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THANKSGIVING
November 27, 2003


We have much to be thankful for.
It's been a hectic year and a challenge as well.



The San Francisco Chronicle ran a story on Thanksgiving Day informing readers where they might go to find wine on this holiday.

The real procrastinators didn't show up in the shop until Friday, but Ellen and I were very busy all day long.

Around 1pm I managed to get the Weber Kettle fired up and basted the Diestel turkey with my secret sauce, a  mix of melted butter, copious quantities of chopped garlic (you can really never have enough, can you?) and oodles of minced onions.  Soy sauce adds a salty tang to the mix and provides color.

About every twenty minutes or so, I added more hot charcoal to the kettle and tossed in a handful more of soaking wet mesquite chips.  It's not scientific, but I've noticed it takes longer on cold or windy days, less time on a warmer or more mild day.  A 12-14 pound bird needs only a couple of hours to be ready for the table.

Wines to go with Turkey?

What do you like to drink?

We like:

CHAMPAGNE
***
DRY RIESLING
***
GRNER VELTLINER
***
CHARDONNAY
***
PINOT BLANC
***
PINOT GRIS/GRIGIO
***
PINOT NOIR
***
ZINFANDEL
***
SANGIOVESE
***
SYRAH
***
CHARBONO
***

I prepared a stuffing to go with the turkey:

This featured Focaccia bread whacked into small pieces and dried, along with Herbes de Provence, part of a chopped onion and some browned sausage.  I used a turkey stock for the liquid to moisten the bread and it spent about 35-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven on its way to perfection.

Meanwhile, over at the Folks' house, Dad was extremely busy.
He was preparing some Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts:


This is a recipe he picked up from watching The Food Network.  Someone named The Barefoot Contessa came up with this simple recipe.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees (if you have trouble with that, stop immediately, open a bottle of Riesling and call out for a delivery of Chinese food).

Clean and prepare 1 and a half pounds of Brussels Sprouts.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 
3 tablespoons good Olive Oil
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Dredge the Brussels Sprouts in the oil, salt & pepper mixture and turn them out onto a baking sheet.  Roast in the oven, shuffling them around from time to time, for about 40 minutes.

Side note:  Be sure you have the full quantity of Brussels sprouts or this ratio of salt and pepper will be too intense.
You can further enhance this with some herbs, if you like.
You might wear shoes, too.


Frank then set about carving the turkey.  He's had years of experience doing this.

Earlier in the day he made a wonderful Cranberry Sauce:

1 (12-ounce) bag of fresh cranberries, cleaned
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 orange, zest grated and juiced
1 lemon, zest grated and juiced

Cook the cranberries, sugar, and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the skins pop open. Add the apple, zests, and juices and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat.   Let cool, and serve chilled.


Especially happy about this whole circus was my nephew, 11 year old Brian Weisl.






Chef Franois finally sat down after his marathon of cuisine to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast.

We opened a bottle of Colin-Deleger Chassagne-Montrachet, followed by a Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc.
The red wines this evening featured a couple of premier cru Chambolle-Musigny's, both produced by Robert Groffier.

Ellen built a delicious, humungous salad and then Frank served a lovely cinnamon-spiced Apple Pie he'd baked earlier in the afternoon.

Yumm!




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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