Tonight we had our dear friends, Eh Say, Hser Ku and Eh Moo over for Thanksgiving dinner. All three of us pitched in and a feast that everyone enjoyed tremendously.

First, we had a delicious turkey. Theodore seasoned the turkey with herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage and a few others along with rubbing several tablespoons of butter on the outside of the bird. It really gave it some great flavor.

Yesterday I made the cranberry sauce. It was a recipe that Theodore picked up at his cooking class on Monday. (Actually, all of the following recipes were adapted from ones that he learned at his cooking class….). I put 2 16-ounce bags of cranberries in a pot along with 1 navel orange and 1 Fuji apple that had been cut up into small pieces. I added about 1 1/4 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of orange marmalade and 3 tablespoons of orange liquer. I heated everything on medium heat until the cranberries burst. Then I used the hand blender and just blended the mixture enough to make it saucy while still keeping many of the berries intact. It was quite tasty!

While the cranberry sauce was cooking, I cut up 1 butternut squash, , 1 parsnip and 3 carrots into bite size pieces for the stuffing. Theodore made the stuffing this morning and it was the highlight of the meal in my opinion. This morning he roasted the root vegetables along with 2 cups of chopped onions at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until they became slightly soft. Then he added the vegetables to 1 14-ounce package of stuffing along with 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 6 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro and 4-6 ounces of cooked chorizo sausage. He mixed up everything and then added 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock, enough to keep it moist but not soaked. He placed the stuffing in a large baking dish and we cooked it at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes until it was hot.

I worked on the green bean casserole while Theodore put together the stuffing. I cut 1 pound of fresh green beans into 1-inch pieces. Then I toasted 3/4 cup of panko crumbs in a dry skillet. After it started to toast, I added 1/4 cup of dukkah (Note: Dukkah is a mixture of toasted hazelnuts, sesame seeds, cumin and coriander seeds that has been blended in a food processor.) to the panko crumbs for another minute or so until all of it was heated. Then I set the crumb mixture aside for later. Next I blanched the green beans and set them aside. Finally, I cooked 1 cup of chopped onions until they caramelized and set them aside. I next added  piece of chopped pancetta to the skillet and cooked the pieces until they turned crispy. Once that happened I added 2 tablespoons of butter and added 1 chopped and roasted red pepper along with 1/4 cup of the reserved onions. Once they were heated, I added 1/4 cup of flour and stirred everything together. Once that was done, I added 1 1/2 cups of  milk and continued to cook, whisking frequently, until the sauce thickened. At that point, I added some shredded sharp cheddar cheese and melted the cheese into the sauce. To put the entire dish together, I sprayed a baking dish with cooking spray. I added the green beans and cream sauce and blended it all together. I cooked this at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Then I topped with the panko-dukkah mixture and cooked it for another 10 minutes until the mixture browned on top.

The next side dish was the mashed potatoes. Paula peeled and cut up about 3-4 pounds of potatoes. We cooked them until they were tender and then drained them. Theodore finished making the mashed potatoes by adding 2 tablespoons of butter, 1-2 cups of diced and cooked onions, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary, 3/4 cup of milk and about 1/2 cup of crumbled gorgonzola cheese. This was quite tasty and very creamy. I am not sure if it was the cheese or the milk but it was very good.

The last side dish was brussel sprouts. I cut up the brussel sprouts into quarters. We toasted some pine nuts in a skillet, then I added the brussel sprouts along with a few tablespoons of olive oil. When the brussel sprouts were heated, I added 1 cup of chicken broth and a handful of craisins and cooked them until most of the stock was evaporated.

This was a meal fit for a king. Everyone enjoyed it and each of us had our favorite dishes. Eh Moo could not get enough of the cranberry sauce, Hser Ku loved the mashed potatoes, Eh Say had several servings of the brussel sprouts, Theodore could not stop eating the stuffing. Paula and I liked it all and it was just a great meal.

All of us were filled up although we did keep room for the apple pie that Paula made yesterday. I am not going to tell how to make it but I will say that it was very, very tasty and a great way to finish off a most memorable Thanksgiving meal!

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