For me, there are only two things needed to make a successful Thanksgiving: good company, and good food. Really, good is negotiable when it comes to the food. There just needs to be food, preferably lots of it! At the end of the day it is the company that makes Thanksgiving good or not. This year was a lovely one; there were five of us in the end, and for the first time we were able to sit around our (quite small) dining table & eat properly.
I’ve shared the menu previously & alluded to the challenges. The big one for me is always timing; I start cooking the day before so I don’t feel rushed on Thanksgiving. Some foods, like the red cabbage, are actually better the next day anyway. But making sure they’re all hot at the same time is so hard, and I still haven’t mastered that! Nonetheless it all went down very well. A couple of things were particularly tasty, so I thought I’d share links to those recipes.
For my vegetarian friends, I made Smitten Kitchen’s roasted leek & white bean galettes. The leeks came from the allotment, hooray! I made a couple of tweaks. I didn’t use Deb’s pastry recipe, substituted goat’s cheese for the Gruyere, and used lemon juice instead of lemon zest. They loved it. I didn’t get to have any of the final product, unfortunately, but I tried a bit of the filling to check the seasoning and it was absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself. They were also surprisingly easy, so I definitely recommend them.
Dessert also went down very well, with two of our guests taking some home with them. I made a cranberry, pecan, almond and cardamom cake based on a recipe in Scandilicious. The original cake used blackberries, but of course I had to use cranberries. This is the first time I’ve made a gluten-free cake and I think it was okay. I liked the texture a lot, and I absolutely loved the cardamom running throughout. However, I’m still not sure if it turned out like it was supposed to; it feels quite heavy, so I think maybe something went a bit wrong with the butter. Definitely one I’ll be trying again soon, perhaps even as a Christmas cake to bring into work.
Speaking of which, are you baking anything for work? Or is it just me who does that?
PS Thanksgiving was also great because it was an excuse to open my homemade damson gin. Yum. I should point out that in this picture it was mixed with lemonade – I can’t drink that much gin!