Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Framboise Manor American Thanksgiving Day Menu!

wow! that sure was a mouthful!

well, seeing as how we missed Canadian Thanksgiving Day (October 10) - how did we do that? by never really knowing what day it is around here! we often start our mornings at the kitchen table asking each other - "is it Thursday?" - "no, it's Wednesday" - "are you sure?" - "ya, remember, we had darts last night" - "oh, right, okay, then it must be Wednesday".

so ya - we completely missed Canadian Thanksgiving Day and didn't figure it out until a few days later. and Thanksgiving is one of our favourite holidays. and we have sooooo much to be thankful for this year. so we are glad that the country to the south of us has a different date for their Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Thank You United States of America!

so we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with our American friends. for the past 10 years we have put on ginormic spreads of food - all of our favourite things! even though there has only ever been the 2 of us. except for one year when we had my friend over. we love to celebrate Thanksgiving with just the 2 of us - it is almost like our anniversary or something. and we always overdo it on the food. a big giant turkey, 80lbs of mashed potatoes, enough stuffing to feed 96 or 97 people.....for three weeks! you get the idea! but we love the left-overs and will happily eat them for the next month!

we have been trying to learn to claw back a little - but it isn't easy. we spend the whole morning cooking everything up, then we set an elaborate table (we don't use candles on the table anymore since i set our hanging lamp on fire last year - oops - my bad!), and then we stuff ourselves until we can't eat anymore. we're usually done in 20 minutes. the kitchen will look like a disaster pit and we go and climb on the couch. and the only thing that can get us off the couch is to go and have a "tax" - a tax being a piece of turkey or a spoonful of stuffing.

anyway - we are pretty traditional with our Thanksgiving Day meal. we don't like to change it up at all. we have the same thing every year. we love it!

so without further ado - i present the Framboise Manor American Thanksgiving Day Menu:

1. a big honking turkey. after thoroughly rinsing the turkey, i rub a fresh lemon all over the outside and inside, squeezing the lemon as i rub. then i rub the outside with a mixture of olive oil and butter. then i generously sprinkle with sea salt. fresh sage leafs under the skin of the breast. for the first half of the cooking time, i cook the turkey breast-side down. halfway through cooking, i flip it to breast side up. this keeps the breast so moist. basically, during the first half of the cooking gravity is pulling all of the juices down to the breast. then when you flip it, most of the juices stay in the breast (i have cooked turkeys and chickens breast side up before. they are never as moist and full of juice as when you start them breast-side down).

2. giblet/fresh cranberry/apple/celery/walnut/wild-rice stuffing. made from home-made croutons. i let my home-made bread sit out for 2-3 days, cut into 1-inch pieces. then i brush all of the pieces with some olive oil and sprinkle fresh chopped sage all over them. bake them in the oven for about 12-15 mins until golden and crunchy. these make a great snack if you like savoury and crispy snacks. set these aside in a large bowl.

cook your diced up giblets (neck, heart, kidney, liver) in a pan with butter. get the pan all nice and browned on the bottom. when giblets are cooked, add 2 cups of last Easter's turkey broth. scrape up all the nice browned bits. remove the neck from the pan and give it to jambaloney to snack on - then add the giblets to your to your croutons and one cup of giblet broth. add your cooked wild rice. add a nice handful of fresh cranberries, a chopped up apple, chopped up celery and your chopped walnuts. mix it all together and add more broth if need be. spoon stuffing into the chest cavity and body all the way to the neck and legs. tuck your legs.

3. smashed potatoes - i always make too much of this but we eat tons. scrub your potatoes but don't peel them. pierce them all over with a fork. rub olive oil all over the skins and then liberally salt with sea salt. bake them in the oven for about an hour. remove. split each potatoe down the middle. scoop out that delicious baked potatoe goodness. add a ton of butter and cream - heat until the butter melts and the cream heats. this is the only way we make mashed potatoes - no boiling! baking them first makes them absolutely mouth watering!

4. minted-honeyed carrots. peel and clean your carrots. cut them into 1-inch sections and then cut each section in half. cook them in hot butter on each side for almost 10 minutes each. once cooked, pour a large dollop of honey over them and mix it in well until the honey is heated. add fresh chopped mint.

5. maple-syrup turnip mash. chop up your turnip into 1-inch pieces and steam them until soft and mash-able. add butter. add cream. don't skip the cream! then add a big dollop of maple syrup. these are delicious!

6. brussel sprouts with bacon. steam your brussel sprouts for only about 6 minutes - you want them to still be crisp. cook as much bacon as you like -we make alot! remove the bacon and some of the bacon grease. add the brussel sprouts to the pan, coat them with the bacon grease. cook for about 3 minutes or until nicely-browned.

