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I'm incredibly fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest in a region where wild huckleberries grow just 30 minutes away.  The season is short, mid-July thru mid-September, so we usually get enough to freeze and preserve to use throughout the year.  This is an annual, now, recipe I made last Thanksgiving, Warm Cranberry-Huckleberry Compote.  The huckleberry has the aroma of wild roses, and a tart yet sweet flavor.  I would sort of say it's an elite wild blueberry.  But huckleberries are pretty much not found outside our region, so blueberries make a good substitute.  The red wine and balsamic vinegar add to the flavor of this new style of cranberry sauce.

Warm Cranberry-Huckleberry Compote.JPG

 

1/4 cup red wine Merlot or Zinfandel are best in this recipe

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 cup wild huckleberries substitute blueberries

1 cup fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

 

Combine the red wine, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, huckleberries, cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Cook the compote, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the compote thickens. To thicken the compote, stir 1 tbsp. cornstarch into 3 tbsp. of water, then stir into the compote.

 

Just before serving, heat the compote in a saucepan over low heat and serve on the side. The compote will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

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I decided to get my @Kim Shookon and get my gravy ready early.  Ronnie boned out the two turkeys I bought and they are now brining.  Most will be frozen.  I'll probably do a half a breast for Thanksgiving along with two previously frozen quarters.  As you can imagine, I had a lot of leavings from two turkeys to work with.  This would have gone a lot faster had I removed the pans from my oven, but instead I used the CSO and did 3 different batches.

 

thumbnail_IMG_0170.jpg.12e04587231c71a96e852066994e1d6c.jpg

 

I was glad (for the millionth time) that I have two IP's.  Got some very nice broth:

 

thumbnail_IMG_0172.jpg.8c7155b63383a4efcf17b4c528022980.jpg

 

Of which some became gravy that's now waiting in the fridge :)  Thank you, Kim for giving me the kick I needed to get this done early.

 

thumbnail_IMG_0173.jpg.0c966f95c2fe94a0f8ebeeab996078bb.jpg

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So, here's the final menu:

 

Relish tray with celery, pimento cheese, olives, pickles, and pickled sweet tomatoes

Butternut squash soup - Jessica

Turkey (breast and legs)

Gravy

Oyster dressing

Twice baked cheese potatoes

Sweet potatoes 

Watergate Salad - Jessica

Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts w/ Saba

Corn Pudding - Jessica

Cranberry sauce

Yeast rolls - Mother in law

Pecan Pie - Mother in law

 

Dinner is massively complicated by me being temporarily (fingers crossed) disabled.  I've done what I can ahead, including the cheese potatoes that I did yesterday:

IMG_4092.jpg.66558cd4a8354eea52c61b3c7c9345d3.jpg

I did enough for Thanksgiving and for Xmas Eve and they are in the freezer.  I did a very detailed timeline:

 

TIMELINE

Dinner at 6:30

 

Tuesday

          Thaw turkey

          Thaw one gravy

          Thaw one oyster

          Thaw 8 cheese potatoes

          Thaw sweet potatoes

          Thaw cranberry sauce

          Thaw bread for dressing

Wednesday

          Prep dressing

Thursday

          3AM

                   Legs in SV at 148F

          AM

                   Jess put corn pudding together

          12PM

                   Breasts in SV at 148F

                   Set up relish tray

                   Prep sprouts

          5pm

                   Heat up gravy and reduce/Kitchen bouquet

 

          5:30PM

                   Turkey out of SV

                   Dressing in oven at 350F – about 45 minutes

          5:45

                   Cheese potatoes in oven at 350F – about 40 minutes

                   Corn pudding in oven at 350F – about 40 minutes

          6:05

                   Sear turkey in cast iron in ghee

                   Microwave sweet potatoes until hot – pan should fit in CSO

          6:15

                   Brussels sprouts – cook and top with saba

          6:20

                   Top sweet potatoes with marshmallows and broil in CSO

 

I'm hoping that it is detailed enough to give Mr. Kim and Jessica good directions without me having to be in the middle of the kitchen.  I think the food will be ok.  The state of my house is another matter.  I can't do anything that requires standing for more than a couple of minutes.  Mr. Kim is working most of his waking hours and is dealing with a disaster at his father's house.  My house is a wreck and so dusty and cobwebby.  I'm hoping that my MIL won't be too judgey.  I will be whatever it will be at this point, though.  There is literally NOTHING I can do.   I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone's food.  I've been bingeing Thanksgiving food shows on TV and am craving dressing and gravy!

