In case you’re wondering, I am thinking about Thanksgiving and in fact started cooking today! I’m thankfully (ha) not hosting – my sister Stacey is – but we’re making the meal together, for 12 people, so there’s plenty to do. I’m following the turkey, stuffing, and gravy recipes I posted last year, as well as making a big batch of Deluxe Do-Ahead Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, my aunt Mary’s recipe for The Best mashed potatoes in the world. And, as the name would suggest, they’re do-ahead, a big bonus on the big day, since draining and mashing huge pots of hot, steaming potatoes is bad for your fabulous holiday hair-do, not to mention your favorite silk blouse. Shiver!
So, the turkey is a’brining and the gravy stock is a’simmering…it’s starting to smell a lot like Thanksgiving! The turkey will actually roast at Stacey’s – I’m making her a fair trade tomorrow, my nephew Cooper for a brined turkey, ha (we’re overdue for a dose of Cooper-Cuteness around here, so he’s coming for a visit tomorrow morning). She’ll actually roast the turkey at her house on Thursday, after it’s air-dried in her fridge overnight Wednesday. She and Mom are making Cranberry Relish, Candied Yams (the classic), and one of my favorite dishes, my stepmom Susanna’s Spinach Casserole. Full of artichoke hearts and mushrooms, and topped with sliced tomatoes and buttery bread crumbs, it’s that winning combination of beautiful and delicious. And it’s easy, and do-ahead, therefore a perfect addition to Thanksgiving dinner. (Recipes posted in comments, below.)
My aunt Marge is baking her amazing pies, my aunt Mary is bringing bread and wine, my cousin Kim is bringing an appetizer, and we’re going to be very good to go. I. Can’t. Wait! If I don’t have a chance to check in before the big day, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
Hi Maud! Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I'm sure you had a beautiful dinner, hope you're relaxing right about now. I miss seeing you all!
oops, that was me there above :)
oh no! i totally forgot to brine the turkey...i wanted to try that this year...okay, next year, next year.
happy thanksgiving, stephanie! we'll miss you here in ny.
Happy Turkey Day to you, my friend! I'm thankful for you and our friendship!!!
Cranberry-Orange Relish with Crystallized Ginger
Bon Apetit Magazine
2 12-ounce bags cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) minced crystallized ginger
Combine first 6 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until cranberries pop, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Cool. Mix in crystallized ginger. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
1 large (29 oz.) can yams, drained, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
½ c. pecans, chopped (optional)
½ c. real maple syrup
1/3 c. brown sugar
¼ c. butter, melted
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
¾ bag mini marshmallows
Butter a 13x9-inch (or medium casserole) pan. Spread yams in bottom of pan. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, if using. In a small bowl, stir together maple syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over yams. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes until hot, then top with marshmallows and bake until marshmallows are browned, about 10 minutes.
4-10 oz. packages frozen chopped spinach
1-8.5 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, drained, pieces cut in half (bite-size)
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
¾ c. butter (divided ¼ c. and ½ c.)
½ c. mayonnaise
1 c. sour cream
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (divided 2/3 c. and 1/3 c.)
½ tsp. salt, few grinds pepper
¼ tsp. nutmeg
2 tomatoes, sliced thin
1 c. fresh bread crumbs
Thaw spinach and drain thoroughly in a colander, pressing down to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer to a large bowl; add drained artichoke hearts and garlic. Saute mushrooms in ¼ c. butter until lightly browned; scrape into spinach-artichoke mixture.
In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, 2/3 c. Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour over spinach mixture and stir to combine. Turn into a buttered 13x9 pan. Arrange tomato slices on top. Melt remaining ½ c. butter, stir in bread crumbs and remaining 1/3 c. cheese and sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Can be made one day head, chill; bake for 40 minutes.)