Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thanksgiving feast 2011

Better late than never...
Top left- corn, edamame, and sun dried tomato (from the garden) salsa.
Top Right- stuffing
Bottom left- Mashed parsnips and potatoes
Bottom right- Green beans from the garden (recipe below)
Photo by Mike Z
Everything...including the homemade chive/sage cheese, crusty beer rolls and the Cornish game hens we raised.
Photo by Mike Z
The Cornish game hens wrapped in bacon.
Photo by Mike Z

Candied pumpkin, with candied pumpkin seeds, dehydrated vanilla beans and creme fraiche.

Home made raw butter
Chicken stock from the leftover bones.

Thanksgiving is a time to bring in close friends and family to share a little something to show an appreciation for their friendship and help throughout the year. This year we hosted a renegade Thanksgiving, we invited those who had no place to go. This turned out to be one of the most satisfying Thanksgivings in recent history. The true meaning of Thanksgiving is to celebrate the harvest and bring the community together...that is what we celebrated this year.

Firstly, our plan was to use our own garden and poultry as the base for our modest feast. We planned ahead and saved some of our late summer crop. Believe it or not, freezing things like beans doesn't ruin them. They tasted like we had just made the harvest. That was the whole point; to give back to our little community with things that we spent the year nurturing, whether it be plant or fowl.

Without question the most difficult part was dressing the Cornish cross breeds. Leaving the skin on didn't work out so we skinned them. As a result I thought they would dry while roasting, but we solved that problem by flattening out bacon and wrapping the entire bird in it. We actually cut them in half, and the portion size was perfect. I believe in making each apart of the dish separately. So the stuffing and sides were not cooked with the birds.

We took the opportunity to use The One-Block Feast, by Sunset Magazine to influence the candied pumpkin desert, the creme fraiche, butter and cheese. We already shared the recipes for the mashed parsnips and potatoesCornish game hens and corn salsa on the blog.

So I've decided to let you in on an old German secret for presenting green beans...a staple during the holidays.

Steam the beans until just about perfect. Place in a saute pan with butter and finely chopped garlic. Saute until the garlic is moments from turning color, then crack saltine crackers over the entire dish and saute until some of the crackers looked toasted and golden brown. You only need to season with pepper if desired, the salt is in the crackers. This is always the first dish we run out of . It is a major hit.

The master chef (the Doctor) getting everyones plates ready.
Photo by Mike Z

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