Thanksgiving dinner was just Larry and Brian and I again. I love having such a low-key Thanksgiving. With visitors in town the night before, I really didn’t get anything started until about 11am, yet I still had time to relax in the afternoon.
Everything was really good and I was happy with how the meal turned out. I documented the things I did last year and didn’t make any changes to the turkey or gravy. I highly recommend making notes when you find a successful formula, particularly when it comes to holidays. It was really great to be able to just refer to my notes and not have to stress about what I did last year that turned out so well. Dry brine a Kosher turkey, cook at high heat breast down for a short time before turning it and lowering the heat. Turns out a perfect turkey and perfect gravy.
We liked the dressing from last year, but I was still in search of something that was more classic – crouton-based with herbs, and that’s pretty much it. I found my answer in Fine Cooking Magazine, thanks to a recipe from Pam Anderson of Three Many Cooks. Pam’s recipes are delicious and reliable, and I wasn’t surprised that the dressing turned out to be exactly what I wanted. This is now my go-to dressing recipe.
We stuck with sweet potatoes this year, and this simple honey-sweetened version is really easy. Even I like it, and I’m not a big sweet potato fan.
Last but not least, the pumpkin pie. This is the fifth pumpkin pie I’ve made this fall. It’s not the first time I made this version – I first made it in 2005. There’s a related apple pie recipe that uses the same crust, which is easy to work with and very forgiving. For now, this pie is the winner. I may experiment a bit more in the last few weeks of the year, but Larry says I can stop the Experiment if I’d like. The only change I made to the recipe was to bump up the spices – I used heaping measuring spoonfuls instead of level. Next time I’ll actually record the amounts.
- Herb Roast Turkey with Shallot-Dijon Gravy (Pork Cracklins, November 2009)
- Bread Stuffing with Fresh Herbs (Fine Cooking #101, November 2009, p. 33)
- Roasted Beets
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Honey (Bon Appetit, March 2008)
- Pumpkin Pie with a Leafy Rim (Fine Cooking #54, Winter 2003 Holiday Baking Issue, p. 42)
Wine: Lincourt 2005 Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County, California). Picked at random from our basement, and pretty good.