Saturday, November 29, 2008
Although on Thursday we attended a friend's Thanksgiving, on Friday we cooked our own meal--all local and some of it from our own backyard garden.
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For several years, we've split our celebratory meal into two. This allows us to have a full menu, not starve in the early part of the day, and not get too extraordinarily stuffed at the end.
For lunch, we served a salad of our backyard-grown arugula, local feta seasoned with Herbes de Provence (found at the farmers market), and a homemade maple-mustard vinaigrette.
We completed our midday section with a thick and spicy pumpkin soup. After roasting the tan pumpkin for about 45 minutes, I scooped out the flesh and added it to some sauteed onions and apples that I had going in the soup pot. Then I threw in some some vegetable-peeling stock, a bit of cream, pureed hot peppers, and a pinch of non-local curry powder. A warming preparation for an afternoon of cooking.
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Dinner was more elaborate.
We acquired the local turkey from our Amish dairy supplier and served it with all our favorite sides.
Using corn we grew and ground ourselves, I made a skillet of all-corn cornbread, then crumbled it up and added mushrooms, onions, and some of our own backyard mustard greens. Throw in a couple of eggs, a bit of turkey broth seasoned with sage and rosemary, and then bake in a casserole for about half and hour. Surprisingly delicious. I felt quite proud eating what we had nurtured from seed.
Our main vegetable was roasted Brussels sprouts--an all-time favorite around here. There is very little that is easier to make. Cut the orbs in half length-wise, toss them on a baking sheet with oil, salt, and pepper, then roast until brown and slightly crispy. I throw them in with whatever else I am cooking, so the temperature varies--but ideally, try something around 400 degrees.
Because we could not find local cranberries, we substituted a thrown-together relish: cherry preserves I canned over the summer with some farmers-market horseradish. It was the same combination of sweet and tart--but it reminded me more of Passover than it did of Thanksgiving...
We also served two of our pickles, both canned with produce we grew ourselves. The green beans were spicy and garlicy, while the lemon cukes were sweet and mild. Great combo.
We drank a bottle of white made by our county's own vineyard. A bit sweet, which went well with the turkey.
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To end our local feast, we made a sweet potato pie with a whole-wheat crust, served it with maple whipped cream, and ate it in front of a lovely fire.
We all were satiated and slept very, very well.