Simply prepared fresh cranberry sauce is my favorite, just sugar, cinnamon and a little water then simmered for just a few minutes until the berries 'pop'. As the sauce cools the natural pectin in the cranberries thicken the sauce up nicely.
I hope everyone who celebrated yesterday had a wonderful day.
Due to intermittant power blips during the past few days, I was forced to make some changes in my menu. Just one of those things you come to expect if you live out in the country around here.
I went with traditional Fall colors, and a casual theme with mixed china; some Spode, some Lenox, and some No-Name brand things mixed in.
I served the salads on favorite leaf-shaped plates given to me by a very special friend.
Each year I try to add some new pieces to add to the holiday tables. Last year it I bought these little covered pumpkin soup bowls. I think a number of my gardening friends have them, too. :)
As you can see, they are not an exact match to the Lenox soup tureen, but I always have been drawn to more of an eclectic mix on the table so it all works out.
Since there were only four of us, I didn't actually serve the soup from the large tureen, I just thought it would make a nice centerpiece.
I wrapped some live English Ivy around the tureen platter, and draped long tendrils of the ivy between each place setting to add a little whimsey and color.
I found this version of the recipe for the Cream of Almond Soup on-line published by a couple of sources.
I believe it originates from Spain. It was another first time recipe. I highly recommend this ~ everybody loved it!
Keeper! When you want an elegant, and not-too-filling soup, do try this one. The cilantro garnish adds a very subtle flavor nuance, and I will serve it that way again. However, if you don't care for cilantro you can just top with a few toasted, slivered almonds.
As you probably have noticed, if you've read my blog for a while, I favor composed salads. If I'm serving salad for a dinner party, nine times out of ten it will be a composed salad; for as long back as I've been cooking.
This one is right near the top of the list of my favorites.
The baby greens are a Spring Mix grown by a local Organic farm, they are so tender and delicately flavored and provide a perfect background for anything else you might want to include in your salad.
I had intended to include some local Oregon Dungeness Crab, but there was none in the market, so I bought some Snow Crab legs and claws instead. A sliced avocado, and Grapefruit Supreme (carefully sectioned grapefruit with no membrane) were the other ingredients.
I made a lightly flavored Creamy Lemon dressing to drizzle over, it complements all of the components really well.
I'm looking forward to sliced turkey sandwiches on whole wheat with some cream cheese and cranberry sauce!
And if you're like me, there is just NO time for photos when your guests are waiting to dine ~ the soup and salad I was able to photograph before dinner.
But I made a mock-up of the dinner plate afterwards as I was tidying the kitchen:
Nothing out of the ordinary here.
Traditional Thanksgiving dinner, comforting and good!
I had to skip the Sweet Potatoes Dutchess because of the power issue I couldn't make them ahead; so I simply cooked and mashed them with some cream and butter.
Instead of making
Mom's marinated mushrooms, I simply sauteed sliced cremini mushrooms and tossed them with the lightly steamed green beans in a little bit of browned butter until heated through.
And my family's traditional San Francisco Sourdough dressing, with onions, celery, and heavy on the sage.
The recipe has been in my family for generations, one of those that is never written down, you learn by watching.
And it's my favorite, it's just not Thanksgiving without it.
The only dessert I was able to make was a pretty platter of these muffin-size Pumpkin Cheesecakes, with a walnut crust, topped with vanilla whipped cream, cinnamon and confectioner's sugar.
First time for this recipe as well. I tweaked it a little bit.
They were very good and I would definitely make them again.
In spite of the power challenges, we had a very nice Thanksgiving 2008.
I hope you and yours did, too!