Thanksgiving is Dave’s favorite holiday, hands down. His birthday is in early September, and every year just afterward he starts getting excited about Thanksgiving. So, when I suggested a “Pre-Thanksgiving” meal a few weeks ago, he was all in. I told him I’d take care of some sides if he did whatever main he wanted to share with our two friends who were joining in. I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time cooking, so I kind of did Thanksgiving-lite and made up the recipes as I went.
To start, I roasted some seeds that I had scooped out of a pumpkin I ate a few days prior. These were coated with Earth Balance and spiced with garam masala and curry powder, and roasted until crunchy. Our guests were pleased with this offering.
I had received some green beans in my CSA delivery that week, so I blanched them first, then added them to a saute of slivered red onion and sliced mushrooms. I tossed in fresh lemon juice and zest at the end. I wasn’t sure that mushrooms and lemon would play very nicely together, but I thought the results were tasty.
I also received some Russet potatoes from the CSA, so I decided to twice bake ‘em. For the filling, I sauteed some minced leek and garlic in Earth Balance and then mashed it with the potato innards, some Better Than Cream Cheese, salt and white pepper. Just before serving, I popped them under the broiler for a few minutes to brown. Simple and delicious!
It’s not Pre-Thanksgiving without stuffing! I grocery shopped that morning, and the store only had fresh bread (how dare they!), so I cubed the loaf and toasted it to try to emulate day-old bread. I sauteed some onion, carrot, celery and diced apple and added dried sage, fennel seed and fresh thyme, then added the mixture to the bread cubes and mixed in some vegetable broth, just to moisten. The stuffing was covered and baked, and it turned out pretty well. I over fennel seed-ed it, which was a shame, but the apple was a nice touch which I will probably use again.
My yummy dinner, with my favorite pumpkin beer – Buffalo Bill’s. Shipyard comes in second.
For whatever reason, Dave chose Cuban sandwiches as the main dish. Odd considering the theme, but no problem! I got some veggie ham and turkey and added a vegan cheese slice to mine. Pressed on the crusty bread with mustard and dill pickles, it was one fine sandwich.
Here’s a close-up of the same sandwich on Ezekiel bread the next day, which was much easier to photograph.
We had lots of stuffing leftover, so I put some in a baked sweet dumpling squash. Sweet dumplings are now one of my favorite squashes! They’re just perfect for a single serving.
With Pre-Thanksgiving out of the way, we are now starting to plan for actual Thanksgiving. Anyone have their menu down already?