7. fresh cranberry/pear/ginger/cinnamon/clove sauce. sort through your fresh cranberries (see my beautiful cranberries below!), about 2 cups. chop up pears to equal a little over 1 cup. make sure to use a nonreactive saucepan! heat 3/4 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt until sugar is dissolved, stirring often. once at a boil, add 1 and 1/2 cups of the cranberries - save half a cup of them for later. once the cranberries have returned to a boil, reduce heat to a nice simmer. keep stirring. after two-thirds of the cranberries have popped (about 5 mins), remove from heat. add the chopped pears. add a 1-inch piece of fresh crushed ginger. add 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground cloves. add the 1/2 cup of uncooked cranberries. stir it all together. if planning to serve hot, put a lid on and quickly re-heat before serving. if planning to serve cold, let the sauce come to room temperature and then put in the fridge. this keeps well in the fridge for over a week. and is great canned. and is delicious as a traditional cranberry sauce, or can be used as a jam on bread or toast and tastes amazing on vanilla ice-cream.

8. and i saved the best for last - GRAAAAAAVEY!!! i love turkey-dripping gravey and sometimes gross jambaloney out with how my dinner is floating on my plate and looks like gravey soup! everyone already has their own favourite way of preparing gravey - i use all of the drippings without skimming them. before i put the turkey in the roaster, i pour some olive oil in the bottom of the roaster and add chopped onion, celery, carrot, cabbage, parsley and sage. once the turkey is cooked and removed from the roaster, i add a spoonful stuffing and then some dark meat. i heat all of that, strain it and then make a slurry with half a cup of the drippings and 6-7 tablespoons of flour. stir the slurry back in to the drippings until your desired thickness is reached. for the next few days as you are re-heating the gravey - add some of your reserved giblet broth.

anyway - everyone here knows that we love cranberries. and people have been picking tons for us. i made the cranberry-pear sauce for a function recently and everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. and that's when we started getting bags and buckets of cranberries from various folks. one of my friends is having out-of-town family over this weekend and asked if i would make the cranberry sauce for her. her husband's sisters picked these cranberries for the sauce. aren't they beautiful cranberries?


so i have this tub of cranberries and two 2lb bags of fresh cranberries. time to make some home-made cranberry juice. yummy!

we are planning on having our Thanksgiving Day Dinner on friday. ya - we're sneaky like that!


  1. Happy HAPPY Thanksgiving to you guys! Menu sounds delicious and you made me laugh not knowing what day it is-such is my life!

    I missed the part about the pies?! I must have a pumpkin pie...kind of funny that way. I love your recipe for the potatoes and think that may be our new way for smashing potatoes!!! Yum..

    <3 From your very southern Turkey buddies!!

  2. Phelan - and your menu is nummy too. and you are using all home-grown - i am cheating in a few areas! all the best to you and yours and have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Phelan!

    Jennifer - Happy Happy Thanksgiving to you! the menu is a tried and true favourite and every time we think of changing it or adding something - we don`t! you may find this strange but we are not "pie" people. the only way we like our pies is filled with meat and vegetables - bahahaha! crazy but true. i am not at all big on desserts, neither is jambaloney, but he likes cookies and cakes and things which i detest. so he is the baker in the family. the baked/smashed potatoes really are to die for. i hope that you share your menu and pics of your Thanksgiving dinner as i am sure it will be to die for!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and yours, Jen, we will be thinking of you!

  3. well I didn't grow the sugar, salt, black pepper, wheat, or the chocolate. And I had to buy dairy products. But yes other than that . . .:D

    Happy Thanksgiving dear one!

  4. Sounds good! We don't celebrate Thanksgiving at all in the UK. I wish we did!

  5. What, no stew? It all sounds so yummy, cept for the smurf brains. Other than that. It all sounds so good. I like to mix it up every once in a while. One year, we might do Ham, or Ham balls, Other year, steak, or buffalo, or Cornish hens. Same thing when it comes to Christmas.

    So, we hope that you have a great Thanksgiving.

  6. Well, not exactly what we'll be eating tomorrow, but sure sounds good! There will be turkey, bread stuffing (with celery, onion, and spices), "canberry", various veggies, crescent rolls, gravy, and a pie or two for dessert. I'm hoping for pecan pie myself!

  7. I bet it tastes amazing!

    Fresh cranberries and oranges (1 pound of cranberries, zest and juice of 2 oranges, some sugar and into a food processor or blender)... must have cranberries with turkey!

  8. Sure sound wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving you Two!!!!

  9. Oh wow, that sure sounds delicious. Can I come over? I think I just gained a pound just reading this! It would be really hard not to overeat at your place!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you two :)

  10. If I leave southern PA now, will I be able to make it to your place by Friday? Huh? Huh? Sounds tremendous and yummy. But alas, I'm heading in the opposite direction...Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay. Happy Thanksgiving to you both.

  11. Sounds yummy kymber. You and Jambaloney have a great Thanksgiving no matter the day you celebrate!

  12. If you insist on making posts like that, you'll never spend another Thanksgiving without house guests!

  13. I always overcook with the idea I can eat for a few days all my favorite foods. Turnips would be traded for sweet potatoes and green beans. I just throw a turkey in the oven with salt, pepper, and sage rubbed on it. I am not that fond of rubbing turkeys. Oh, I do put in bell pepper, celery, and onions, my Holy Trinity of Seasonings, right in the pan around and some on top of the turkey.

