Its been a while since I have posted properly, but that is because I’ve been up to so many fun things and had my lovely parents visiting. I always enjoy when they visit since its a good excuse to make the time to do all the things I’ve been wanting to do. Amidst all of the Christmas shopping and fun things in Paris, we of course had to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was so much fun getting to cover Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even my birthday, all in a matter of days since we will we spending Christmas in Paris this year.
Despite the tradition in my family of having way too much food, I was determined to only have a day or so of leftovers – enough to not have to cook for a day or so after, but not so much that you wonder if you will ever want to look at turkey again. All in all, it was pretty successful. We had plenty of food so it still felt like Thanksgiving, but just a day or so worth of leftovers. Perfect. Even my pumpkin pecan muffins and pumpkin smoothies went down a treat in the morning and sustained us until it was time to eat. My mom and I spent the day in the kitchen and the men went in search of the best baguette in Paris. They were successful and brought home two past winners of the best baguette in Paris. While they were delicious, I’m not sure they adequately trumped our local boulangerie.
We began with oysters and champagne (in my opinion the best way to start any celebration), and so easy since Joe, my husband shucks oysters like a pro now. Since I am to please, and my father loves smoked salmon, next up was a lovely little amuse-bouche of smoked salmon, ricotta, and a dash of crème fraîche with a squeeze of lemon. Not typically being a fan of smoked salmon, the fresh smoked salmon we get from the market is wonderful, and was perfect with the ricotta and crème fraîche. Although the past few years I have stuck with butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving, this year I decided to change it up and went with a wild mushroom soup. Mushrooms are in season here now and there are so many gorgeous varieties to choose from at the market, that we chose a few and went from there. The soup, finished with a drizzle of cream and plenty of madeira went beautifully with the wine we chose from Jura. We selected it at a wine and food event we went to earlier in the week on a boat, and could not have selected more perfectly. Jura wines are very unique, almost like a dry sherry, and this one did not disappoint.
The soup was followed by a fresh salad of fennel and orange. This also worked well with the Jura, and although not planned as such, served as a nice palate cleanser. Next up were the standards – turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, cosmopolitan cranberry sauce (my personal favorite, with vodka and Grand Marnier) and stuffing with sausage and parmigiana. This year I made a new addition (again, for my father), roasted brussels sprouts and apples with mustard. It may sound odd, but they were delicious. A 2001 La Colonne from Cave Saint Brice (Bordeaux) was another delightful accompaniment to the rest of our meal. By this point we took a break on account of being so full, and skipped the cheese course I had planned. Our delicious meal was completed with pumpkin pie, and of course vanilla-pecan ice cream.
I love cooking for holidays and there are so many delicious options. I think I spend far longer actually planning my menu then it takes to cook in the end! Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and even New Years eve meals are already planned! I can’t wait!