Dinner was on Sunday so I began the process last week: I planned the menu on Tuesday, did all of the shopping on Wednesday and started preparing things on Thursday. By the time Sunday rolled around things were indeed unusually calm, the dinner came together seemingly without effort.
This is how it all came together:
|Cranberries for the chutney.|
I decided to do some baking on the Friday as well as cooking up a batch of something that would start the Thanksgiving weekend off on the right note... the note redolent of both a pumpkin festival and autumnal glory that is...
How about a pumpkin gnocchi? So easy and just the thing if you have to open up a can of pumpkin anyway, here is the recipe I used.
|Frying the sage in butter for the sauce...|
|The finished pumpkin gnocchi with brown butter and balsamic sage.|
I used a recipe similar to this one (though I substituted ground cardamom and a bit of nutmeg for the pumpkin pie spice, and I also used sour cream rather than milk).
|The dry ingredients for the pumpkin loaf.|
I used ground cardamom and nutmeg.
|Long pumpkin loaf: perfect for stealing slices from.|
Oats, pumpkin seeds, golden flax, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and dried cranberries.
I made an extra batch of granola to be sent back to Uni with my son and his girlfriend. Saying goodbye to our son after a holiday at home is always so fraught with anxiety and sadness to see him go... having something good from home to tuck into his backpack is a helpful coping tool.
Another helpful coping tool is of course a nicely stocked bar, this holiday I even bought some mead:
On the day of the dinner, while the granola was baking away, I set the table with some simple plates and linens. The individual jars of cranberry chutney were laid out at each place:
Bread stuffing for the bird is just not possible without it.
I like to serve three vegetable side dishes on Thanksgiving, and luckily root vegetables are easy to prepare ahead of time.
I peeled the carrots and the butternut squash, accessorized with rosemary, leeks and some brussel sprouts, swished olive oil and salt over the whole lot and slid them in the oven to await their roasting:
|Fortunately I have two ovens, these trays waited in one of them while the bird roasted in the other.|
|Sliced brussel sprouts, shallots, chestnuts and lots of butter.|
|Whipped cream icing, what could be simpler or better?|
Drizzle with some Bonne Maman caramel spread, that's how to make it better.
A smaller bird is more manageable and easier to afford if you're looking for a free-run bird etc. This one was 13 pounds:
this recipe, which is fairly basic, though I do tend to accessorize the turkey with some sage leaves. I also use a basic chicken stock from a tetra pack rather than turkey stock, it works out just fine.
How easy is it to decorate in the autumn? Pumpkins, simple mums and candlelight are a comforting and winning combination, all of those golden amber shades...
|Roasted vegetables with some fresh rosemary.|
|Sparkling clean dishes: those Rascals have been earning their keep.|
If you have celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada this last weekend I hope it was a happy one, and if you are still looking forward to yours (November 26th in the USA this year) let it be calm, merry and may it contain Bell's seasoning.