Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thanksgiving (lots about food, nothing about quilting)

What a difference a year makes. Last year I celebrated Thanksgiving with my brother's host family in France - we celebrated on a Friday night (his birthday), so I was home alone when the turkey arrived complete with a head and some feathers!! This year I had an adventure with two friends driving out into the Finnish countryside to collect our turkey - decidedly headless and featherless - much more in my culinary comfort zone. Here's last year's pre-roasting photo and this year's post-roasting photo.

Judy posted her menu, so I thought I'd post mine here.

garlic mashed potatoes (made with sour cream)
sweet potatoes with orange slices
brussel sprouts glazed with balsamic vinegar
wheat bread and mushroom stuffing
cranberry sauce
cranberry bread
squash rolls
turkey (sans tête et plumage)
gravy (thanks to Gisela!)
white wine (also thanks to Gisela!)
cranberry juice
pecan pie (à la mode)
pumpkin pie (à la mode)
chocolate banana cake (thanks to Thomas!)

A few recipes for my guests who asked and for anyone else who might be interested:

Grandma Gen's Cranberry Bread

2 cups flour (just under 470ml)
1 cup sugar (just under 235ml)
1 egg (well-beaten)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (7.5ml)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (2.5ml)
1 teaspoon salt (5ml)
juice and grated rind of orange + 2 Tablespoons margarine or butter + boiling water to make total 3/4 cup (180ml)
Sift dry ingredients together. Add liquid, then egg. Mix until well dampened.
Add 1 cup chopped nuts (optional) and 1 cup raw cranberries (halved) or lingonberries (whole). Bake at 177C (350F) for 60 minutes.

Susan's Squash Rolls
1 Tablespoon yeast (15ml - maybe a tad more)
1/4 cup warm water (60ml)
2/3 cup milk (160ml)
1 cup cooked squash (butternut is best, pumpkin, acorn, something orange and fairly wet when cooked - frozen puree works well, too)
1/3 cup brown sugar (80ml)
1/2 teaspoon salt (2.5ml)
1/3 cup melted butter (80ml)
2 cup whole wheat flour (470ml)
2-3 cups unbleached white flour (470-700ml)
Proof yeast in warm water. Combine the milk, squash, sugar, salt, and melted butter. When this has cooled to lukewarm, add yeast and whole wheat flour. Beat well. Stir in unbleached white flour until dough is stiff enough to knead. Turn onto floured surface and knead well, adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking. This is a soft elastic dough and very nice to work with.
Place dough in a large buttered bowl, turn the dough to coat it with the butter. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour, punch down. Shape into tangerine sized balls and place on buttered baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise for about 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 205C/400F (190C/375F in an especially hot oven) for 20 minutes.
Brush tops with melted butter after removing from oven.

Cranberry Sauce
3 parts cranberries (whole)
1 part sugar
1 part orange juice (or water)
Combine over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, cranberries will burst. Reduce heat, cook for 10 minutes. Cool completely before serving. If you're using juicy cranberries (not the firm Ocean Spray variety), you might need to halve the liquid.

I make a basic butter pie crust kind of like this.

Pumpkin Pie
3 eggs
2 cups (470-500ml) fresh, canned, or thawed frozen pumpkin puree
1.5 cups light cream (350ml) (or 3/4 cup heavy cream + 3/4 cup milk)
1/2 cup white sugar (120ml)
1/3 cup brown sugar (80ml)
1 tsp cinnamon (5ml)
1 tsp nutmeg (5ml)
1/2 tsp ginger (2.5ml)
1/4 tsp cloves (1ml)
1/2 tsp salt (2.5ml)
Whisk thoroughly. Pour into preheated (but not completely baked) pie crust. Bake for 30-45 minutes at 375F/190C - until the center is set, but still quivery, like jello. Cool completely before serving - cold, room temperature, or slightly warmed.

Pecan Pie
toast 1.5-2 cups (350-470ml) pecans (whole, chopped, or a mixture)
Whisk together:
3 eggs
1 cup (235ml) sugar - white or brown
1 cup (235ml) syrup - light or dark Karo syrup or light/golden syrup or treacle syrup (can you tell I've made this in several different countries?!)
5 Tbsp (75g) melted butter
1 tsp (5ml) of vanilla extract OR 1 Tbsp (15ml) Vana Tallinn OR 1 Tbsp (15ml) Kalhua
Add the nuts to the mixture, pour into a preheated pie crust. Bake until the edges are firm and the center is set, but still quivery (again, like jello). Recipe says 30-45 minutes, but it always takes longer - closer to 60 minutes, at 375F/190C. Cool completely before serving (again, serve cold, room temperature, or slightly warmed).

