November 23 – November 29

Shepherd's Pie

Monday:                Savoy Cabbage on Toast
Tuesday:                California Chile
Wednesday:         Tom’s Tomato Soup – Egg Salad with
parsley, tarragonand chives
Thursday:              Thanksgiving
Appetizers – Crostini with crudites
and ricotta,
Bresaola with Salumi, Pickles and Cheese
Roast Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Broccoli Casserole
Creamed Onions
Scalloped Oysters
Dressing (Stuffing)
Sweet Potatoes Gratin
Cranberry Sauce*
Cranberry Relish*
Apple Pie (Rick Duffy)
Chocolate Mousse Pie (Annie Smith)
Pumpkin Pie (Annie Smith)
Friday:                Shepherd’s pie with Thanksgiving Left-
General grazing on left-over sides
Saturday:            Leftovers and stuff
Oyster Stew
Sunday:               Bagna Cauda
Hangtown Fry

* Well, they are two different things – the sauce is cooked, sweet and beet red, the relish is processed raw, more pink than red, and is a pure rush of tart, dry cranberries, orange juice and peel and apples.

Nostalgia, Side Dishes, and Leftovers

We cooked too much food for Thanksgiving – and enough side dishes to populate an Amish Buffet. But we do this every year, because it is a Stewart/Duffy tradition and because our children love it.

The list for “Thursday” (above) contains the side dishes that I remember, please text or e-mail if you recall others.

This menu required a main-frame computer to schedule, as well as every serving dish within one square mile of our home. And, of course, it was followed by three pies, ** one better than the next, to accompany the Calvados we drank after the meal (a new tradition that I really enjoy and will insist on for the rest of my natural, albeit somewhat strange life).

**The last and supreme, ultimate, hands-down world-champion was Annie Smith’s Chocolate Mousse Pie.

Our approach to Thanksgiving is notoriously productive of leftovers. Turkey sandwiches are, of course, required by law on the day after Thanksgiving and they are spectacular. People are recovering from various indulgences, most people rise late and by noon everyone is feeling peckish. Turkey, lettuce, cranberry sauce, salt, pepper and a smear of mayonnaise on good, toasted bread is potent enough to revive King Tut.

Of course we continued to raid the refrigerator and gorge on cold dressing or turkey dredged through broccoli casserole or a consolidated spoonful of creamed onions and scalloped oysters (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). But I would like to hear what, beyond turkey sandwiches, you did with the leftovers.   Here is what we did on Friday night:

Shepard’s Pie with Turkey and Leftovers

By Friday night people are growing tired of turkey and the turkey is drying out, but we still had tons of it as well as several duffel bags of mashed potatoes. So we made a shepherd’s pie, which is nothing more than meat, vegetables and some liquid cooked beneath a lid of mashed potatoes. When the whole thing is hot enough – 30 minutes in a 400 F oven? – turn on your broiler and put a little crust on the mashed potatoes.   Along with the turkey, we added peas and shallots (cooked down in a little butter) to our version, a healthy glug or five of gravy (use stock if you have no gravy) to keep the whole thing from drying out, some dried thyme, salt and pepper, and had a nice, easy meal with remoistened turkey. We also loosened up the potatoes with some milk and butter before covering the pie.

Extras – New Cookbook Section

Egg Salad with Tarragon – this dish and the cabbage on toast (expectation-defyingly good) come from a beautiful cookbook given to us by Julia and Andrew – Vegetable Literacy. Note: If you click on the “Cookbooks” tab above you will see a picture of it. I’ve finally populated this tab with cover shots and quick overviews of cookbooks we find useful and inspiring.

SWMBO felt the need to precede Thanksgiving with a fairly light diet (post-Thanksgiving, I’m feeling the need for liposuction), and on Wednesday we cooked our new favorite tomato soup but wanted something to go with it. This egg salad uses chopped tarragon, parsley, shallots and a dash of rice wine vinegar along with minimal mayonnaise to achieve its lightness and is perfect on a piece of crusty bread. (Unless I say otherwise, please understand that salt and pepper gointo all dishes – and certainly eggs)

Good luck with your post-Thanksgiving diet. I’m going to waddle away from the computer now.

One thought on “November 23 – November 29

  1. A hearty sip of calvados sounds quite good and reminded me of a favorite chicken dish with cream and calvados ( how can you go wrong ) created by a friend of ours visiting from Maine several years ago. Will have to do this one again soon.
    Our daughter Julie , Tim and I enjoyed a grand marnier very late on the patio with the fire pit going strong. A beautiful Thanksgiving indeed.
    No fancy leftovers , only the basics here!

Leave a Reply