Tuesday 14 October 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

We celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada this passed long weekend. Like last year I got together with some family members at my uncle's cottage in Sauble Beach, Ontario. Although, unlike last year, I wasn't sick with a terrible cold this time. We had gorgeous weather for this time of year. It was the best Thanksgiving I'd had in a long time. Great food, great company, great sunsets and great fun. If you don't know already, my aunt is quite a foodie and we tend to throw down in the kitchen whenever we're together. We do a semi-annual "Mystery Ingredient" challenge which I always document on the blog. We're currently overdue for one of those. We usually do it in winter and summer but with my cousin's wedding and all of the excitement that took place we didn't have time for summer one. I will definitely let you know when we do that.

Usually when I get together to feast with family I share a few photos of the experience so that's what this is all about. We observed Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday evening but spent all day Saturday at the cottage as well. For the Saturday I helped my aunt cook a four course dinner she had planned. 

The first course was French onion soup with a toasted baguette crouton and Gruyere. 

The second course was a green salad with cherry tomatoes and scallions dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and ground oregano. We also made Romano cheese crisps.

Third course was a savoury tart with a layer of kalamata tapenade, caramelized red onion and olives with an egg, cream and Parmigiano filling. The pastry we didn't make from scratch though. There's only so much you can do at the cottage. 

For the final dessert course we made an open faced blueberry pie (and fresh whipped cream).  This pastry is also store bought.

The following day was Thanksgiving and we threw together so many things. Here is a photo of my plate.

For me, the star of the show is the turkey. Our family typically uses a basic rub of sage, thyme, oregano, poultry seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper on the skin. 

We make a bread and pork sausage stuffing with onions and dried herbs as well. A pretty basic stuffing as far as they go but comforting in its simplicity. 

We also had help from my uncle who took care of the barbecuing. He smoked a spiral cut maple ham on the grill. 

We also smoked a variety of vegetables: butternut squash, sweet potato, corn on the cob, parsnips, cauliflower and onion. 

Turkey dinner wouldn't be the same without cranberry sauce. My cousin and her husband got a bottle of blueberry wine as a wedding gift. We used that in the sauce which worked really well. 

For dessert we made a spiced pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and candied pecans.

I was lucky enough to take quite a few left overs home. Here is a sandwich I made for dinner tonight: flax bread, garlic mayo, cranberry chutney, stuffing, dark meat turkey, romaine lettuce and fresh cracked pepper. Delicious! The cranberry sauce we made was finished that evening. The cranberry sauce that I used in this sandwich is actually some left over chutney I had from the MasterChef Canada get together. Scroll down to the next post after this one for the recipe. 

This is completely un-food related but I just had to share a photo of my aunt and uncle's dog, Keeva. She is only ten months old but so big and 90 pounds already. She will continue to grow for about another eight months. She is going to be enormous. Gotta love her, she is such a suck. 

To see Keeva as a fifteen week puppy, check out her first appearance on the blog when we had our last Mystery Ingredient Challenge.

Be sure to come back soon because I'm already working on a Thanksgiving inspired Moroccan dinner that I can't seem to get out of my mind. It's going to be fantastic. I can't wait.

Until then! I hope all of my fellow Canadians had a happy and hearty Thanksgiving as well. 


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