23 November 2007


Cranberry-Walnut Bread — Pumpkin Pie — Parsnip — Apple Pie

Thanksgiving happened — and at my house for the first time. Went with lots of traditions: apple pie (American as... right?), turkey (fresh from Wendell, Mass.), mashed Hubbard squash, mashed turnips.

I brined the Turkey overnight with bay, ginger, peppercorns and allspice berries. It was great. Cranberry-orange relish and cooked cranberries with ginger. The parsnip pie was a new creation: half roasted, half steamed parsnip puréed with a hint of nutmeg, eggs and milk baked in an herbes de provence-laced crust. It was quite good. Almost cheesecakelike in consistency. The potatoes were one-third celeriac, and that went quite well. The dressings were of chestnuts, sourdough bread, corn muffins recycled from breakfast, apples, turkey liver, celery, onions and lots of butter. One also had sweet Italian sausage. Both were very good. The sausage was nice, but I'd say ultimately not necessary.

The pumpkin pie was had sugar pumpkin-half kabocha. Otherwise it's a Tartine recipe. The apple pie was yellow delicious apples from Outlook Farm and straightforward.

Mulled cider with cloves, allspice, cinnamon, star anise whet our appetites.

And Mom made here "Sweet Potato Puff." Dad, his mincemeat pie. Steve made his famous "Cinnamon Salad" (red hots, applesauce, Jell-O). Judi made buttery rolls.

And we all ate a lot. And they did the dishes. Success abounded.

15 November 2007


I've been thinking about parsnip pie — I'd like to make one (or some) for Thanksgiving — so I gave it a go last night. Two medium parsnips were roasted with salt and olive oil and then puréed with a clove of garlic, two eggs, milk and pepper. I baked them in small tart shells made with a sage-thyme crust.

And voilà... they were quite good. Not as cute as I'd hoped, but I thought quite delicious.

Then there was homemade pasta with sautéed purple cauliflower, purple kale and bâtons of sunchoke. Last week I made mashed sunchokes — this was a much better use of the sunchoke.

And then there was an ad hoc bosc pear crisp (we were out of apples): simple, very very good — and I tried whipping some crème fraîche that I had made and it was incredibly good. Tangy, not sugary-sweet like whipped cream. Really quite delicious.

01 November 2007


I made a braised beef of sorts in the crock pot, a sort of pot-au-feu with wine, chuck roast, parnsips and carrots. It started out like this at eight o'clock, just before work. I seared the roast and topped it with the aforementioned vegetables, onions, garlic, thyme and rosemary.

I got home just past five, reduced the broth by half and made a gravy. The vegetables were perfect and the meat fell apart just perfectly. With that I made a mash of celeriac and potatoes.

And, of course, there's bread. And wine.

all hallows' eve

"vermont sourdough"

This one has a small percent of whole wheat. My sourdough culture has been particularly healthy (I've figured some things out, like cutting down on old starter that I save), so this one rose wonderfully and in a decent amount of time (the kitchen was also very warm: we were roasting pumpkin seeds). It was a relatively wet dough, so I used the food processor for kneading (I had to do it in half-batches to not kill the motor), and both things helped the crumb out a lot. It's quite good.