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?
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
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
We opened a bottle of Colin-Deleger Chassagne-Montrachet, followed by a Smith
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.