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On 11/20/2020 at 9:29 AM, kayb said:

Five adults, one kid (who will eat chicken nuggets). A whole turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry salad, mashed potatoes, gravy, a green thing (likely asparagus, as we all seem to like it), rolls. Will send some home with the guests, and vac-pack and freeze most of the leftover turkey, freeze the gravy. Oh, and a pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust and caramel sauce.

 

I have been overruled. There will be mac and cheese, as they demanded it. There will be a corn casserole, as they demanded THAT. There will be asparagus, because I want it, and "that yellow sauce." (A gourmand my youngest child is not.) The eldest requests, instead of pumpkin cheesecake, "a plain pumpkin pie." So I'll do that (last time I did it, I threw the whole damn thing out because nobody ate it, and I don't like it. I may top it with crumbled gingersnaps, just to be stubborn. I also am tasked to make a butter cake, as the guest's grandmother always makes one at Thanksgiving, and she can't go home for Thanksgiving because someone has COVID.

 

No matter. Thanksgiving is about cooking what makes my people happy. It makes me happy to do it.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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  • I had this great Food4Less near me - huge. Their sweet potato pie was so nice. It was cheap (under $4), made on site. I'd buy it, put on table with paper plates and plastic utensils and tell the boys "have at it - counts as your vegetables for the day".  Not too sweet. Perfectly spiced to our taste. Sometimes the spicing overwhelms the vegetable - this did not. Holidays do bring up taste memories.  Agreed I will cook whatever folks want - this is not "conversion" time. We all got to a place that the 20+ trusted me. My god-daughter had to go to the other relatives first and never ate cuz she was saving her appetite for me. They thought the tall skinny love bug had an eating disorder. The 15 year old teared up  the time it was young bok choy steamed with lap cheong and rice as an option. 
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10 hours ago, kayb said:

 

I have been overruled. There will be mac and cheese, as they demanded it. There will be a corn casserole, as they demanded THAT. There will be asparagus, because I want it, and "that yellow sauce." (A gourmand my youngest child is not.) The eldest requests, instead of pumpkin cheesecake, "a plain pumpkin pie." So I'll do that (last time I did it, I threw the whole damn thing out because nobody ate it, and I don't like it. I may top it with crumbled gingersnaps, just to be stubborn. I also am tasked to make a butter cake, as the guest's grandmother always makes one at Thanksgiving, and she can't go home for Thanksgiving because someone has COVID.

 

No matter. Thanksgiving is about cooking what makes my people happy. It makes me happy to do it.

 

Lol!  I almost asked you after you posted your menu how you were getting away with no Mac and cheese!

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My daughter, SIL and 1.5 year old granddaughter had to cancel their trip from Minneapolis due to the virus. Younger daughter will be here, she lives in an off campus apartment here in town, we rarely see her with school, work and practicum.  

On the menu will be honey brined and pecan smoked turkey.

Deviled eggs

Sausage dressing

Mashed potatoes

Slow cooked all day green beans with country ham.

Corn

Rosemary/chive rolls

Gravy

Bourbon pecan pie and Dutch apple pie.

 

Seems like a lot for just three of us, but the youngest daughter is demanding dressing so I'm doing the whole shebang. I offered to do steaks or lasagna or something non traditional. I think she'd be happy with just dressing and gravy.

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That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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its not Thanksgiving  ( USA )

 

without Mashed Potatoes, Sausage Stuffing , and Giblet Gravy.

 

it can be a mighty fine thanksgiving , esp this year , w/o them

 

just no cap. T.

