Friday, November 19, 2010

Getting Ready...the menu

With the most food-centric holiday just around the corner many emails, conversations, texts with friends are following suit: food-centric. For me it is also the most difficult holiday of all. Imagine the traditional feast without a butter-basted turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, bread-based stuffing, cream-based pies, rolls, corn, and more. Too many Thanksgiving meals ended with an allergic reaction or ravenous from not being able to eat anything at the table, topped off with a dollop of frustration from being exhorted to "just have a bite" of something allergen laden.

While Thanksgiving isn't a Wiccan/Pagan holiday the traditions are similar: gathering together friends, chosen family, and family to celebrate blessings with good food and drink. Before my food allergies it was my favorite holiday for the same reasons - feasting, blessings and friends - starting the holiday season together.

Tonight while listening to the Avalanche hockey game, I contemplated this year's menu, and roasted sweet spiced pecans in one oven, and balsamic glazed root vegetables in another oven. Pleased with the score, the scents radiating through the house, and the coalescent menu.

I prefer a generally regional menu that allows me to spend most of the day visiting with my guests, or given the vagaries of Colorado weather, out enjoying the day. Just enough leftovers to divvy up between guests, not a fridge full. Add in only having a couple hours of productive energy each day and a feast menu takes a bit of tactical planning.

Each day I'll post a recipe or two for the menu, why I chose each dish, and when to prepare it for maximum flavor, so you can pick and chose between dishes for your own feast. If the holiday is an intimate celebration for 2-4 people some dishes get deleted from the feast. More guests get added last minute, so do more dishes.

The Menu

Spinach salad with pomegranate and pine nuts
Roast pheasant with pan dripping gravy
Grand Marnier whipped sweet potatoes
Smashed Yukon Gold potatoes
Emperor purple rice
Sour milk biscuits
Herbed margarine
Cranberry relish
Pumpkin brulée
Bourbon chocolate pecan pie with bourbon whipped cream

Time to see how the pecans turned out...

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