I don't really use recipes for the other dishes, but can give more details if anyone is interested! Happy Thanksgiving!


Jenni @ Fairybread said...

My culinary comfort zone is similar to yours I think Hedgie. I can do without the head etc. The other photo looks good though, and the recipes - I always wanted to try pumpkin pie, but it looks fattening. Maybe that's why I like the idea of it! Yum. As you can cook in different countries, can you tell me the metric measurement for an American STICK of butter?

Sweet P said...

Your menu sounds yummy. How many people are you cooking for?

KCQuilter said...

Mmmm, your recipes sound divine! Thanks for sharing.

Tonya R said...

Wow, that sounds delicious. You're making me hungry! Enjoy your meal.

Jalasjärven flikka said...

Thank you for a delicious dinner last night! Everything was so good. Thanks also for the recipes!

Pam's Creative Mind said...

If Mr. Tom Turkey had arrived at my house with his head and feathers he would have kept them! You are a brave woman to have beheaded and pucked him.

Sounds like you had a wonderful meal and everyone participated in the preparations.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Angie said...

Ooooh, yummy! Thanks for sharing your recipes. :) Would you mind sharing how you do your sweet potatoes with orange slices....and would you mind very much translating the Chocolate Banana cake? That sounds like one that I have to have...what can be better than chocolate and bananas!!! YUM! :D

Su Bee said...

With the head on??? Ewwwww! But I bet he was delicious. The recipes are great! I have to do the cranberry bread and the pecan pie. Happy Thanksgiving!

QuiltingFitzy said...

I HAVE to try the squash rolls, squash is my very favorite food!

I don't have any turkey stories to share, but I am TOTALLY jazzed by the idea of NOT cooking this year and being treated to a restaurnat!

Ms. Jan said...

Mmmmm, you are making me hungry! I love turkey and can't wait for Thanksgiving...and, my daughter is doing the cooking!

May Britt said...

Yummy yummy. We do not celebrate thanksgiving in Norway, but I love turkey. We use to have it on new years eve.
Happy thanksgiving to you!!!

Rabbit Stitchings said...

OH MY! with his feathers and head....mmmm well being a vegetarian (VBG) I leave the bird to someone else but to have it arrive with feathers and his head and all!!!! OH MY!!

I would love to know how you make your wheat bread and mushroom stuffing!!!

Sounds like quite a feast your cooking up!! Just yummy!!!

kirsty said...


Dawn said...

Gosh - your making me hungry!!!!

Deb Geyer said...

M-m-m-m. Sounds good! Did I miss it?

Ruth said...

Your menu sounds delicious. I had a chicken cooked with it's head still attatched served to me once.

Laurie Ann said...

Wow, seeing that turkey laying in the pan with the head on really creeps me out! I mean, I know that they have a head, but seeing it laying in the pan with the head is something else! Glad you went headless this year. :)

tami said...

Yeah... if i got a turkey with a head I don't think I would be able to eat it. :oP

Debra Spincic said...

and just think how good the leftovers will be too!

Laurie said...

Hedgehog, I want to come to your place for dinner!!

Lily said...

So I've just eaten dinner and you've just made me hungry again!!

Sounds scrumptious. Happy Thanksgiving :)

Rian said...

That is really nice of you to share your recipes. I am going to make the bread from an earlier post. It looks so good.

Doodlebug Gail said...

Oh my - what a feast you'll all take part in. Everything sounds really scrumptious! The Squash Roll recipe looks intriguing, I'll have to give that a try while the butternuts are still in season.

Fruit Jar Nicky said...

Oh my, that turkey has a head. I'm pretty sure I'd end up a vegetarian if I had to look the meat in the face while cooking it. Thanks for sharing.

Sioux said...

Yum. What wonderful recipes. Thanks for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving!! ((((HUGS))))

Cheryl said...

Your recipes are great! Thanks for sharing them all! Sure beats a Fluffanutter sandwich! lol My dil would probably have a fit if she knew about the sandwich last night. :)

Clare said...

Catching up after ditching Bloglines. You made me feel hungry. Hope you had a good time.

Teresa Suek said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

katelnorth said...

Ooh, those squash rolls sound nice. We're not doing Thanksgiving here (my DH is English, so I'm the only true Yank in the household and as we are having turkey for Christmas this year for a change, I don't really mind missing it); hope you have lovely one!

Dormouse said...

I will no longer be blogging due to having just drowned in my own drool!!!!! :D