Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Pre-Thanksgiving Feast

Because Thanksgiving break is only five days (with two of those being the busiest travel days of the year) and only a week before all of my semester work is due I always stay here rather than go home to be with my family. It is too long of a trip for such a short time, plus I just need to do work and I go home just a few weeks later for Christmas. Don't feel too bad for me though :) I will be going to NJ with Aaron so I'll be surrounded by delicious food nonetheless. The bad part is that I don't get to eat all the foods that I'm used to having from my normal Thanksgivings with my family (Thanksgiving is, after all, my mom's favorite holiday).

(this is a photo of my friend Mike carving this turkey, which is ironic since he's vegan. He also used to work at a butcher shop before he was vegan and the rest of us had NO idea how to begin carving a turkey so he swooped in to save the day!)

To remedy this situation I decided to host a small, pre-Thanksgiving dinner with my friends. We all like to eat, many of my friends aren't going home either and turkeys were on sale at the grocery store a few weeks ago so it all came together perfectly! Ever since we received the November issue of Bon Appetit, Aaron has been hankering to make a recipe for cranberry relish and a pumpkin pie so I assigned those two dishes to him and I took on the turkey, stuffing, green beans, rolls and mashed potatoes. Since Thanksgiving food isn't really that hard to make (its more a matter of managing the high-demand oven) everything turned out great!

Here is the lineup:
Sage Butter Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy
Sourdough Stuffing with Apples and Golden Raisins
Green Beans and Walnuts with Lemon Vinaigrette
Mashed Potatoes (a la my mom...lots of butter and milk)
Buttered Rosemary Rolls
Pumpkin Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

(Elizabeth was late to dinner and we had already run out of chairs so...she had to sit on the pilates ball--that's what happens when you're late.)

Like I said, everything was deeeelicious! The links above lead to the recipes at their original sites, but here is the recipe for the pumpkin pie that Aaron made, because a) this is technically a blog that writes about dessert and b) it was a great pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Pie
from Not Without Salt

Use any pie crust recipe, we didn't use the one from this recipe.

Pie Filling:
2 cups pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 dried bay leaf
1 vanilla bean
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1.4 t. nutmeg

Combine the pumpkin, spices, cream and sugar in a medium sized pot on low heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture and then put the pod in too. Cook this mixture for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for about an hour. (or do this the day ahead and put it in the fridge) Re-warm the filling and add the eggs, but be sure not to cook the eggs. Bake at 350 for about 35-45 minutes.

For cream just add 1-2 T. maple syrup to 2 cups whipping cream.

 And because everyone loves a picture of Joe, here he is doing something...probably trying to escape.


  1. except, look at the mess in the background of that picture of joe

  2. Looks and sounds yummy. Wish we could be together for Thanksgiving.