Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thankful Thanksgiving

I am very thankful that my Thanksgiving meal turned out well this year. I don't usually do too much cooking at Thanksgiving, just maybe a dessert. Last year we got take out so I did nothing. I may have rasied the bar too high.

Braised vegetables, turkey, potato leek potage
We usually have a small Thanksgiving, just my husband, my parents, my brother and often his roommate (if he doesn't go home to the east coast). Most of my extended family is scattered across the country so we don't see them for Thanksgiving. Out of the 6 of us at dinner this year, 3 were vegetarian so I had to keep that in mind as I cooked. I planned to make stock out of the turkey bones and use the stock to make some of the other dishes but apparently vegetarians frown on their vegetables being cooked in turkey. Who knew? I made vegetable stock instead.

I really wish I had taken pictures of the process of making the vegetable stock because it is just so pretty. The combination of carrots, onion, leeks and celery all chopped up just makes me happy. It looks so fresh and delicious. I love making stock now.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Anyway, I made the stock the night before and we used it to brine the turkey. We also used it to make the braised vegetables the next day and the potato, leek potage (probably the biggest hit at dinner). I also made citrus cranberry relish, biscuits, crack butter*, and pumpkin chiffon pie. My husband cooked the turkey and made couscous. I had learned to make gougeres (tasty little cheese puffs) the day before in class so I decided to throw those in as an appetizer.

Probably the most startling change from all years past was the lack of panic. If nothing else, my classes have taught me that you can accomplish a lot in four hours. I had about 12 hours including the night before so there was nothing to worry about.

Now what to do with all the leftovers? So far they have become turkey tacos and turkey soup.

*Crack butter is a butter mixture that we first had at our friends' wedding. It is called crack butter because the more you eat it, the more you need. I saw people eating this butter plain at the wedding. I have been known to spread it on an inch thick. It is simply butter mixed with a little cream cheese and a lot of spices but it will change the way you think about butter (meaning, you will begin to think about it all the time).


  1. I am very intrigued by these grugeres. Let me know when you'd like to make them for me. ;-)

  2. The fun thing about grugeres is you can put whatever you want in them. I went with gruyere, chives and nutmeg. I'm thinking bleu cheese and bacon next time.