Thursday, November 27, 2008


Oh, my goodness.

Usually I host Thanksgiving dinner (I know! Try to stifle your amazement!). It may be my favorite holiday -- one that hasn't been corrupted by rampant materialism, one that's all about food. True, the menu can be kind of limiting . . . but not this year.

Our wonderful friends the Hendersons hosted Turkey-day this year, and what fun it was. And we didn't collapse into food coma. We figured that was for two reasons. 1. we forgot to make mashed potatoes. Freaky, no? Maybe it was the Scotch whiskey we were all sipping that induced a little of that forgetfulness, or maybe it was all the other stuff we were busy making. 2. Morgan's mom is gluten-intolerant, so both the stuffing and the gravy were, I think, lighter than when they're made with wheat.

I forgot my camera, but Morgan came through with these photos.

They fried the turkey. If you eat meat, and you have never eaten fried turkey, I'm here to tell you, you are missing out. I could not stop nibbling the crispy bits. Absolutely phenomenal. (Plus, an 18-lb turkey cooked in an hour. Seriously.)

Morgan's dad, Bob, made the porcini mushroom gravy, and it was incredible (I believe he used a combination of rice and quinoa flours in the roux). Rich, silky -- everything you want in gravy. We had two kinds of cranberry sauce, one made by Morgan containing bourbon (here's the recipe) and one with port, walnuts, ginger, and citrus from the Hi-Rise Bread Company in Cambridge, where we had lunch last weekend while Christmas shopping. Bob also made the fantastic stuffing (pictured above with the sage leaves decorating the top).

I made butternut squash with caramelized onions and toasted pecans (pictured twice, I think), Greek-style green beans with about a cup of chopped garlic, and roasted parsnips, carrots, and red onions.

Desserts and appetizers were also amazing.

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