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We are celebrating "Thanksgiving USA" here in Mexico. 

 

I am already on Step 4 of my 8 Step Turkey Mole' which I will attempt in an instant pot.  

 

Today must be my lucky day.  The 4 frozen turkey thighs I ordered were ready for pickup (total weight 3 kilos).  Then I walked by a local fruteria where I had seen camotes al horno (baked MXN sweet potato) for sale a few weeks ago, but not since.   A new wooden crate of them had just arrived!   For the photo I split one open to show the inside of it. 

camotes al horno.jpg

Edited by gulfporter (log)
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In the end, we decided that neither of us enjoy cooking sufficiently to do so, especially as it's just the 3 of us this year (usually we go to BIL's house and celebrate with that side of the family). My effort is going into getting as many of us online for an extended family video chat and finally taking a break from work. We are going to support a local restaurant, though, and will be getting:

 

3lbs of sliced white meat (I won't complain if some dark ends up in there, but I'm the only one, so it's fine)

gravy

mashed potatoes

cornbread stuffing

green beans

glazed fall vegetables

cranberry sauce

bread and tapenade

pumpkin pie & spiced whipped cream

"sweet potato bites" (I need just a little bit of sweet potato with marshmallows)

spiked mulled cider

 

I feel the worst for my sister, whose husband will be working. And because of where he works (dispatcher), she won't go to my parents, so she'll be alone. It's been a rough, socially distant year for us, but we've also come through mostly-unscathed otherwise, so there's still lots to be thankful for.

 

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Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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23 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

I've been spending a LOT of time reading/watching about Thanksgiving this year and I find myself craving mac and cheese and deviled eggs.  If I were healthy, they'd be on my menu.  

I had no idea anyone made mac and cheese as a traditional side until two years ago, when someone joined us who ISN'T FROM MY HUSBAND'S FAMILY (OMG!) and his son contributed a really delicious one. So exciting, since the usual mashed potatoes never interest me. I don't care much for the turkey, but I admit I like to sneak a bit of crispy skin in a not-obvious location when it comes out of the oven. I'm really in it for the carcass. 

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When I was a kid we always had a frozen cranberry salad at Thanksgiving.  Cranberries, Cool Whip and walnuts were the basics.  I didn't like it back in the day, but do enjoy it now.  But I prefer to make a more contemporary salad using Fall ingredients-our local pears, hazelnuts and a bleu cheese from Oregon.  I named it Welcome Home Pear Salad because it is based on the story of another holiday salad my Mother made with pears and Miracle Whip.  Sorry but I've never developed a taste for Miracle Whip, and this new salad is so much more delicious.  Now that I think of it, cold, sliced turkey would be delicious in this salad.

Welcome Home Pear Salad.JPG

 

For the Creamy Avocado-Tarragon Dressing-

1/2 cup Hellmann's Avocado Oil Dressing

1/2 medium avocado

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. light sour cream

2 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon

1/8 tsp. each salt and white pepper

 

For the Salad-

1 cup hazelnuts

4 cups mixed baby salad greens

2/3 cup crumbled bleu cheese

1 large bosc pear, subsitute anjou pears or sweet apples

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

 

Make the Creamy Avocado-Tarragon Dressing-

Scoop out the avocado and place in a mini-food processor with the Avocado Oil Mayonnaise, lemon juice, sour cream, tarragon and salt and pepper in a mini-food processor and pulse to make a creamy dressing. 

 

Toast the Hazelnuts-

Heat the oven to 375.  Spread the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet.  Roast the hazelnuts until they start to turn golden, about 7-8 minutes.  Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and spread on a kitchen towel.  Cover with another towel and rub the hazelnuts between the towels to remove the skins.  Roughly chop the hazelnuts.

 

Toss the Salad, Dress and Serve-

Cut the pear in half and scoop out the core.  I leave the pear unpeeled but it’s your choice. Use a paring knife to cut out the middle stem.  Cut the pear halves in half, leaving you with4 pear quarters.  Cut the pears into thick slices, (I use a mandoline to slice the pears). Place the pear slices in a bowl and gently toss with lemon juice to keep from browning while you finish the salad.

