Thanksgiving. What a wonderful holiday. It’s everything Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t. No television commercials, no malls, no wrapping, no power shopping. (Well, at least not for anything but Brussels sprouts and cranberries). Just friends, family, delicious food, and oodles and oodles of gratitude—for good health, simple abundance, and the opportunity to sit down together at one table on one coast.
We relish spending our Thanksgivings up at Smallpeace, which couldn’t be a more authentic setting. You can almost envision the pilgrims ambling up our road, trailed by a flock of wild turkeys. This year, we had a cozy group of seven, including my mother, brother, his wife and our niece and nephew, who were visiting from San Diego.
When we sat down at the table, we all said in turn what we were thankful for. Thanks ranged widely—for family, good health, our happy home, those we sorely miss, and, of course, turkey!
(No, not that turkey, silly!)
Befitting such a lovely occasion, we all tried to contribute a little something to making the table complete. My mom and I handled the turkey, which we pre-ordered from our local farm stand, The Berry Farm, and drizzled in drawn butter, stuffed with oranges and fresh herbs, then roasted to perfection in a 325 degree oven.
My artistic niece made custom placemats.
B made his signature apple crumble with our very own apples, while my sister-in-law roasted some vegetables and made two picture-perfect pumpkin pies.
B added the maple syrup, cream, and orange zest to the mashed sweet potatoes…
and I experimented with a tangy bread-stuffing recipe for my stuffing-loving brother that featured wild mushrooms, lemon zest, and herbs. This one’s a keeper, so check out the recipe below.
My brother and nephew did a great job of clearing the table—in more ways than one. And when it was all over, we all agreed that it was the best meal ever.
Here’s hoping you had the chance to spend Thanksgiving with someone you love, or at least took a moment to count the many blessings in your life. Even during these unpredictable times, we are all so very fortunate to live in this beautiful country, aren’t we?
Lemony-Mushroom Bread Stuffing
1/4 cup butter
2 small shallots
2 stalks celery
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
zest of one lemon
juice of two lemons
1 loaf (15-ounce) brioche or peasant loaf, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, and toasted in 400 degrees oven until golden brown
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup(s) low-sodium chicken broth
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 12 serving muffin tin and set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Finely chop shallots, thyme, and celery and cook in butter until soft, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and salt and brown until mushrooms release their liquid, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and toss with toasted bread ingredients.
Mix together all wet ingredients, including lemon zest and poor over bread and mushroom mixture. Add parsley. Combine.
Fill muffin tins, dot with remaining butter, and bake until heated through and top is golden, 30 to 40 minutes.