Turkey Lurkey

3 Dec

On Thanksgiving day, the cook in me wouldn’t sleep in, so I awoke at four in the morning to begin cooking.  I love Thanksgiving, and this year, since I had been away from home for so long, I truly had a lot to be thankful for, right to home-cooked food, which I find preferable to dorm food.  No wonder I couldn’t keep out of my kitchen–like my gramps said, my pots and pans were wondering where I was and were ready to be used!

Although I couldn’t get my head on straight right away, I began by making a basic bread dough, to which I added poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and chopped walnuts.  I let the dough rise while I began with my other preparations.

The previous day, I had gotten started on and finished a few other projects:

  • I made an apple pie and a pecan pie with wondrous crusts–not only did I use lard and butter in them, but I also chose to use duck fat and some vodka in the pecan pie crust and Gjetost cheese in the apple pie crust.
  • I prepared the pumpkin tiramisu that I have made before, a la the request my mom made not to have pumpkin pie.  I made the lady fingers myself, and I topped the whole thing with crushed gingersnap cookies.

While my dough rose, I pulled an extra round of pie crust out of the fridge and decided it would make fine cheese straws for our Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvres.  They did.  I spent the rest of the day making a leek and mushroom stuffing with truffle butter (my mom and my favorite), a sweet potato casserole with streusel, and two roast turkeys.

Perhaps my crowning dish was a throw-in that I wanted to make but was unsure about: a jell-o mold.  Instead of making a normal mold, I made a panna cotta flavored with spices (cinnamon, allspice, and cloves), orange flower water, and almond extract.  I put that in the mold first, and then made a pomegranate and clementine jello.  After the panna cotta set, I put sliced almonds and dollops of thyme and honey flavored ricotta on top of it and then poured over the jello and let it set.  It was my own version of a medieval blancmange, and I loved it.

My mom made mousseline mashed potatoes, a turnip gratin, sauteed pearl onions, and cranberry sauce.  Everything was going great, and then I realized I still had to make the Brussels sprouts…so I chopped up the meat roulade that I made and sauteed it.  I added the sprouts and sauteed them in the rendered fat and then flavored it all with Pimenton de la Vera and Sherry vinegar.


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