Food notes: Thanksgiving Dinner

Making Thanksgiving dinner is somewhat deceptive isn’t it? Partway through the day you’re thinking to yourself: hell, this dinner is practically making itself – a little prep work and all my veggies are ready to go, turkey in the oven, cream for dessert whipped – and you’ve even got enough time to take a little bath before the guests come to the door…. And then WHAM! As soon as the turkey comes out of the oven, everything switches into frantic mode as the potatoes need mashing, the turkey carving, the gravy stirring, the veggies checked to ensure they aren’t over or under-done, and everything somehow has to make it onto the table in nice dishes and still steaming hot (while not forgetting to take the apple crisp out of the oven before it burns). It’s a bit of a dance really, and in our small kitchen last night, B and I collided more than once in the process.

But it was magnificent in the end with a repast of turkey and stuffing, roasted yams and parsnips, brussels sprouts, steamed swiss chard & beets, mashed potatoes and apple crisp with whipped cream for dessert. And on top of that, we shared it all with some dear friends including two people I’ve known for more than twenty years!

I’ll get back to garden-posting this week, but first I want to share a couple of highlights from last night. First off, if you have trouble getting perfect mashed potatoes, then I would like to point you here. This is by far the best technique-dissection I have ever seen, and it really does make *perfect* potatoes. Amazing and perfect potatoes.

Secondly, I did a little veggie-improv last night in the kitchen because of a space shortage and worked out a recipe that makes for instant presentation-loveliness:

Swiss Chard and Beets

Ingredients (for as many people as you are serving): Red Beets, Swiss Chard, Walnut pieces

  • Toast walnuts in a cast iron pan or in the oven, set aside.
  • Chop chard into ribbons, set aside.
  • Put your beets in a  steamer and steam them for 20 minutes or so, until they are pretty much done.
  • Remove the covered beets from the heat, take the lid off them, throw the ribbons of chard on top of the beets and then put the lid back on for three minutes (or longer if you like wiltier chard).
  • Take the steamer off your saucepan and invert it into your serving bowl. This creates a gorgeous presentation of bright red beets on a bed of greens.
  • Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Drizzle with oil or dressing (if you choose). Serve hot.

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