A happy Thanksgiving

It must be said that six days off is enough to make me happy even without a holiday.

Thanksgiving dinner

Click for a larger size

Thanksgiving dinner this year was a tasty Bell & Evans turkey with roasting pan instant stock that made a perfect quart of deeply flavourful gravy, mash, some Trader Joe’s corn (frozen but pretty good), light and fluffy freshly-baked Parker House rolls, and just for me, butternut squash with white pepper and nutmeg.

In past years Market Basket has stocked a few Bell & Evans turkeys, but this year they had quite a large selection priced at a little more than twice the price per pound of, say, a Butterball bird. That might sound expensive, but Bell & Evans birds are miles above others in terms of flavour, texture, and a complete lack of injected saline solution. At other shops, they’re most often priced at 3-4 times the Butterball price per pound.

The next time I cook butternut squash, I’m going to try roasting or steaming them. Boiling infuses far too much water into the porous flesh, which forces you to cook down the mashed result for 20-25 minutes on a medium heat to get it to an unwatery state where its flavour is properly highlighted. Two whole foot-long gourds produce just 3 cups/.7 litres of delicious cooked squash in the end.

The first leftover dish, an hour ago, was a turkey sandwich on lightly toasted sourdough with jellied cranberry sauce and herb & garlic boursin cheese:

Turkey sandwich

Click for a larger size

I’ll likely be making turkey noodle soup with most of the remaining bird, but more sandwiches are definitely in my future.

The menu (tentative)

  • Gougères with Gruyère for an appetizer – see the Petits Choux au Fromage link on this page
  • Roast turkey – with instant stock for gravy and, later, tetrazzini
  • Cornbread and slow-cooked bacon stuffing
  • Sweet potato “soufflé” (not really a soufflé, but quite light and fluffy…no, there’s no marshmallow)
  • Creamed corn or maybe something lighter, with Trader Joe’s pretty decent frozen corn
  • Something chocolate – maybe mousse, but my daydreaming right now features something I would be most thankful for: a from-scratch devil’s food cake with chocolate buttercream