Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our First Thanksgiving (as a married couple)

A Frosty Saturday Morning, Cambridge

We finally had our Thanksgiving here in Cambridge yesterday evening, and oh how lovely it was!
It was a small group of us, just the right size to fit in a home, around a table without too much fussing. We divided the menu between us and each managed to make a very, very tasty meal! Even the kids approved! The menu was extensive and the dishes delicious, but I only have the recipes for what I made. Perhaps Amber and Andrea will offer us their recipes if they wish?

I made three dishes and a veggie gravy, pictured below. This was easily the most cooking I've ever done for a Thanksgiving dinner, as well as my first crack at making dressing/stuffing and I must admit, it was a gustatory success! Thankfully Amber and Andrea also created a lot of wonderful foods as well; amazing cranberry sauces, beet salad with roasted walnuts and feta, rasin marmalade-like goodness, butter peas and green beans, pumpkin and pecan tartlets, chocolate chip cookies and of course turkey!

The children made some beautiful artwork for the votive candle centerpieces, Devin bought some lovely beers from Marks & Spenser, we polished off at least 3 bottles of wine and we laughed and laughed, giving thanks for all we have and all we're blessed with.

A happy, if belated, Thanksgiving in Cambridge. Read on for recipes and to see some photos of the bounty!

Recipes For Each Listed Below, 

Photo Credit

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Red Onion Balsamic Glaze - (modified from Martha Stewart)


2.5 Lbs (1.6 Kg)  Brussel Sprouts
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Red Onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar

Serves: 8 - 10 (recipe can easily be cut in half for fewer servings)


Preheat oven to 400° (205° C)
Trim outer leaves and stems of your sprouters. Cut in half.
Toss with 2 Tbs olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper.
Place on two baking sheets (or roast in shifts if you have more than two pans), bake for ~30 minutes, turning sprouters over 1/2 way through cooking time (~15 minutes)

While sprouters are roasting, chop red onions and sauté over medium-low heat in 1 Tbs olive oil until wilted and transparent, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar (stand back to avoid the fumes), cook until vinegar is reduced and onions are glazed.

Remove sprouters from oven, toss with balsamic onions.
Serve with a dusting of parmesan or pecorino cheese on top.
Eat heartily.

Vegetarian Dressing (modified from Veg Web)


12 cups seeded bread, diced
2 tablespoons margarine
2 medium onions, diced
6 stalks celery, sliced

1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups vegetable stock
pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175°C). Place sliced seeded bread directly on oven racks at for about 15 minutes, until the bread is well toasted. Meanwhile, warm the margarine in a saucepan and saute onion, celery over medium heat until onion is translucent.
2. Remove seeded bread from oven and add onion mixture, herbs, and parsley.  Mix well. Place into 9"x 13" baking dish. Carefully drizzle the stuffing with vegetable stock and toss gently.
3. Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Season with black pepper if desired.

Serves: 8 - 10 people

Vegetarian Gravy (modified from All Recipes)


1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Hot water *


Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oil. Saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce to form a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in the vegetable broth. Season with sage, and pepper (add salt if veggie broth isn't salty enough). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

You can use it as is, or pass the gravy through a colander if you like your gravy more smooth/pourable.
* I added about 1 cup of hot water, incorporating it slowly to thin my gravy out as it was very thick.

Makes ~ 4 Cups

Carleton College Farmhouse Cookbook 2001 - 2002

Curried Chickpeas with Tomato and Onion
(The Carleton Farmhouse Cookbook, Devin's Undergraduate Years)


1 cup dried chickpeas (2.5 - 3 cups cooked)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (if you're soaking overnight)
3 cups water
2 lbs sweet onions, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 16 oz can tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I omit this, because cinnamon + savory = ew)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Soak the chickpeas overnight with baking soda. If you're using a pressure cooker, place chickpeas in pressure cooker and cook for ~18 minutes after it's come to pressure. Drain chickpeas, reserving the cooking water.

While chickpeas are cooking, in a large pot sauté the onions in olive oil until softened. Drin the tomatoes, reserving the juice, and chop tomatoes coarsely if necessary. Add the tomatoes to the onions. 

Measure the reserved tomato juice and add enough of the chickpea cooking water to make 1 - 1 1/4 cups liquid. Add this to the onion and tomato mixture. Stir in spices and simmer for 30 minutes. You may need to add small amounts of water throughout the simmer to maintain moisture. Serve alone or over rice and/or with tasty bread.

Devin's Bounty

The Whole Tasty Meal

Thank you to Andrea and John for opening your lovely home to us. For the the lift to and from our West Cambridge abode through the rain, both ways after I swore to myself we'd get a taxi. You're generosity is very much appreciated! I'm so glad the NVS group brought us together so we could share this holiday and many other good times together.

Thank you to Amber for meeting me in the rain on your cycle to exchange spices, baking dishes and walnuts hours before we were supposed to have dinner ready. Thank you to Adam, Ella and Charlie for your amazing artwork, and your generosity of spirit and warm welcome to your home on Thursday night for a fun night of babysitting.

Go Team Thanksgiving!

Oh, and were we serious about the fondue party for Christmas. . . . ?

1 comment:

  1. The Portmeirion Botanic Garden dishes must have reminded you of home.