Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, even if I never get any presents. So simple: fantastic food, the company of family and friends, and the enforced focus on all those things for which you can be thankful, always a much longer list than you could have imagined when you first started. We should do it more often, but Thanksgiving is a good start. Thank God and George Washington, and thank God for our blessings.
I hope you all had a blessed and bountiful Thanksgiving. I’d have invited you all over, but if a number anywhere near the readers WordPress says I have had showed up, I’d actually be over Governor Gretchen’s limit. We invited my Vicksburg High ’70 classmate, retired Alaskan bush pilot Tim, who’s come into the ‘burg from his home in Healy, near Denali National Park, to escape the early winter for a while and also to look after his dad’s property. But Tim chose to stay home, so it was just the two of us. We ate well, as you can see by the menu below, tho’ it wasn’t Turkey Day for us. After an afternoon of chopping, jockeying for oven space, and drinking (of course) (plenty of time to watch our Lions lose, another TG tradition), our target of a 4 P.M. dinner slid to about 7:30. Fortunately, Kathy didn’t complain. After all, she was helping in the preparation.
Here’s how it went:
Pumpkin seeds roasted in garlic olive oil
Golden Harvest Squash Soup (“explodey soup”)*
(raised on EMMA Acres Farm, Ann Arbor)**
Roasted Harvest Vegetables in a Baked Pumpkin
carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips
Ragout of Pearl Onions and Brussels Sprouts
Stinking Rose Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Featuring purple potatoes from Kathy’s garden, grown from seed potatoes from EMMA . If you want to know how to make this for a crowd, check out https://wordpress.com/post/theviewfromharbal.com/225
sourdough bread and sausage stuffing
Bob’s cranberry sauce
Mini Apple Pies w/ice cream or whipped cream
Roos Roast Finca El Jutal (Western Honduras) coffee
sparkling water (thanks to SodaStream)
Chateau Canadel. Bandol, 2015 (Le Plan du Castellet, France)
La Temenda. Monastrell, 2017. Alicante (Spain)
Juan Gill. Jumilla, Monastrell, 2018. (Spain)
And plenty of Pinots in the cellar if we need them
Cabernet franc Icewine, Jackson-Triggs (Niagara Falls, Ontario)
Beer: Founder’s Harvest Ale, Founder’s Moon Rambler IPA
Tomatin, Highland Single Malt (12, 15, 18 years old)
Traverse City Whiskey Co. – Straight Bourbon
Here’s what it looked like before we messed it all up by devouring everything:
As I write this, we’ve put away everything, either into our guts or into the refrigerators. What’s left of the bird went into the big pot for tomorrow’s project: making duck soup! I don’t know if it’ll make enough after feeding us for Groucho, Harpo, and Zeppo, but if they were still alive, I’d find a way.
* Golden Harvest Squash soup has been know as “explodey soup” in my family ever since the Thanksgiving many years ago when I first made it. It was to be the first course for our feast and the last item to come out of the kitchen. I had made it to the last step, where everything gets pureed in a blender. The action was going too slow for my likes, and I decided to help things along with a rubber spatula. The blades of the blender caught that spatula and exploded the contents all over my face, chest, and the kitchen ceiling. There was about a thimbleful for each left, which they devoured eagerly between sniggers and pronounced delicious. It was. I’ve made it many times since, with a food processor.
** EMMA Acres is a small farm west of town owned and operated by Mark Skowronski and Michelle Kahlenberg. Michelle was a colleague of mine. Before she was an ace rheumatologist and superstar researcher (https://wordpress.com/post/theviewfromharbal.com/111), she was an Ohio farm girl. Mark also grew up on a farm. When they moved to Ann Arbor, they decided to pursue their dream of returning to the soil. Mark is the full time farmer, but Michelle gets her hands dirty plenty. These two nice articles describe their situation in detail https://www.the-rheumatologist.org/article/rheumatologist-michelle-kahlenberg-md-phd-pursues-rural-dream/, http://www.crazywisdomjournal.com/featuredstories/2016/8/31/raising-emma the latter written by a patient of Michelle’s. This poster of them hangs in Biercamp, which sells a lot of their meats: