Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

Yes, it's been 5.5 months since I last posted here. What can I say - the last few months have been pretty busy. We got back from our honeymoon, packed up our Boston apartment, drove cross-country, moved into a new place in the San Francisco Bay Area, and started our new jobs (well, completely new for me, sort of new for Mihai). Since then, we've been occupied with fully settling in, getting accustomed to our new surroundings, traveling back east for multiple weekends in a row for friends' weddings, etc. In between all that, there has been lots of home cooking - we have an amazing farmers' market 5 minutes away from us every Sunday that showcases some of the best that California has to offer (we were particularly excited to discover that tomato season lasts much longer around here than what we are used to). I just couldn't find the time to also write about the delicious dishes we were trying. We'll see if I manage to do better from now on. But for now, the Thanksgiving recap (a lot of these can be done for Christmas too, so this doesn't feel too backwards-looking).

Mihai's parents came out to visit us for the first time since we moved, and this was also our first time hosting Thanksgiving. The pressure was on, but we think it turned out OK.

(Part of) The Mise en Place:

We made butternut squash soup to start, with some cabbage pies on the side:

Since there were only four of us, no one of the four particularly likes turkey, and Mihai's dad particularly likes pork, we decided to try out a new-to-us pork recipe. Here's a beauty shot of the pork mid-way through the cooking:

Mihai was in charge of the milk and cream braised pork, and it turned out amazing - not dry at all, just juicy and delicious. He did have a great recipe to start with, one from Gabrielle Hamilton, the chef at Prune, and written up as a "favorite" in Amanda Hesser's Cooking for Mr. Latte (and covered online here and here).

For sides, we had Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Bread Crumbs:

and Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme:

Here's a shot of a full plate:

For dessert, I wanted something with apple (both because I like apple desserts and because we had a bunch of apples from the CSA we recently signed up for). Mihai's dad has pretty high standards for apple baked goods, so I went with a safe option - combining one of my favorite doughs (I always go with the all flour option rather than the almond and flour combination) with a pinch of cardamom and, on top, apples and cinnamon instead of the traditional plums or apricots. It turned out quite well, if I do say so myself:

All in all, a satisfying but not overwhelming Thanksgiving, with a good mix of tried-and-true and new-to-us dishes. The leftovers have been tasty too.