Thanksgiving 2012 – The Photos

Wow. What a dinner.

The brined turkey tasted like amazing pho’ broth soaking into the most tender meat. The stuffing with gluten-free bread absorbed it all too, with just a little smokiness (others said. I couldn’t taste the smoke), maybe from the oven, which was smoking, or from the star anise. The salad was a smorgasbord of flavours – sweet and acidic with fruit and maple. The sweet potatoes were heaven – rich and buttery, and the green beans were crisp and savoury with toasted pecans. The carrots were simple and elegant.

Then dessert. My goodness, dessert. Vanilla madelines we decided to glaze in the lavender-crabapple jelly (melted), stack with homemade apple pie in a jar filling into a pyramid, and drizzle with the pie filling liquid and more of the lavender jelly…

Madeleine pyramid with lavender-crabapple jelly and layers of apple pie in a jar

And here are the photos. I list the ingredients, but for instructions (If I haven’t provided a link) you’ll have to do some googling. Sorry. The stuffing recipe was ad lib – just 1 1/2 loaves cubed gluten-free bread with salt, vegetable stock, one leek (white and light green parts only, diced), one onion, diced, thyme, 1/4 cup melted earth balance (or butter) and a sprinkle of pepper. That’s it. Use more stock if you do it outside the turkey. And the gravy was the sieved chicken dripping, plus 2 cups of chicken broth and a healthy tbsp of gluten-free tamari. Then thickened with a paste of 1/4 cup rice flour and 1/4 cup water. Whisk and thicken and boil until reduced and gravy-like. I didn’t skim the fat. I’ll be honest. But requires a fat separator or a lot of time and patience, and when there are 14 people in your home, you don’t have time.

The cooking took all day, but we had a schedule and we stuck to it. Two efficient ladies in the kitchen, we were. Thanks to my wonderful cooking partner, Caterina, for putting up with my matronly, kitchen-dominating ways. Too little sleep doesn’t help, but a good meal does wonders for the soul.

Mesclun salad with maple pecans, oranges, fennel, dried cranberries and raspberry vinaigrette

Here’s a link to the full recipe for this salad, but here are the ingredients if you’re curious:

1 cup raspberries
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
10 cups mesclun greens
2 medium fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 cups dried cranberries
8 clementines or 4 to 5 oranges, peeled and separated into segments
1 cup spiced pecans or caramelized walnuts


(Without the dressing)

Brined Turkey from The New York times Cookbook


Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes from Joe Beef
Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes

•    4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 7 medium)

•    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

•    1/4 cup pure maple syrup

•    Coarse salt and ground pepper

Green Beans With Shallots and Almonds

Green Beans with Shallots and Toasted Almonds


•    Salt and pepper, to taste

•    1 pound fresh or frozen green beans, trimmed

•    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

•    1/4 cup chopped shallots

•    2 tablespoons chopped parsley

•    1 tablespoon chopped oregano (I skipped this and up-ed the parsley. Don’t skip the parsley. It adds a lot)

•    2/3 cup blanched almond slivers, toasted

Roasted Pears and Red Onions



•    4 semi-ripe medium pears, quartered and cored

           •    1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges

           •    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

           •    2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (we used white wine)

           •    Coarse salt and ground pepper

           •    2 sprigs rosemary

Carrots with Honey from Joe Beef Cookbook
12 carrots, not too big, peeled
¼ olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 bunch of thyme
1 clove of garlic, lightly crushed but whole
1 tbsp honey
2tbsp crunchy sea salt

Vanilla Madeleines with lavender-Crabapple jam

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Here’s the recipe for the madelines. We brushed them with a lavender-cranberry melted jam and then layered it with apple pie in a jar. Then drizzled it all with  the apple pie in a jar juices and the glaze/jam.


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