Our 2018 Thanksgiving Plans

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.

Pre-Meal

  • 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
  • Olives
  • Persimmons (Great to spread on the crackers to pair with the various cheeses)

Meal

  • 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

Prepping Schedule

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.

Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Weeks 18-19

Week 18

I had to miss it, unfortunately. Traveling for work.

Week 19

  • Pumpkin: This will be decor during the fall, then we’ll cut it half, roast it, scoop out the roasted flesh purée it for homemade pumpkin pie.
  • Arugula, radishes, carrots, peppers, tomato: Salads!
  • Leeks: I used one in taco meat already, will sauté one with cauliflower rice, and one will go in a frittata.
  • Bok Choy, carrots, leek, beans: Ingredients in cauliflower rice
  • Potatoes: Roasted with garlic, lemon, and dill
  • Onions and garlic: Saved for general use

Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Weeks 14-17

Week 14

  • Tomatoes – So many tomatoes! I made salsa, caprese salad, pan con tomate, and then canned the rest.
  • Arugula, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, and peppers – Lunch salads!
  • Leeks, squash, and peppers – I tossed these with cornmeal and pan fried them in a cast iron skillet. This is one of my favorite summer side dishes that my mom makes.
  • Potatoes and leeksBreakfast skillet.
  • Leeks – Added to a breakfast frittata with sausage.
  • Cantaloupe – I’m currently soaking the chunks of melon in vodka to make a traditional crema di meloncello.
  • Parsley and garlic – I added them to a sausage and lentil soup.
  • Basil – Caprese salad and grilled peach salad.

Week 15

  • Arugula, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, red onions, peppers, cucumbers, and scallions – Lunch and dinner salads. Primarily taco salad this week.
  • Yellow Beans and tomatoesAlice Waters’s green bean and tomato salad
  • Tomatoes – Combined with some of the previous week’s tomatoes and canned
  • Potatoes – Half were put in a breakfast skillet, half were roasted for dinner.
  • Squash and a pepper – Another corn meal squash fry. This time with leftover polenta instead of the corn meal. Mushy, but good!

Week 16

  • Leeks, carrots, eggplant, and beans – Cut up and simmered in a green Thai curry sauce.
  • Leeks and kale – Added to a breakfast frittata with sausage.
  • Spinach and carrots – Some chopped up and frozen. We are getting a lot of carrots right now!
  • Lettuce, squash, kale, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers – Salads.
  • Garlic – Saved for the fall.

Week 17

(This week!)

  • Tatsoi, mini bok choi, squash, beans, and a few carrots – We’ll probably make a quick salad out of them. If not, I’ll throw them in a stir fry.
  • Carrots, beets, and potatoes – Roast these for a side dish for some NY strips I picked up on sale at Stew Leonard’s this evening.
  • Onions – Save them for whenever I need an onion.
  • Tomatoes – Quite a few here, but we’ve become used to using them in salads, stews, and salsas.
  • Tomatoes and squash (alternative) – Perhaps this week I’ll make some pasta and toss them in. Probably sausage as the protein, as that is what I have on-hand.

Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 8

Today was the first pickup we’ve had in the thunderstorm. Thank goodness for a storage shed nearby that we could use as a pickup location!

Here’s what we received this week:

  • Fennel – The licorice taste of fennel is great in a salad. I like to thinly shave it and toss with some lettuce, parsley, bell pepper, radishes, lemon juice, and olive oil. You can also braise it with stock and white wine, but I prefer it fresh.
  • CabbageHomemade sauerkraut.
  • Basil and tomatoesCaprese sounds pretty good in this hot weather.
  • Cucumbers – I already ate one with some salt tonight. I’m going to eat at least another one of these that way, too. One of my favorite snacks. The other two I’ll probably make into dill pickles.
  • Eggplant, pepper, onion, zucchini, and cilantro – I want to make a maqluba, a middle eastern chicken and rice dish. Dinner in an Instant has an Instant Pot version I’ve been wanting to try.
  • Lettuce, greens, and tomatoes – As always, salads! I’ll spice it up this week with the fennel above.

Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 7

This week is a quintessential summer vegetable share. Eggplant and yellow squash are finally here and tomatoes are a bit early this year!

What we received in this week’s share:

  • Lettuce, carrots, cucumber, scallions, tomato – Lunch salads!
  • Cabbage – I’ll combine this with last week’s cabbage and start some homemade sauerkraut.
  • Squash, Japanese eggplant, basil, and garlic scapes – I added this to a pasta dish tonight with chicken sausage and the spinach from last week. I let the flavors shine with olive oil and fresh grated pecorino instead of a tomato sauce. We’ve been using a red lentil pasta from Trader Joe’s to cut down on carbs.
  • Italian Eggplant, peppers, and garlic scapes – I love charring the skin of the eggplant and then roasting the eggplant whole along with a hot pepper, an onion, and some garlic (scapes will do!). Purée everything in the food processor with some fresh oregano and eat it with pita chips or tortilla chips.
    • I’m also thinking seriously about trying this za’atar eggplant fries recipe with a lemon tahini dipping sauce.
    • Eggplant is also great sliced and roasted or grilled. Combined with the squash it could make a nice ratatouille.
  • Kale – Just like the past few weeks, I’ll make a frittata with the kale and some sausage. I also toss in any leftover garlic scapes.
  • Carrots and squash – Both are great for roasting for a quick side dish. Cut the carrots into quarters along their length and the squash into 1-inch thick discs along their width. Roast for 20 minutes at 400F with olive oil and your spices of choice. I like garlic powder or paprika for the squash and cumin for the carrots.

Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 6

I hope you have a great Independence Day celebration! We’re having friends over to watch fireworks on the Hudson River and having burgers, hotdogs, Old Bay corn salad, guacamole, pasta salad, cupcakes, grilled peaches with creme fraîche, and margaritas. Here is my margarita recipe:

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On to the regularly scheduled vegetable program. What we received this week:

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  • Red leaf lettuce, salad mix, scallions, cucumbers, broccoli – Salads! While broccoli is a good dinner side, we love it raw in salads.
  • Carrots – One of our favorite things to do with carrots with beautiful tops like this is roast them, make a pesto with the tops, and serve it all with burrata. Since we don’t have burrata on-hand right now, we’ll probably eat these as snacks by themselves or chop them up in salads. We’re using the tops as a July 4 table centerpiece.
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  • Chinese cabbage and cilantro – A few weeks ago I made a Vietnamese pork and rice noodles dish with a bunch of herbs I had. It would also be good with a crunchy cabbage and nuoc cham slaw, so I’m going to make it again this week. The dish is served cold, so it will be really god for this hot weather.
  • Zucchini – Normally we like to make zucchini noodles with pasta sauce, but that usually takes two zucchini. This week I think we’ll just cut this one into half moons and roast it at 350F for 20 minutes with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Garlic Scapes and Kale – The frittata we made with the kale last week was really convenient for breakfast, so I’m going to make another one. I have some italian sausage and onions, which will pair well with some of the garlic scapes and kale.
  • Cabbage – I’m going to save this cabbage and combine it with a future cabbage and make some homemade sauerkraut.

Photos from Sisters Hill Farm

Amanda and I visited Sisters Hill Farm on Saturday for one of their yearly picnics. The farm is gorgeous this time of year! So many colors, so many vegetables, and wonderful summer evening light. I spent nearly the entire time taking photos. Here is the best of what I took. Click on a photo to launch slideshow mode.

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