Thanksgiving in two parts
This year was my first ever Thanksgiving away from family. i was a bit nervous about it, but, while i missed the fam, i had a lovely time. That april came in from bend certainly added to the fun of the holiday weekend. Thanksgiving was so much fun, in fact, that we did it twice.
Thursday night, april and i went to bruce and ron's for thanksgiving dinner. we brought appetizers and soup: a biscuit-topped mushroom cobbler, crudite with sesame ginger dip, cranberry brie, artichoke dip and squash (acorn and delicata) soup. bruce served duck with cardamom and honey, braised cabbage, wild rice, fresh Hideaway Bakery bread, a pear pie and a pecan pie. the end result was, of course, quite non-traditional, but very seasonal and tasty. bruce has the magic ability to cook up anything without a recipe. he doesn't need 'em, doesn't use 'em. so, weather its baking a pecan pie or roasting a duck, he just fires from the hip and miraculously pulls it off every time. i'm deeply envious. i can do a lot of cooking without recipes, but baking? a mystery to me. i suppose years and years of baking and i'd, too, have a chance of success. in addition to bruce's general cooking know-how, he also has the nicest equipment of any home cook i've ever seen. pictured is his set-up. talk about deeply envious. i covet that gas range stovetop. and his pots and pans make me weak in the knees. sigh.
On Friday, april and i cooked up a more "traditional" Thanksgiving dinner. Because I'd probably melt or just keel over dead if i didn't have jello at least once a year. Since the smallest turkey at Long's came in at 15 pounds, we went with a whole chicken. We roasted the chicken with potatoes and onions, made chestnut mushroom stuffing, a jello mold and cranberry sauce. and wine, of course. we'd planned to make a pumpkin cheesecake but forgot, which is probably for the best. we baked the chicken upside down (oops!) but, stuffed with fresh sage and rosemary, it would've tasted good baked upright. actually, propped up on a beer can, it would've been a real classy treat. i love cooking with april even though we're both sort of type-A in the kitchen. i have the most fun making and then eating these elaborate meals with her.