Thanksgiving 2013   Leave a comment

Our only invited guest backed out after the meal got pushed back to 8:30 (Jackie’s rota came up with a late shift) since he needed to do some work in the afternoon on Friday.  Good choice, because had he come out to Swindon at noon as planned he would have been subjected to last-minute shopping for the meal which took me past the Beehive, the Savoy, the Glue Potthe Rolleston, the Castle, the Hop Inn, the Steam Railway and the Goddard Arms — and it would have been rude not to stop in for a quick one.  Still, a disappointment but on the bright side I don’t need to bathe for the sake of the publicans.

wood street xmas decor 2013-11-28

Looking back toward the Goddard Arms I realised I left my scarf in there

So, the meal for two shaped up thus…Jackie insists on the cornbread dressing and I insist on a pumpkin pie.  I make the pie shell from almonds ground fine, some rice flour, a modicum of wheat gluten, and coconut oil with just a bit of butter added, then prebake this to solidify it (the coconut oil melts above room temperature so binding the flour/meal mixture with the gluten by preheating keeps the crust from becoming a mush):

thanksgiving 2013 pie crust and corn bread


It was to be a simple meal, as I said, so I pulled a small tub of leftover split pea and ham hock soup out to reheat as a starter to go with a semi-sweet sherry I picked up (Amontillado).  This would be appetising in the small portion but has been a whole meal in the past.  The bird (one of two ordered last week before the extra place setting got taken up), could easily go dry so I draped it in bacon and held the slices in place with lemons; instead of the roasting rack, some carrots are supporting the bird which has some rosemary snipped from a neighbour’s garden stuck up its jaxie.  Kale, both purple and green, would round out the light dinner.

thanksgiving 2013 soup kale guinea fowl


One of the few indulgences in this meal is the dressing.  A savoury wonder (in that it really doesn’t SOUND very good but will never wind up as leftovers), it consists of some homemade cornbread — which I modestly admit to perfecting — crumbled into a mixing bowl with the heel ends of some wheat/nut bread.  Some onion, celery, carrot and fresh herbs are then sautéed in broth and a large knob of butter until all the liquid is absorbed or evaporated but none of the veg is browned even slightly; this is added to the mixing bowl with a scant dusting of baking powder and dried oregano and enough broth to make the mix a bit soft.  A large pinch of dill also went in, but I usually snip some fresh into it with the four eggs that make the final mixture hit a greased pan with a satisfying plop.

thanksgiving 2013 dressing


The main courses were coupled to Chianti I picked up earlier, and the pumpkin pie suited some ruby port I have had stashed away:

thanksgiving 2013 pumpkin pie


There, I think I managed to do a post about the official start of the Drinking Season without showing one beverage.  Someone owes me a round (and I wish I had made a note of who it was).  Also, it happens to be the start of the Christmas Season, marked in the immigrant-run pop-up shops by the voodoo-style shrunken Santa heads.  Happy Holidays!

shrunken santa heads

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