The day arrived, finally! Today, most of the country is celebrating Thanksgiving, and if you are, I wish you a wonderful and gratitude-filled day.
Best Friend and I already chose a different date to observe our annual day of thanksgiving here at The Oasis of Four Queen Palms. It was a day filled with serenity and balance, good company, excellent wine, and great food. We played old, traditional music (think Sinatra and Bennett) in the background and lit a couple of candles placed snugly in the crystal candle holders. We set the table with our Fiestaware china, in the following colors: Butterscotch, Paprika, Meadow, and Scarlet. These three warm colors and one cool evoked the beauty of the changing of the leaves that is magnificent this time of year. A bouquet of silk autumn leaves in the centerpiece brought it all together.
This year, I veered a bit from our traditional menu fare. Sent away on holiday was the usual fare we have every year and brought in for a premiere showing were several new-to-us foods. But Tom Turkey was still the star of the meal. For reference, I picked up a 15-pound bird for $23.39. that is pretty good, given we will have a lot of leftovers to freeze and bones from which to make turkey soup.
To begin, our first and second courses were a bit quirky; something one wouldn’t think of to serve on Thanksgiving. The cup of Japanese Onion Soup we both had was good, and a suitable choice since it was mostly a light broth. It was simple to make a day ahead. The Apple-Raisin-Walnut Salad with Pumpkin Bread Croutons was crisp and cold, with the fresh Orange-Ginger Dressing being the perfect accompaniment.
The Herb Roasted Tom Turkey was perfectly browned and moist. My Apple-Raisin-Walnut stuffing to go with it turned out moist and crispy, just as we like it. I forgot to buy the raisins, but that did not deter from its mission as a side dish. It still tasted good! Leave it to me to forget to buy the raisins, although my forgetting something is not unheard of.
I prepared the Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine a couple of days in advance, and that was to its advantage, since the flavors melded well. I served this delightful side dish chilled, but I imagine it would taste just as good hot, too.
The Green Bean Gremolata was a new-to-us vegetable recipe. We liked the just-kissed lemony drizzle and the few shavings of Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. For the yellow vegetable, I opted to make Cousin Stanley’s Roasted Squash, just as he made it, roasted to tenderness, and drizzled with a touch of local honey.
For our starch in the potato department, Best Friend had a twice-baked potato, and I opted for one of my own favorites – boiled sweet potatoes. It’s a treat for our dogs, too, sans the butter and pepper!
And what about dessert? This year, instead of my fresh homemade pumpkin pie, I made a small carrot cake, a favorite of Best Friend. I made this just as our own moms did – with fresh grated carrots. Heavenly!
This year’s celebration was successful, and we like the fact that we chose a non-traditional day to observe the annual Thanksgiving Holiday. As I wrote in my previous essay, WELCOME TO THE OASIS, we are not bound to have our annual Thanksgiving on the designated Federal date – every day could and should be one of thankfulness and gratitude.
I hope you had a perfectly marvelous Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it today.
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