Thanksgiving...what's not to love?? Anyone who knows me knows it's one of my favorite holidays (Halloween is a close second). But this year, it really did sneak up on me! I usually daydream about dishes for weeks in advance, but found myself too busy to notice it was coming....well, until it was about here.
(I did write several articles leading up to Thanksgiving, so you think that would've tipped me off...)
Add Thanksgivukkah mash-ups to Turkey Day (via The Today Show)
where to celebrate Orphan Thanksgiving in Austin (via CultureMap Austin)
Jack Allen's Kitchen feeds hundreds and aids Community First! initiative (via CultureMap Austin)
Despite my ill-preparedness, we did manage to have another fantastic turkey day, with some firsts for myself: first spatchcock (it's a thing), first pate (wanted to do pork but couldn't find any livers, so I did a classic chicken), and first-ever cannolis (pumpkin, of course!) Read on for some photos and recipes!
We began the day with football in the park right by our house. Katie and the Idiots versus….
….Carson and the Soggybottoms! Phew-- Football really takes it outta you! I'm not gonna lie-- I didn't finish the game, but left early to go home and keep prepping for the feast instead…
we be spatchcockin
This year we decided to spatchcock our turkey, using these easy directions from Serious Eats.
As promised, taking the spine out yielded a perfectly moist and flavorful turkey that cooked in much less time! However, the cutting itself was quite difficult! Perhaps we just needed to sharpen the ol' kitchen scissors...
pork on pork, y'all
And then, because turkey alone is never enough (and because we're two meat kinda folks), EJ brought over a delicious prosciutto-stuffed pork tenderloin!
And suddenly, we had a huge feast going on again! Of course, I can't take credit for all of this-- like most of our Thanksgivings, it was a very collaborative process! I was very proud of my first pate, however (which was incredibly easy, by the way!) I used this chicken liver pate recipe from Simply Recipes, with only slight variations. Be warned: it makes a crapload of pate! I found myself bringing the leftovers to a friend's get together at Barfly's a day or two later. (You haven't lived until you bring homemade pate to accompany $3 whiskey gingers at the diviest bar around!)
Dessert was epic, as usual. Maggie and EJ brought not one, but two (!) wonderful homemade pies-- pecan and pumpkin! And I was dead-set on making pumping cannolis this year. Most of the recipes I found online for pumpkin cannolis used some sort of pudding mix as the filling. But since I was actually wanting legit cannolis with a slight pumpkin taste, a simply used this classic cannoli recipe, then added canned pumpkin and spices to the filling until I was satisfied. (Also, most of the "homemade cannoli recipes" online were only for the filling, and instructed you to buy shells somewhere. There are actually very few recipes for shells on the Interweb, believe it or not!)
turkey, stuffing, potatoes gratin, green beans w shallots
and mushrooms, goat cheese, and cranberry on a pumpkin boule
I must say, I am mighty please with our use of leftovers this year. We actually had a pretty even amount of leftovers and did a good job of sharing between everyone. (You know those years when you have mashed potatoes out the wazoo when all you want is a little leftover green bean casserole??) I made the pretty choice Thanksgiving sandwich you see above using pumpkin boule from Whole Foods (because I plan ahead). It was just as delightful as it looks! But that's not it-- I also brewed up some turkey soup and used these delicious homemade egg noodles made by an older lady out in the Shiner area. They'd been waiting in my pantry for just the perfect time to make their tasty debut!
the Thanksgiving that keeps on giving