Thanksgiving in the Mountains

Whew! Thanksgiving was a blur this year. Grant and I took a mini-vacay to Bald Head Island the weekend prior, so the following week was a flurry of prep-cooking, cleaning and getting ready for my family’s arrival.

Finally, it was the day before Thanksgiving and the six of us caravanned up the Blue Ridge Mountains to enjoy the holiday at the cabin.

My menu:

  • Herb-roasted turkey with giblet gravy
  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Parker House rolls
  • Cheesy broccoli (with Cougar Gold sharp cheddar cheese)
  • Roasted cauliflower with herbs
  • Italian-style dressing
  • Classic cornbread dressing
  • Carrot ribbons with almonds and browned butter
  • Cranberry compote
  • Pecan pie

I overdid myself with all the side dishes – let’s just say that next year, I will only be making one type of dressing.

We brined the organic turkey overnight, then rubbed it under the skin with an herbed butter compote and stuffed it with aromatics. It roasted beautifully.

A few sides were my roasted cauliflower with Parm-Reg cheese, lemon and herbs (thyme, rosemary, tarragon).

My favorite dressing to make is one of Giada de Laurentiis’ – an Italian-style dressing made with sourdough croutons, apples, cranberries, chestnuts, sausage, white wine and lots of herbs and spices.

I also made my mom’s famous spaghetti-squash casserole, which is a squash simply cooked and mixed with bacon, wild mushrooms and swiss cheese (and a dash of nutmeg).

I finally wised up and bought a food mill, which is quite cumbersome but produced my best-ever mashed potatoes, made with two whole roasted heads of garlic, milk and butter.

Hope everybody had a fabulous holiday. I am over my turkey hangover and ready to get some new recipes posted for you. Stay tuned! xoxo


2 responses to “Thanksgiving in the Mountains

  1. Actual recipe for the spaghetti squash casserole? I have a ss in the cupboard, and the “crazy thick” bacon at the ready. . .

  2. Here it is! I used a mixture of shiitake and oyster mushrooms, but mom usually does baby bellas or something…

    Swiss Mushroom Spaghetti Squash

    1 spaghetti squash
    4 slices bacon
    1/2 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
    1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
    2 c. (8 oz.) shredded swiss cheese
    Thinly sliced green onions, including tops

    Cook spaghetti squash. (Pierce whole squash in several places with a fork. Place on paper towel in microwave and cook on high, turning squash over once or twice, for 15 or 20 minutes, or until shell yields slightly when pressed.)

    Meanwhile, in large frying pan, cook back until crisp. Remove from pan and crumble, reserving drippings. Add mushrooms to drippings in pan and cook until lightly browned. (If bacon was very fatty, remove all but about 2 or 3 tablespoons of fat.) Mix in nutmeg.

    Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. With fork, pull out strands and add to mushrooms. Mix in cheese (saving some cheese for top) and bacon. Spread mixture in shallow 2-qt. baking dish and garnish with remaining cheese.

    Bake, uncovered, in 350 degree oven until cheese is melted and squash is hot (15 or 20 minutes). Sprinkle with onions. Makes 6 servings.

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