Thanks to all who have shared your Thanksgiving meals! Now that it’s over and I have successfully gained several pounds, I thought I would share with my little Thanksgiving and how grateful I am not only for good friends, but also for companies that make quality ingredients free from hydrogenated oils and industrial processing.
Cake Mountain Man and our dear friends, L&P, came over for a “small” dinner with enough food to feed twelve. We ate, played board games, ate, played more. Even our ice skating (aka me falling) didn’t do much to cancel out the calories we consumed.
My certified organic turkey from Whole Foods cost 10x the amount of the discount turkey at a larger grocery store, but the quality, taste, and knowledge that it was raised humanely and heathily helped me to swallow the cost…and raised my continued ire that we as Americans have become too used to cheap, processed, industrial food. Anyways, I digress…
No company sponsored/paid for my use of anything – they don’t even know I used their products, but I wanted to share what ingredients I used to note that it is possible to put together meals that are organic and natural without ridiculous costs.
I love cooking for Thanksgiving – the planning and preparation is half the fun, and I adapted some fabulous recipes I found on some great sites:
- Cooking Light’s Apple Cider-Brined Turkey: this brine filled with ginger and allspice is FABULOUS.
I don’t remember eating or making a juicier turkey. I brined it for about 18 hours. During the first 30 minutes of baking, I freaked out at how brown the underside got, but realized it was to sear the juices in.
- Saveur’s Rich Gravy: this takes a little while as you are making your own stock, but oh my gosh, the flavor and richness is beyond good. Just start it right after the turkey goes into the oven – you don’t need to really watch it while it simmers.
- Saveur’s Corn Bread-Sausage Stuffing with homemade Southern Corn Bread: I hate to brag, but this turned out pretty darned good. I made the cornbread the day before so it could sit overnight.
I baked them in muffin tins so that it would be easier to freeze and reheat them in single servings.
- Sweet Beet and Green Bean’s Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie: I used Newman-Os (no hydrogenated oils and YUM), Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate, and Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin.
I’m not sure if I did this correctly as it didn’t set properly, but the taste sure was good! Not too sweet, just right.
L&P brought over the best green bean casserole I’ve ever had, butternut casserole with Grand Marnier, bread pudding, a bourbon pecan pie, and a pumpkin pie. I also had some fabulous Rofumo cheese (hickory-smoked) slathered with what may possibly be the best Seven Pepper Jelly from Foster’s Market.
Before you think me wealthy (trust me, I’m not!), I borrowed some things, like brining bags from L&P from Williams-Sonoma, which made life easier, and had some leftover Tracklement’s Cranberry Sauce with Port as a complement to turkey sandwiches the next day (the Foster’s pepper jelly also serves as an amazing accompaniment to leftover turkey).
I also stretched the dollar as far as possible by cooking down the carcass for some fabulous turkey stock, which I turned into a turkey-macaroni soup with homemade tomato sauce, mushrooms, celery, and salt and pepper.
Eating healthy is not cheap, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. I am grateful for more healthy options when I cook, and I am grateful for friends with whom to share them.