The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving kept the family busy such that we hardly saw each other so it was a blessing to get away, just the four of us.
|The Pemigewasset River|
We headed to New Hampshire after hearing about all the snow the White Mountains were getting.
Even though I've made Thanksgiving dinner there for the past couple of years, I always forget what it's like since I make the meal only once a year. The pantry is pretty basic so it forces me to cook simply. We brought up all the food I had purchased back at home, including the fresh turkey that came from a local farm (story here). In the end, the simplicity worked in our favor and I made a very fresh and flavorful meal.
It started with drying cubes of multi-grain bread, one loaf, overnight which turned into the delicious and flavorful stuffing, or dressing, the next day. Below, the stuffing was made from fresh bread crumbs, fresh sage, chopped celery, onion, chestnuts (jarred), apples, and low-sodium chicken broth.
I love serving cranberry sauce in a glass dish. It looks so pretty and sparkly.
Roasted Butternut Squash With Parsnips And Apples
This is a simple side dish of coarsely chopped squash and apples (of equal size), chopped parsnips (of smaller size), butter, and freshly grated nutmeg. I roast them in the oven until tender in this cast iron pan, but they roast nicely in a baking sheet also. I like to give them a rustic mash.
If we were home, this dish would have looked as pretty as the picture below. Below is the same side dish idea, without the parsnips, and with roasted butternut squash seeds that I made in late August for a kidney nutrition newsletter.
Roasted Green Beans And Leeks
Next, and my favorite new dish creation, was this side dish made by simply roasting green beans with leeks and extra virgin olive oil at 400 degrees for just a few minutes. In the past, I've made roasted green beans with almonds. But this was more savory. A great healthy alternative to the processed canned green bean casserole - which I've never made but have eaten a few times growing up and really never liked.
Mashed Potatoes And Gravy
Mashed potatoes and gravy were the last to be made. I never got a chance to photograph the gravy because that's when it got a little crazy and the entire meal was put together. The gravy was simple, slowly whisking a little flour with strained pan drippings and adding low-sodium chicken broth as needed.
The fresh turkey had been roasting in the oven.
And the kids played.
We skipped Black Friday and skied. I never really liked Black Friday anyway. I prefer to rest or decorate for the holidays.
Feeling exhilarated by the snow, the mountain, and gorgeous scenery, I kept calling the Friday after Thanksgiving our White Friday.
|View of Franconia Ridge|