the hyphens that define my life

Double Feature Saturday: The Menu and The Soup November 23, 2013

This is my 150th blog post this year.  My resolution was to blog everyday but with the secret of our move, I couldn’t begin blogging until the news was public. Now, with 39 days left in the year (yes, that’s it), I really want to have 200 blog posts completed.  To accomplish this feat, you must endure a few Double Features, two posts in one day.  As if the holidays alone are not enough, let’s blog twice a day to make things really interesting.

Double Feature Saturday, today, starts with The Menu.  The countdown to Thanksgiving is still on.  We’ve already made stock but I forgot to give you our Thanksgiving Menu, the perfect topic for today’s first showing.

Even though only six will be at our Thanksgiving table this year, I will still cook for a crowd and we will eat leftovers for the rest of the weekend.

Appetizers, What great meal doesn’t start with appetizers?  Plus, I need to have something out so the savages in my house, I mean my darling family, won’t eat each other’s limbs.

Relish Tray.  The iconic relish tray with green olives, kalamata olives, cornichons, baby dills and bread and butter pickles.

Vegetable Crudite with Beau Monde Dip.  I’m totally addicted to Beau Monde dip since my encounter with the little old lady at the grocery store who shared her recipe with me after I helped her read labels on the seasoning jars.  Sour cream, buttermilk, beau monde and black pepper.

Cheese Plate.  I haven’t decided on which cheeses yet or accompanying crackers, but my cheese plates always have candied walnuts and spiced apricots.

Champagne and St. Germaine cocktails to get us in the mood.  [Read, to get the cook primed].

This year we will have dinner at 4 PM, just as the Spokane sun is setting.  Our dinner menu:

Roast Turkey with sage and rosemary salt and pepper, white wine and butter.

Mashed Potatoes.  Nothing fancy, russets peeled and boiled, mashed with butter and 2% milk.  I’ve tried the sour cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, garlic, and parsnip variations but my kids love the basic version the best, why fight it.

Gravy made from homemade stock and pan drippings.

Stuffing.  Dried bread cubes, onion, celery, stock, sage, butter, giblets stuffed in the bird with the remainder baked as dressing.

Sauerkraut.  My husband’s family tradition that I love on our table.  I make James Beard’s Choucroute au Champagne as published by Epicurious, 1959.  I use baby back ribs instead of salt pork.  I have made variations with beer instead of champagne for great effect. A hot turkey sauerkraut sandwich is a fantastic leftover lunch.

Cranberry sauce.  Homemade berries cooked with sugar and water.  Easy and delicious.

Sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped then roasted until caramelized.   Pure awesomeness that needs no accoutrements.

Waldorf Salad.  Apples, walnuts, celery, no marshmallows allowed, in a whipped cream, lemon juice, mayonnaise sauce, served on lettuce.

Corn.  Straight from the freezer, heat, add butter. Simple and the kids eat it.

Brussels Sprouts.  Halved and roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Fantastic.

Green Bean “Casserole”, but not the soup mix version.  My recipe has haricort verts, mushrooms and shallots in a light cream sauce.  Not as easy as opening some cans, but easy enough.

Parker House Rolls.  I’m sorry, my AWARD WINNING parker house rolls. Baked fresh Thanksgiving day and fabulous!

We’ll have white wine (varietal to be determined) and possibly more champagne.  The kids will have Orangina, a long-standing tradition.

And then there’s dessert.  In my world, if you’re going to bother laying out the above spread for dinner, there had better be a dessert buffet to follow and plenty of coffee.

Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving in my house or my mom’s house without my grandmother’s recipe for date bars.  Date Bars.  Good for dessert, breakfast, snack or non-stop throughout life.  Dates and walnuts in an awesome bar cookie covered in powdered sugar.  DATE BARS!  I can’t wait!!

Pumpkin Pie, a thanksgiving must.  I use canned pumpkin and follow Libby’s recipe on the back of the can.  Yes, I’ve made pie from a sugar pumpkin but this is my sacrifice and nobody really cares at this point.  Pass the pie and don’t forget the homemade vanilla whipped cream.

Apple Pie.  Apples do taste better in Washington and this pie is going to be incredible.

Chocolate Pecan Pie.  Every dessert spread must have chocolate.  Add whipped cream and, well, yum.

Totally over the top, I realize, but I won’t cook all weekend.  Does your Thanksgiving menu look similar or different to ours?  I hope your dinner turns out as fabulous as I hope ours will.  At least it looks good as posted.


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