Monday 14 October 2013
Thanksgiving long weekend has just passed here in Canada. For those who may be unfamiliar, Thanksgiving is an annual, historical pastime where family and friends get together for an autumn feast to give thanks for all that we often take for granted. Common dinner items include a roast turkey, stuffing, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, root vegetables, cranberry sauce, etc... although different families may have different customs. The United States also celebrate Thanksgiving but they have theirs on the fourth Thursday of every November.
This Thanksgiving, for the first time, I spent it with some family and friends from my mom's side of the family (the same group I typically spend Christmas with and put together our semi-annual mystery ingredient challenges). My aunt and uncle have two cottages at Sauble Beach (Lake Huron) and we had our Thanksgiving there. It was a lot of fun. I, of course, woke up with a sore throat and runny nose half way through it. Lately I have had a bad habit of getting sick on special occasions (while remaining perfectly healthy the rest of the year), a pattern I'd like to break immediately. Luckily I am already feeling better.
Just wanted to share a shot of the grub. I helped but my aunt and uncle did most of the work. Clockwise from top, mashed garlic-potatoes with gravy, green salad with apples and sliced almonds, pork and white bread stuffing, roast turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce, grilled vegetables and spiral cut ham. All that followed by your choice of pumpkin or apple pie made by my uncle's, brother's wife. Everything was delicious.
My aunt is my mother's sister. They make turkey stuffing rather similarly, which I presume is similar to what they had growing up. There are a few differences though. My aunt will usually use white bread, ground pork sausage, onion with herbs, spices and moisten with chicken broth. My mom uses brown bread with ground pork sausage, onions, celery, mushrooms, herbs, spices and moistens with apple juice. Sometimes dried cranberries and/or crushed walnuts would appear in my mom's stuffing but it was always a subject of debate at the table. Personally, I liked the cranberries and the walnuts.
Thanksgiving is all about comfort food overload. I've been going to Sauble Beach all my life but I've never been there in autumn before. The water is too cold to swim in now but the colours of the trees are really spectacular. This weekend, despite my scratchy throat, made me realize my appreciation for fall. Ontario is densely populated with trees, all of which turn an impressive variety of colours this time of year (the likes of which can easily be seen from space). You could say that I am very thankful to live in such a beautiful place.
I am also thankful to all of you for keeping up with the blog. I will be back soon with more techniques and recipes to share.
Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadian readers and have a great week to everyone,