early thanksgiving with family


We just returned from a nice, long vacation at home in Washington State visiting family and friends. While we were there, my family had an early Thanksgiving dinner, since we weren’t able to be in town for the real Thanksgiving. The whole family had not been together for a Thanksgiving dinner in a number of years, so it was a great time!

As usual with my dad’s side of the family we always do a semi-potluck style. Everyone brings something to add (side dish, wine, desert, etc.), but the Turkey is always done by my dad and I usually prepare a couple side dishes.

My parents have a pellet grill/smoker that they prepare the turkey in every year after brining in a bourbon brine overnight and injecting with a flavoring liquid. It is smoked for several hours and then the heat is cranked up to finish the cooking. The result is a super moist, flavorfully delicious turkey!

thanksgiving turkey

dad and turkey

For my part I made my Apple-Pear sauce, roasted vegetables and broiled asparagus and broccoli with lemon and gruyere cheese. I also baked some whole wheat rolls for mopping up the delicious juices on the plate!

apple-pear sauce

roasted vegetables

broiled asparagus and broccoli

whole wheat rolls

The apple-pear sauce is cooked with 6-7 pears (of your choice) and about 10 apples (of your choice), a splash of water to help moisten, honey, cinnamon and fresh ground nutmeg. Bring the apples, pears, water and honey to a boil and leave to cook until all the fruit has broken down. Add the cinnamon and fresh ground nutmeg to finish and voila!

The roasted vegetables were prepared with dutch baby yellow potatoes, butternut squash, leeks, red and white pearl onions, turnips, parsnips, carrots, sage, rosemary, thyme, and chives. Just mix with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at about 400 degrees until deliciously roasty!

The broiled asparagus and broccoli is super easy! Chop up the vegetables and spread on an oiled sheet pan and season liberally with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the vegetables and put under the broiler. You will know it is done when the edges of the broccoli and asparagus get brown. Immediately after removing from the oven shave liberally with gruyere cheese and mix to melt and distribute. That’s it!

Finally, for the rolls, I just mixed up a batch of the yeasted bread dough from the Tassajara Bread Book and divided it up into small balls, cut a cross in the top and basted with an egg-milk wash and baked. Super simple!

I hope you all have a happy, food filled Thanksgiving!

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One Response to early thanksgiving with family

  1. Beautiful turkey, perfectly done…beautiful side-dishes. So, what time is dinner on Thanksgiving, or celebration is done?
    Thanks for sharing!

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