The Thanksgiving Review

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This is what I call Thanksgiving cooking with family. We made home-cooked food, some homemade artesian, all of it fresh and organic. All done with care and love for friends and family alike.

This is what I call cooking with family. We made home-cooked food, some homemade artesian, all of it fresh and organic. All done with care and love. So thankful to have had my kids locked in my kitchen. We cooked, we laughed, we ordered pizza for lunch. We didn’t have time to eat or cook for ourselves–we were cooking for 50 people. We had moments of total chaos. I didn’t know where to put anything, space was getting smaller every second. At one moment we were 11 in the kitchen, all squeezed in fighting for a tiny space to prepare our project.

I made an extensive menu of 36 dishes to please all of my guests, from gluten-free to kosher, parve, vegetarian, and meat-eater. I really wanted to please everyone––For everyone to find that little something special for them, like choosing from a treasure box. It’s like giving everyone the option to choose your food in the same way you choose your wardrobe, but on a dinner table. I’m more and more aware that you can infuse a mood and a certain excitement in each bite.

I gave all my kids a project to do. We even had a list with specific times to start and finish making each dish. We started with the pre-production three days before: creating the menu, doing the food shopping, picking up cocktail and drink ingredients, selecting serve-ware and silverware, the tablecloth, flowers, and music all to set right the tone and mood: Relax and be happy.

Andy was in charge of several dishes plus all of the apple tarts: the parve one, gluten-free and conventional. Blair took over setting a proper bar, meticulously cutting the lemon peels and setting all Mad Men-esque details with garnishes and a brushed metal shiny ice cooler, five-star hotel style. Sebastian and Jacqueline had specific chores to do in addition to making the incredible molecular appetizers. Bryan made fabulous bruschetta with impeccable presentation. Laura brought the rest of the desserts and took over the kitchen so I could shower and get ready. Esteban took all the photos. I also had three new wonderful helpers: Lily, Isabel, and Theresa.


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The recipes were a mash up of ideas, things I have always made around the holidays, and recipes from the site like the mushroom tart and the forbidden rice. I adapted the chestnut soup from french writer Mireille Guiliano. I found other inspirations from magazines like Olive and Delicious and many of the vegetables I cooked the same way I do for myself during the week. I wanted to also be true to traditional Thanksgiving ingredients like pumpkin, cranberries, sweet potatoes, corn, and carrots, while being conscious that they were healthy dishes.
I used organic and local veggies and most of the dishes were vegetarian recipes. Herbs played a big role, like rosemary, thyme, sage, and marjoram. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeat, ginger and all spice were part of the subtle aromas. Pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seed, macadamia nuts, almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts too. I incorporated new flavors and ingredients that have always worked, like the chickpeas and forbidden rice.


 

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I think it was all about sharing. The whole process, the trip itself, mades the desired arrival unforgettable. I truly enjoyed that the trip lasted three days and will stay with me forever as a very happy memorable Thanksgiving! I’ll remake for here everyone the the most wanted dishes from that day, the ones that lasted only minutes on the table. They will be perfect for the holiday celebrations. You also have to see the thanksgiving pizza created with the leftovers–it came out so great that I will make it again for the veggie-lovers and well everyone else. It has brie cheese with pignoli on the top and a mad assortment of leftover veggies and sides, photos coming soon!

Here are the most wanted dishes:

Chestnut Soup
perfect opening to set the mood especially because it was was served with a dollop of creme fresh and shaved cocoa

Mushroom Tart with Gruyere Cheese
it was the turkey for the vegetarian

Fig Tart with Goat Cheese
a festive and happy dish

Brussels Sprouts Served on the Stalk
an unexpected way to serve and impress

Forbidden Rice with Cranberries and Walnuts
truly a celebration of wellbeing

Pumpkin Tartin
très chic

Pearl Onion with Raisins and Sherry
elegant, complex flavor

Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage
tart for all, everybody liked it

Mushrooms with Chestnuts and Cream
delicious and luxurious

Pumpkin with Chickpeas and Tahini
an exotic twist to the Thanksgiving flavors

Onion Marmalade and Pignoli Bruschetta
a wonderful combination with brie

Fig and Blackberry Syrup
goes well with almost anything, it’s a loving experience

Spiced Mixed Nuts
they were sweet and savory perfect next to the drinks, we ate almost all before guest arrival 

 

 



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