We love CSA season because it saves us from ourselves. If we had to choose each week to buy these vegetables, we probably wouldn't. We'd probably eat sandwiches or pizza in their place. Since we made the healthy choice once and it lasts for the rest of the summer, we get a lot more veggies in our diet. We hate wasting food, so we get creative and we persevere through those nights when we are tired and don't want to cook. CSAs are a good thing.
I’m surprised that I haven’t done a Thanksgiving post before. Now is as good a time as any to start.
We’re having a total of 6 people together for dinner this year. 3 couples. One couple is bringing the wine, the other is bringing the dessert, and we are cooking the main meal. Thanksgiving is a leisurely holiday for us: Lots of grazing throughout the day, many rounds of drinks over the afternoon and evening so nothing hits us too hard, board games, reading, talking, cooking the meal together in shifts. It is a good time.
We have a turkey from a local farm again this year and 90% of the vegetables are from our CSA, Sisters Hill Farm.
- It will be pretty cold tomorrow, so we are starting out with some warm Cider Punch with Rye, Apple Cider, Lemon, and Fernet Branca (Recipe by Jeffrey Morgenthaler)
- Cheeses: D’affinois, Manchego, and Gruyere
- Crackers of various types
- Persimmons (Great to spread on the crackers to pair with the various cheeses)
- Beltsville White Turkey from Thunderhill Farm, Stanfordville, NY. We drove out and picked it up on Sunday. We always spatchcock the turkey to cook it hot and fast. Before roasting it, I’ll put a paste of sage, rosemary, garlic, black pepper, and grape seed oil under the skin.
- Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale, Red Onions, Cranberries, Pancetta, and Pecans. This will make a nice fall vegetable side. I’ll roast the squash and cranberries with thyme first, sauté the kale, onions, and pancetta, then combine everything.
- Sausage and Sage Stuffing – One of my favorite dishes. Sausage from Arthur Ave, mushrooms, sage, celeriac, parsnips, carrots, cornbread, pumpernickel, sourdough, onions, eggs, thyme, and stock. We cook it in a Dutch oven instead of stuffing it in the turkey.
- Green Bean Casserole – Amanda’s favorite. Green beans, cream of mushroom soup, French fried onions.
- Mashed Potatoes with Garlic – Christina Tosi says that the secret is to add some sugar. I’ve never tried that before. Will probably try it this year.
Post-meal Board Game Drinks
- Barreled cocktail: Fallback (Rye, Applejack, Amaro Nonino, Carpano Antica, Peychaud’s, recipe by Sasha Petraske)
Sunday: Pick up the turkey
Tuesday: Pick up the CSA veggies, shopping for miscellaneous extras and Spatchcocking and salting the turkey.
Wednesday: Prep Squash, Kale, carrots, parsnips, celeriac, and mushrooms, toast the bread for stuffing, wash potatoes, cut green beans. The goal is to only have to cut up onions and garlic on Thursday, and have everything else ready to be cooked the day before. Uncover the turkey in the fridge so the skin can dry out a bit.
Thursday Morning: Bake stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, and roast the butternut squash. Everything can be warmed back up while the turkey is resting pre-carving.
Thursday Afternoon: Get the self-serve Cider Punch ready in the crock pot, put out the appetizers, put the herbs on the turkey and let it come up to room temperature, then roast it. While the turkey is roasting, make the mashed potatoes. While the turkey is resting before I carve it, warm everything else back up. Aim to eat at 4pm.