Thanksgiving dinner was a success.
The turkey was stuffed and in a 325 Fahrenheit oven by about 2 p.m. The 9 kilogram bird would take about 4-1/2 hours to roast.
Our guests arrived around 3 p.m.
I had cooked the sausage, washed the apples and picked and washed the sage, so it only took a few minutes to pull together the sausage with apple and sage. We served these with the meringue nuts, sauvignon blanc and Creemore Springs Urboch before dinner.
After a walk around the garden, I started on dinner.
For the first course, I reheated the roasted squash and apple soup and whipped up the easy maple allspice sour cream garnish. The garnish was a surprise hit. The combination of maple syrup and allspice is something I will use again — perhaps as a flavouring for baked squash?
The fresh local turkey was tender, juicy and flavourful.
To accompany it, I served cranberry sauce, brown butter mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes and sautéed Swiss chard. For easy sweet potatoes, peel and cut into large cubes, then microwave with a bit of water until soft. Drain Add a little butter, brown sugar and nutmeg and microwave again for about a minute. The chard (the last from my garden) was sautéed simply in a little olive oil, red pepper flakes and chopped garlic.
My mother-in-law, who makes perhaps the best pastry I’ve ever tasted, brought apple and pumpkin pie for dessert.
Sausage with apple and sage
I adapted this Laura Calder recipe only slightly. I used local Gala apples instead of Granny Smith (which tend to be imported) and in larger pieces than she suggests. I also cut down on the olive oil and butter.
2 pork sausages, cooked
1-2 apples, peeled and cored
20 mL (1-1/2 tbsp) olive oil
15 mL (1 tbsp) butter
24 small sage leaves
Slice sausage into half-centimetre slices on the bias.
Cut apple into small cubes.
Heat oil in a saute pan and fry sausage slices on both sides until golden brown, remove to a platter.
Wash pan. Melt butter in pan. Add sugar and fry apple cubes tossing occasionally until golden on all sides.
Add a little more oil to the pan, if needed, and fry the sage leaves until slightly crisp, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Brown butter mashed potatoes
This is an occasion treat at our house, only served with big traditional meals such as turkey or prime rib. It is inspired by this recipe from PEI chef Michael Smith, although I use less butter and add a little milk or cream.
4-5 large potatoes
80 mL (1/3 cup) butter
60 mL (1/4 cup) milk or light cream
few pinches of nutmeg
salt and pepper
Peel potatoes and cut into large cubes. Place in pot with lots of cold water. Heat until boiling and simmer until cooked, about 20 minutes.
Drain and mash potatoes.
In another pot or pan, melt butter, swirling the pan, until it becomes golden brown and gives off a nutty aroma. Add milk to stop cooking.
Add butter and milk mixture, nutmeg, salt and pepper to potatoes and stir.