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My parents were in town for Thanksgiving last week, and together with my sister and her boyfriend the six of us put together a pretty fantastic Thanksgiving meal – although unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of everything. We enjoyed it so much (and had so many recipes we wanted to make but couldn’t) that we’re thinking of doing a second Thanksgiving next month.

I let a turkey in the house this year, ordered from Fiesta Farms – at $60 for 9 pounds, it seems expensive, but when you consider that it served dinner to five people, plus leftovers for many sandwiches, plus the makings of a few litres of turkey soup, I don’t think it costs much at all – per portion, certainly less than a turkey sandwich or soup at Tim Hortons. You may have been following the articles on thestar.com by Margaret Webb about the perils of organic turkey farming in Ontario – if not, here they are for your reading pleasure. Good luck to the farmers.

But it was the side dishes that really shone. To start with, we did our standard baked mashed yams (spiced with mace) topped with marshmallows. But this year, to make it more of a foodie affair, I made homemade marshmallows, which were divine and puffed up and melted far better than the bought ones. They’re actually quite easy, too, if you have a couple of mixers on hand. (I used my stand mixer for the main mixing and my handheld for the egg whites.) I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, of course, and here’s a close-up of the marshmallows post-baking.

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We also did a couple of recipes from the November issue of Bon Appetit: a brussels sprout slaw with mustard dressing and maple-candied pecans that are to die for, and a beautiful butternut squash kale bread pudding from the kitchen of Orangette. (I’m not always the biggest fan of brussels sprouts, but the ones my sister picked up at St Lawrence Market were divine – both green and purple and full of flavour, and no bitterness.)

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And here’s a close-up.

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And for dessert, a butternut squash pie with a ginger cookie crust courtesy of Canadian Living. I used ShaSha cookies for the crust, and tripled the spices in the filling. This is the second time I’ve made this and I’ll make it again.

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What did you make for Thanksgiving?

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