It's time for Thanksgiving, both uppercase and lower. My thankfulness is brimming this season—not because we have passed an easy year filled with bounty but because the year has instead been a rough passage from one set of expectations to another. And yet here we are. The four of us have encircled one another with love and understanding and laughter. Our friends and family have been steadfast. Like the Pilgrims, we have survived. (That should be present progressive tense, actually: We are surviving.)
Around here, thankfulness smells like sage, celery, and pumpkin.
We recently tried a French recipe we heard about on NPR. It takes a whole sugar pumpkin and stuffs it with bread bits and bacon and cream and... It was a rich delight, fragrant and filling.
But I couldn't stop thinking about what a perfect vessel a hollow pumpkin would be for the best part of Thanksgiving dinner, by which I mean, of course, stuffing (or, if you will, dressing).
We scooped out a second pumpkin (about a three pounder) and tossed in salt and pepper. We diced an onion and two stalks of celery and sauteed them in butter with some fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage. Next, we tore day-old bread and tossed the pieces into the skillet and then poured on about a cup of broth. We added a handful of dried cranberries and some toasted walnuts. We tucked this rough version of stuffing inside the pumpkin. Then we grated nutmeg into a half-cup of fresh cream and poured it in. We set the top on and slid it into a 350-degree oven for about an hour-and-a-half.
The aroma of thankfulness filled the air, and when the pumpkin came out of the oven it was a miniature Thanksgiving feast.
Now we can't wait for leftovers from the actual feast. We're thinking we might scrape out yet another pumpkin and layer in turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and a ladle of gravy. Those will be some exalted leftovers.
What do you do with the best leftovers of the year?
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4 years ago