Since Full Circle Farm is now offering delivery of their CSA boxes, and not just pick-up, we signed back up about a week and a half ago. In perfect timing to plan most of our Thanksgiving cooking around fresh, organic, and local ingredients. This is the first year that I'm spending with Matao's family, and the first year in quite a few that will be a bit more civilized. Hah! Dinner + party vs. dinner party... there's a big difference. I'm grateful to not have to worry about the turkey or mashed potatoes (I'm not a fan) this year, and instead I get to focus on making exactly what I want to make. I am cooking with meat this year (as opposed to last year where everything I made was vegan!) but I did a quick walk through of Ballard Farmers Market this afternoon and picked up some locally raised sausage from Skagit River Ranch, which I feel more than okay about serving. I also picked up the very last jalapenos that we'll see for a while, and a couple of apples for a quick snack this afternoon. Anyway... here are the dishes that we'll be making, along with Matao's goat cheese stuffed and prosciutto wrapped jalapenos, mulled wine, and the side of wild king salmon that we've been saving.
- Country Bread Stuffing with Smoked Ham, Goat Cheese, and Dried Cherries ... I made this a few years ago, substituting good quality bacon for the ham, and cranberries for the cherries. I seriously could have just sat in the kitchen by myself and devoured the entire pan. This stuff is wonderful. My love muffin Amy had a great hookup at the time for goat cheese, and we added much more than the recipe called for. I don't think you can ever go wrong with that.
- Cranberry Sauce with Port and Cinnamon ... This is more of just an approximation. I'm not much of a recipe follower when it comes to cranberry sauce. I made some last night for a "practice" version of Thanksgiving, with red wine, fresh orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon sticks, and fresh ginger. Absolutely wonderful. Honestly, I'll probably just eat cranberry sauce and stuffing on Thursday and be happy as can be.
- Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms ... This is one of those recipes that relies 100% on the quality of ingredients that you use. This is where locally sourced Italian sausage comes in, as well as (hopefully) homemade soft cheese. If I don't have the time for cheese making I'll be tracking down something else that's soft, and much nicer than basic cream cheese. This is another recipe that I've made before, and it really does turn out beautifully if you pay attention to your ingredients. I can't even go off too much on that though, because the last time we made it I brushed the mushrooms with PBR instead of wine. Oops.
- Herbed Goat Cheese Tart ... Yes, more goat cheese. I've been dying for a reason to make this, and if Thanksgiving isn't it, then I don't know what I'm going to do with myself.
- Sweet Potato Pie with Three Nut Topping ... I'm using ginger cookies for the crust, rather than graham crackers. I've never actually made or had sweet potato pie before, but I thought I'd mess around with something other than pumpkin or pecan. Plus our CSA is coming with a ton of them, and I'm not a big fan of candied sweet potatoes/yams.
As is typical with me- more will come about as I get to cooking. We'll also be seeing an abundance of squash and potatoes with our CSA and I know I'll be hard pressed to really leave them alone. We'll see! What are you planning on making?