Giving Thanks

thanksgiving14-15Another year another turkey turducken turporken.  Thanksgiving 2013 was hallmarked by great company + a bird in a bird in a bird and a dinner served at around 10:30pm.  Regardless of timing, all our guests left full, happy, and significantly more lethargic than when they arrived.  This year, determined to execute [time wise] better than last year, Mike decided to take on another meat on meat on meat Thanksgiving centre piece; a TUR-PORK-EN [pork tenderloin stuffed into a chicken stuffed into a turkey] -pretty sure he made that up.

thanksgiving14-03[We held our Thanksgiving dinner on a Saturday, so it was an NFL free meal…but baseball + hockey + college ball were there to fill the void]

thanksgiving14-13pic courtesy of Mike’s Instagram

Bird prep was completed 1 day prior to cook day.  Mike de-boned + stuffed + buttered+ herbed and I sewed the turporken closed.  Once assembled, the bird was brined for 24hrs.  As the bird brined in the fridge, turkey stock simmered on the stove [for 12hrs].  Learning from last year’s late meal, Mike started cooking the bird in the oven at 9:20am.  Wrapped in bacon [for 6hrs], the turporken slow roasted for 10hrs @ 250º.

thanksgiving14-16I left the guys to their bromance cooking and focused on condo sprucing and desert plating with the occasional taste testing.  There was no room for me in the kitchen.

Now onto the food details…

thanksgiving14-04cranberry sauce | made with fresh cranberries + maple pecan syrup + brown sugar + salt + pepper + clove + anise

thanksgiving14-05thanksgiving14-09butternut squash arancini | crusted with panko + pumpkin seeds and served with a garlic confit mayo

thanksgiving14-17 roasted vegetables | cauliflower + brussel sprouts +pearl notions + grape tomatoes + bacon + bacon crumb [bacon + garlic + shallot + thyme + breadcrumbs]

thanksgiving14-02stuffing | baguette + turkey stock + chorizo + dried apricot +cranberries + pistachios + celery + carrot + onion + herbs

thanksgiving14-18 thanksgiving14-19pierogi poutine | stuffed with potato + white cheddar + caramelized white onion served with cheese curds and a bacon veal stock miso gravy

thanksgiving14-14thanksgiving14-10thanksgiving14-11thanksgiving14-12TURPORKEN!!! | turkey + chicken + pork

thanksgiving14-06macarons | pumpkin spice + hazelnut + maple pecan
mixed spice nuts


Dinner was served at 8pm; SUCCESS!  By 8:15pm our guests were silenced by mouths full of meat and pierogi.  As plates cleared and seconds were had…but by only Graham [a Kowbel Thanksgiving first timer who apparently is a world champion eater], we each slowly slipped into a food coma.  Nia [another 1st timer] was hit the hardest; she fell into a fashionable turporken nap, but was able to wake with enough coherence and strength to eat desert.   After the pre desert macaron course, a brief culinary intermission forced itself upon us before desert desert.  Unfortunately, I was too TKO’d to remember to take pics of the pumpkin spice donuts with caramel coffee toffee sauce.  Take my word for it, they were finger licking good.

I am thankful that we were able to have a  great meal prepared by and shared with amazing friends [who are pretty much family].  Thanksgiving 2014 was delicious; better than the year before – a successful dinner filled with laughs, amazing food and [as always] delightful company.  A job well done!!! Hats off to the chefs!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!


ps. I’m also thankful for Shereen who took our Thanksgiving photos. Thanks! You’re the best!


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