, and we were playing tonight. We won a small turkey, maybe a nine-pounder. So our neighbor is going to add it to her fare, and we’ll eat with her and her friends.

I am making
Whole roasted turkey (brine method)
Small ham (my daughter does not eat turkey)
Mashed potatoes with onions and sour cream
Deviled eggs with horseradish
Possibly apple pie and sweet potato souffle with marshmallows

MIL making
Green beans
Creamed corn

SIL making
Pumpkin cake

Only 4-6 people, depending on whether one of my cousins shows up with her husband for dinner or not. So it’s not a gigantic meal. But the list:

Standing rib roast
Roasted vegetables
Mashed sweet potatoes with goat cheese and poblano peppers
Salad with black olives, Montamore cheese, and Italian dressing
Baguettes and butter

Rosemary lemon cake for dessert.
Cheese and crackers for appetizers.

Welp, wife came down with the flu, no SF vegetarian experience.

New menu (all done by yours truly)

Weber turkey

Green beans sauteed with shallots, garlic, shiitakes and a bit of bacon.

Some kind of roasted/baked root vegetables, haven’t decided

Probably homemade cranberry/orange relish.

Salad with whatever we have around, homemade bleu cheese dressing.

Not a lot of everything, just the two of us on such short notice, maybe a few neighbors in for a break from their relatives.