Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gobble, gobble, gobble.

Thanksgiving seems like a perfect time to breathe new life into my long-neglected blog. It is the holiday devoted to the art of feasting. A time for foods that serve little purpose beyond bringing maximum comfort with every forkful. Being Eastern European, the thanksgivings of my childhood included platters of proscuito, milky hand-made cheeses, homemade pastas with venison gravy alongside the turkey and cranberry. But as I've grown older, I've shifted my family's meal to incorporate more "thangiving-y" sides, and Thanksgiving has become my holiday. The one holiday where I can stretch my spatula and take over the kitchen.

I started my Thanksgiving traditions when I was about 13 with homemade cranberry sauce. It was a recipe I saw on Good Eats which called for three simple ingredients: Cranberries, Orange Marmalade, and Sugar. It was wonderful cooking the cranberries as they popped and released their gooey tart insides. The end result was chunky, tangy and sweet, a cranberry sauce far from the can shaped gelatin blob of my childhood. A few years later, I discovered the autumnal wonder of roasted butternut squash soup. Its like fall in a bowl, layering flavors of roasted squash, roasted garlic, sauteed apples and onions, and hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. It was from the soup, that Thanksgiving became mine.

I hope to chronicle this year's thanksgiving feast to share with you.

Today's Thanksgiving prep tasks include:
Roasting butternut squash, sweet potatoes, apples and a head of garlic for my Roasted butternut squash soup.
Baking cornbread for my sausage and cornbread stuffing with apples, figs and raisins.
Making two (at the request of my brother) apple crisp pies.
Trying my hand at low-fat baked apple donuts (a recipe from the Amy's Bread cookbook).
Making the Cranberry Sauce.

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