Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I like it better than Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, and Halloween. For me, it’s the feel-good holiday of the year and is meaningful to both secular and religious people alike. Of course, it’s the time for gratitude and taking stock in what I’m grateful for, despite all the extreme ups and downs this past year has provided.
I also like it because it is a food-centric holiday, full of delicious dishes! Meat eaters and vegetarians alike can enjoy the food, and even vegans can have a satisfying meal. During my Berkeley years, I once participated in a “cruelty-free meal” one Thanksgiving, with a Tofurkey as the central protein. Of course, I don’t eat unfermented soy anymore, and can’t imagine eating a Tofurkey myself. These days I’d prefer to have the real deal anyway.
Over the years, roast turkey has been the main focus at big family meals. To be honest, I’ve never roasted a big bird myself; when I’m cooking the bird, I usually buy a chicken and roast that. It’s easier and it’s a more realistic amount of meat. This year, I am cooking turkey, but not by roasting it. We’ve chosen to make turkey chili! I think it will be a fun twist on the turkey as centerpiece of the meal.
This Tuesday, I’ll pick up some ground turkey and turkey sausage in my CSA share. I’ve got some dried black beans from Cayuga Organics. I’ll also use organic tomatoes I canned over the summer, some organic onions and garlic, and various spices. It will be a very simple chili.
Along with that, I’ll likely roast some root vegetables – carrots and yams. I like roasting them with thyme and rosemary, with some garlic, too, and I’ll use some duck fat I rendered a while back. The lacto-fermented kimchi I made might go well with that, too. I’d love to roast some brussels sprouts, too! I think they’d be good with bacon.
I’d also like to try my hand at fermented cranberry relish. And I’ll see what is in our CSA share this week to determine additional elements of the meal.
We also picked up a delicious Malbec and Prosecco, to celebrate the start of the holiday season.
Pumpkin pie will be our dessert, which I’ll make from roasted butternut squash I grew in my garden this summer. I have pastured eggs on hand, which will increase the nutrition of the pie.
I’m really looking forward to the day, which should be pretty relaxed. We’re on our own this year, and while I’d love to see my family, it’s just not financially possible. Last year I was in Washington, and it was really nice. Hopefully next year we’ll make it out west for a family Thanksgiving. Phone calls are on tap for the day.
What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?
This post is participating in the Astoria Blog Carnival – Thanksgiving Edition, hosted by We Heart Astoria.