We have a lot to be thankful for. Friends. Family. For being able to do what we love each and every day. For all of you, who make this all worthwhile. We’re thankful for our health. Our happiness. And our three cats who run our lives but also warm our hearts.
It’s silly that it takes a holiday to remind us of that, sometimes.
As in past years, I’m not the type to make and post Thanksgiving recipes in the weeks leading up to the big day. I like to enjoy my holiday, ON the holiday, and not be sick of the food by the time it actually gets here.
Also like in past years, I’m using this space as more of a personal reference than anything. I doubt anyone is going to go out and make this turkey recipe right now (in fact, you’re probably still stuffed from your own bird), but next year, when we’re sitting around wondering exactly what it was that we put in those potatoes, we can just come back here. This blog is as much my space as it is yours, and I love how easy it is to go back and see a visual record of each and every thing we’ve cooked, baked, and eaten on this special day for the past 5 years.
Every year we’ve done this we’ve gotten better and better at cooking an appropriate quantity of food for 2 or 3 people. We’ve never hosted more than that and we’ve come to love our casual little gatherings. This year, Taylor’s sister, Vanessa, replaced my sister (who’s got a fancy new job and has to earn her vacation days). Vanessa had never been to Nashville before, and so we’ve spent the last few days running around and showing off our lovely city.
This year, we managed to procure an adorable little 7 1/2 pound turkey from local Wedge Oak Farms. I mean, it’s practically a chicken. But for 3 people it couldn’t have been more perfect. Just one of the advantages of buying local.
The Turkey: Brined and roasted with soy sauce, mirin, and rosemary glaze. We turned to our favorite brine recipe from Emeril, and paired that with a semi-traditional roasted turkey recipe from Bon Appetit. While I wouldn’t say you tasted the soy sauce in the final product, it sure made for a beautiful golden brown skin.
The Potatoes: The Definitive Mashed Potato with Roasted Garlic has always been a favorite, except we’ve discovered that they are still plenty good with about 1/3 of the cream and butter. As delicious as butter is, I don’t exactly feel the greatest after consuming an entire stick of it in my potatoes.
The Veggie: Eschewing the idea that there has to be something green on the table, we had to take advantage of the gorgeous rainbow carrots we received with our CSA this week. I mean, can you say food blogger’s dream? We roasted these gorgeous roots simply, with a splash of olive oil, salt, pepper, and few sprigs of thyme.
The Dressing: I am and never have been a fan of stuffing. Or dressing. Or whatever you call it. Yet it appears on our table each and every year. That’s all Taylor. This year he picked the Simple Is Best dressing from Bon Appetit, halved and studded with sweet potatoes and sunflower seeds.
The Cranberry Sauce: Well this one was easy. Seeing as I had the foresight to can a few jars of sauce last year, we just pulled out a jar. Thank you, past Lindsay, for thinking of us all the way in 2012!
The Gravy: Can I just say Taylor has a knack for gravy? After one year of unbearable salty gravy (a side-effect of a brined bird, we quickly discovered) he’s mastered it. He starts with some homemade turkey stock and a golden brown roux, then adds in some of the pan drippings a little bit at a time until the flavor is perfect. And because he has a deep seated fear of running out of gravy, I think we have enough gravy to last us for weeks.
The Pie: Ah, the pie. My nemesis. It seems that just about every year comes with a pie-crust disaster of one sort or another. And this year was no different. I attempted the Perfectly Flaky Yogurt-Butter Pie Crust from Food & Wine, intrigued by the addition of yogurt. It came together well enough, no easier or harder than most pie crust recipes. But it shrunk like a shrinky dink as soon as I took out the pie weights, forcing me to severely under-fill it (but don’t worry, the overage went into ramekins to be enjoyed later). For the pie itself I used Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie recipe from Bon Appetit (is that sacrilege, using the pie crust recipe from one magazine and the pie filling from another?), which uses maple syrup in place of sugar. How was it? Well, I think the turkey has finally settled in my stomach which means it’s just about time for pie. All I need to do is whip up some fresh cream, maybe spike it with a little bourbon, then I’ll be sure to let you know.
Simple, but so satisfying… that’s the best kind of Thanksgiving meal.
Here’s wishing you a truly happy Thanksgiving! I sincerely hope all of you (who are in the US, at least) had a truly wonderful and delicious holiday.
Now go eat some pie!