Monday, 8 October 2012

A good long weekend

Hello everyone and Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

I am relaxing on the couch after a good, long weekend centred around food, family and friends. Usually, I do not like the fact that Thanksgiving in Canada comes so early (it has to do with the fact that the harvest season here is earlier than in the US, apparently). School has just started and my work rhythm is picking up, so that I am not yet in holiday season mode. Heck, Halloween is still almost a month away!

This year I loved it though. Living in the US for half a decade has made me love the Thanksgiving spirit, and last year a missed terribly not celebrating it while we were in Italy. How best to catch up than starting to embrace the holiday spirit right now?

I still believe that Americans do it better than Canadians. First, let's talk sales. It would be nice to have our own Black Friday. Second, why have Thanksgiving on Monday, when people have to go back to work bright and sharp on Tuesday morning? I would really need a couple of extra days to recover and cleanup; I know that now the dirty plates will hunt me until next weekend... Still, who cares? I had a great time.

P.S. In case you were wondering, here is our Thanksgiving menu:

Appetizers, from my mom's kitchen
I make two types of toasts. First, a shrimp cocktail toast (on top of half a slice of toasted bread, layer one shrimp dipped into a classic rose cocktail sauce, made with ketchup, mayo, and a touch of Worcester sauce). Second, a mozzarella-and-prosciutto toast (on top of half a slice of toasted bread, layer the cocktail sauce from above, then a slice of buffalo mozzarella, and then a slice of prosciutto).

Butternut Squash Soup, from the classic recipe by the Joy of Cooking with my own twist.
The twist is that, at the moment of adding the butternut squash pulp to the leeks, I also add 2 cups of pumpkin cut into 1 inches cubes, which adds a kick to the butternut squash's delicate flavour. The other thing I do extra is that I make my own stock by boiling for half an hour 2 large celery sticks, 1 large carrot and 1 onion. I roast the squash and I make the broth the day before so that when I wake up of Thanksgiving day I just need to assemble the soup. (I use the broth for the stuffing as well).

Dried Apricot and Date Stuffed Turkey Breast with Marsala Glaze, from this recipe by Fine Cooking.
It is the best stuffed turkey recipe I have ever tried, and it is incredibly easy to make. The stuffing can be made one day ahead and refrigerated.

Cranberry Sauce, by my friend Jacob's secret recipe (sorry, I cannot pass that one on)

Sides: A classic mashed potatoes, which works well for the kids too, steamed brussels sprouts, a spinach salad, and apple and sausage stuffing.

For dessert, this year I tried Emeril Lagassi's recipe for the pecan and chocolate chip pie, which was delicious (I made my own chocolate "chunks" from a Lindt chocolate bar).

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