Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A "Fall Flavors" Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving last night. It is my favorite American holiday, centered around food and friends/family. Every year, I make an effort to make dinner for a few friends (all far from home and with no family around) and last night was no different. Unlike celebrations of previous years, when I made "nice food" without it being traditional Thanksgiving fare, this year I wanted to make all seasonal fare, although we pardoned a turkey and made it a meatless celebration! The best part was that my darling friend Laureen and I cooked together to put the meal together, it was really a team effort. The tally:
# of people who ate dinner: 11 (plus 3 friends who showed up to share dessert)
# of dishes cooked: ~12
# of desserts: 5
# of hours spent eating: ~6
# of hours the oven was on: ~6
# of sticks of butter used: 9
# of things I am thankful for: too many to count
Here are some highlights of the meal...
Soup: roasted butternut squash soup using Lindy's recipe. What a flavorful soup...I took a picture before I started roasting the ingredients
The finished soup disappeared before I had a chance to take pictures! I served it with a garnish of cream and spiced pumpkin seeds. Thanks Lindy for sharing a wonderful recipe.
The appetizer table:
cran-relishesJPG consisted of a crackers-and-cheese tray, a wonderful cranberry tea bread (made by Laureen), two cranberry relishes: one with cranberries macerated in Grand Marnier and mixed with toasted pecans, and another cranberry-orange chutney; both were also made by Laureen. Here is a closer look at the delicious cranberry tea-bread.
cran-tea bread
I also made mushroom gratinate based on Lidia's recipe that I got from Mika's post.
V made a delicious champagne cocktail to go with the appetizers, using an idea from a Jacques Pepin show:
Fruit juices (orange, mango, cranberry-grape) were frozen in ice-cube trays. The fruit cubes were added to a glass (one can choose any combo of flavors) and topped with champagne. The taste changes as the cubes melt. It was delicious!
The entree was egg pilaf, my nod to my Indian traditions, and I made a side-dish of mashed potatoes based on Elise's recipe, I only modified it to include roasted garlic. As Elise promises, they turned out perfect! The second side-dish was a really unusual one: Laureen made quinoa with caramelized onions, a recipe she got from the NYTimes.
The sweet onions were perfectly complemented by the nutty quinoa.
I also tried making stuffing for the first time. It is so interesting to make something that you have never eaten before and have no clue what it should taste like! I used Rachel Ray's recipe and modified it to include soy sausages to make it even more like the real thang.
In addition, we had a mixed greens salad and dinner rolls.
And for dessert...
Laureen made traditional pumpkin pie (!) using the recipe at the back of "Libby's canned pumpkin" but she tweaked the recipe according to her Mom's instructions. Look how beautiful the pie is!
pumpkin pie
Our French-Italian friend BG showed up with this wonderful Italian Christmas bread called Pantenone (he can always be relied upon to bring the most amazing desserts!):
Laureen and I also made apple clafoutis using Amy's recipe, and Amy, this recipe is a keeper! I wish I could have served it piping hot, but it was fine even after it cooled down.
I also made walnut-fig kulfi, plus our friend OA brought wonderful chocolate chip cookies...I will put up the picture later today.
What do you think of this feast? Excessive enough for ya? :) I want to thank all the bloggers with their wonderful ideas and recipes for helping me put together this meal. Happy Thanksgiving!
Note: I ALMOST forgot to add this wonderful link...Sub Rosa does a unique take on thanksgiving. Going back to the time when Columbus discovered America accidentally while looking for India and its spices, they have put together a wonderful East Indian Thanksgiving Dinner, do take a look!


  1. Wow! What a treat - 6 hours time spent on eating!!! It is a royal treat Nupur. Congrats for putting everything together beautifully.

    Cheers and happy thanksgiving from my dhaba family to you all too!

  2. Nine sticks of butter means that it must have been a delicious meal! Nothing tastes better than butter. It does sound like a lot of good food.

  3. Oh my, Nupur, so much delicious food! Sounds like you had a great time with great food. Did you have leftovers?

  4. What a wonderful feast, Nupur. All look mouth watering. Great feast, indeed.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. yow mama, all that food... and all vegetarian, all YUMMY sounding! Nice to see you had a great Thanksgiving, Nupur :) Btw, that frozen fruit juice-champagne thing is something I've GOTTA try!

  6. hey nups,
    I am stuffed just looking at all those food pics. they look yummy. and I second shammi. Gotta try the fruit icecubes.

  7. This looks so great! Have you ever posted an egg pilaf recipe? That sounds very good to me.
    My job for Christmas dinner at my brother's will be to bring something which can serve as a vegetarian main dish for my kids, and a side dish for others.
    Generally, I make a wild mushroom or butternut squash and hazelnut lasagna, but I'd like to try something different this year.
    Glad you liked the soup.

  8. Nupur, what a wonderful spread! I'm looking forward to seeing the recipes of all the yummy dishes you and Laureen cooked. Girl, you have a lot of posting to do :D Happy belated thanksgiving!


  9. Hi VKN, thanks for stopping by! Hope you and your family are enjoying the holiday weekend.

    Hi Meena, Thanks!

    Hi Kalyn, can't go wrong with that much butter right ;)

    Hi Mika, we had surprisingly little leftover food :) Everyone took their job seriously and tucked in!

    Hi Thodarumm, What a nice thing to say! I too am thankful for what blogging brings to my life and the wonderful readers and fellow-bloggers.
    Megha's run was fantastic, she did great time and raised much more money than she had pledged!

    Hi Indira, thanks :) Happy holiday weekend to you too!

    Hi Shammi, That champagne thing was really fun to drink...and can be made with sparkling water for a delicious anytime non-alcoholic version.

    Hey Bilbo, wish you were around to share it!

    Hi Lindy, I'll put up the egg pilaf recipe next week...its easy and always turns out. The butternut squash lasagna sounds fantastic!

    Hey Faffer, most recipes were from other blogs and I have linked to them...and I know laureen would love to share her recipes so do mail me if you would any particular recipes! thanks for stopping by :)


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