Add the salad greens, bleu cheese and 1/2 cup of the toasted hazelnuts to the bowl.  Spoon in some avocado dressing and toss the salad.  Place some pear slices around the plate, then add the dressed salad greens. Garnish the salad with more of the bleu cheese, toasted hazelnuts and sliced pears.  Serve extra avocado dressing on the side.

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I saw this tall skinny older guy come out of the market and ALL he had in the cart were 2 containers of Cool Whip. I thought. with the Los angeles Covid #'s you risked your health for that?!?- maybe he was making that salad ;) 

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I have finished Step 5 of the 8 steps for the mole' sauce.  Today was an easy one, charing tomatillos and jitomates.  Yesterday was rough---toasting, soaking, blending and finally sieving a combo of 30 chiles, ancho, guajillo and pasilla.  Even with all the windows open and my exhaust fan on high, the smoke from the toasting still lingers in the house today.  

 

 

  

toms.jpg

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6 minutes ago, gulfporter said:

I have finished Step 5 of the 8 steps for the mole' sauce.  Today was an easy one, charing tomatillos and jitomates.  Yesterday was rough---toasting, soaking, blending and finally sieving a combo of 30 chiles, ancho, guajillo and pasilla.  Even with all the windows open and my exhaust fan on high, the smoke from the toasting still lingers in the house today.  

 

 

  

toms.jpg

This is why you need your tribe of females working alongside.  Traditionally the "turkey" I think was more gamey - free birds - is yours more "succulent"? Must smell great though. Kudos on your effort.

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28 minutes ago, heidih said:

This is why you need your tribe of females working alongside.  Traditionally the "turkey" I think was more gamey - free birds - is yours more "succulent"? Must smell great though. Kudos on your effort.

 

I am lucky to have a DH who is my sous chef and (more importantly) my dishwasher!  

 

I am sure this is a farmed turkey.....the thighs (only part I am using) are quite large.  4 thighs that average over 3/4 kilo each (or 1.7 pounds each).   

 

I've made mole's before (though never turkey, and never in an instant pot).  I'm dragging it out over 4 days because I can (retired) and due to pandemic we aren't doing much else 🙃

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I think I have everything I need to make this year’s Turkey Day dinner, but we are going to do the Snacking on Wednesday, while I do the prep on Thursday’s Thanksgiving meal. It will be just the two of us again this year.

 

Wednesday’s Snack/Dinner Menu:

Queso and Salsa with Tortilla Chips

Deviled Eggs

Raw Veggies (Carrots, Celery, Red Bell Peppers) and Dip

Sweet Pickles and Black Olives

 

Thursday’s Turkey Dinner Menu:

Roasted Turkey Thighs

Dressing

Mashed Potatoes

Gravy

Sweet Peas

Dinner Rolls

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, gulfporter said:

DH made cranberry squares from decades' old Bon Appetit recipe.  He increased recipe to use all of the bag of cranberries and ended up with two tins of cranberry 'rounds.'

 

pie2.jpg

 

That looks delicious. Does this look like the same recipe? It claims to be a recipe from Bon Appetit, Feb. 1995.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I'm so impressed with those of you who start early and who manage a feast for a crowd - whether or not that crowd materializes this year. The last time I fed a crowd for Thanksgiving was about 25 years ago. It was great fun, but times and circumstances have changed. The pandemic has only reinforced our normal routine.

 

Since it's just the two of us, appetizers seem like overkill, but it's hard to pass up things like devilled eggs and celery stalks with pimento cheese. Maybe I'll make them for tonight's dinner. As for the feast tomorrow, the menu includes prime rib, potatoes (method tbd, probably dauphinois), green beans with bacon and mushrooms for me, scalloped corn for him. Bread of some sort. Cranberry/walnut/orange salad, along with pecan-stuffed dates, for dessert. And it will all be too much, and we will delight in the leftovers.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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