    Usually, I cook about 6 pumpkin pies. Yes, I eat them all. But, usually I start that on Tuesday and eat nothing but pie A*L*L day long for two days. I never gain an ounce. MIncemeat and apple pies are on my pie menu. No one likes mincemeat, so I get lucky...all for

  14. Ah, Linda above is me, Practical Parsimony.

  15. Oh My Gosh, Kymber! That menu sounds simply awesome!! Well...minus the turkey innards I don't eat those not even hidden in stuffing. :)

    We are staying home this year, it'll just be me, John and Brittany. On the menu, a small turkey breast(since only John & I eat meat), mashed potatoes, candied yams, dressing, veggies and just for me the jellied cranberry sauce outta the can(love that stuff) oh and pumpkin pie.

    I hope you two have a special day. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Love and Hugs

  16. Thanks for sharing you two. Enjoy the day. Have a Happy Thanksgiving American or Canadian.

    Your friend...Rob

  17. Hi Kymber,

    Now that's my kind of celebration ... dining for two with an awesome meal like yours ! We like to celebrate by ourselves too ... eat like pigs, or should I say kings, with tons of left overs to last for ages. I pour gravy on my plate till it's spilling over the sides too ... bahaha !

    Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving you guys ! :))

  18. Enjoy your American Thanksgiving!!!!!! Sounds delicious!!!

  19. well Phelan - that sure is a small amount of stuff that you didn't grow yourself! i hope that you and yours are having a wonderful Thanksgiving, sweet one!

    Joey - we normally celebrate Thanksgiving twice. so think about dropping in for one of the celebrations next year - we'd love to have ya!!!

    MDR - same back at ya, buddy! i am glad that you have all of your girls home for a few days. rest well my friend!

    Flier - i like to change things up at Easter. sometimes ham, sometimes turkey, sometimes venison roast. but Thanksgiving is always the same. and i wish you and all of yours a very wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Craig - i sure do hope that you get a pecan pie...and a schooner! Happy Thanksgiving Day to you, buddy!

    Anne - you just gave me a great idea to add oranges and zest to our cranberry sauce! thank you so much! and have a Happy Thanksgiving Day!

    PioneerP - right back at you, my friend! a Happy Thanksgiving Day from us to you and yours!

    Tango, gurl, you are always welcome at the Manor! and i promise to feed you until you are stuffed. but i will respect your dietary wishes and only feed you good food! no bacon-covered brussel sprouts for you! yours will be cooked in a little olive oil! oh i hope that you have a wonderful day! my next post will explain yet another disaster for us. i told you - if it wasn't for bad luck we wouldn't have any at all. but things always have a way of working out! again - HTD to you and yours!

    Sharon - we'll have tons of leftovers so if you don't make it until Saturday - that will fine! but go and have a wonderful Happy Thanksgiving! Maryland is beautiful this time of year!

    thanks Mamma Bear! and we wish you and yours a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving Day, too!

    Mr. Smythe - you would sit at the head of the table if you ever honoured us with your presence - we would love to entertain you! Happy Thanksgiving, my dear friend!

    oh Linda/PracticalP (i figured it was you!) - we aren't having our dinner until tomorrow and you have got me salivating with all of those pies! i hope that you enjoy everyone of them! Happy Thanksgiving Day to you from us!

    Fel - thanks for stopping in! you know that one of things that we will be thankful for this year is your friendship! your menu sounds delicious and just know that we will thinking of you, the C-man, B, and all of your beautiful pets! our best wishes to all of you on this Happy Thanksgiving Day!

    dear Rob - and thank you for sharing it with us! American or Canadian Thanksgiving Day doesn't matter - we just missed the Canadian one - woops! so we are very thankful to celebrate with our American friends! Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and all of yours!

    Helga - are we sisters from another mother? father perhaps? we are soo alike in soo many things that it is funny as heck! i hope that you guys have a wonderfully, warm Thanksgiving with lots of gravey - teeheehee!

    Donna - you, Rick, Zach and Brother B will be in our thoughts and thanks all during this crazy Thanksgiving Day (which we aren't celebrating until tomorrow!). We hope your family has a wonderful day!

    To all of our friends, thank you for all of your wonderful thoughts and wishes. we have much to be thankful for...not the least of which is all of our new friendships. thank you to all. and know that you are all in our thoughts and thanks on this day!

  20. Ugh!! I missed wishing you a Canadian AND missed wishing you an American Thanksgiving!

    Happy Today!

  21. Commander Zero - we're not big pie people...but when we do make pies we put meat in them - that's how we like our pies!

    North - no worries buddy. i'll send you reminders next year - bahahahaha!

    thanks for stopping by guys!

  22. I've had turkey made lots of ways but my favorite way by far is to smoke one, which is what I did the night before. Once it has been smokes, I let it rest, carve off the breasts, wings, and leg quarters and put it in the fridge until right before the feast. I then heat it up, slice it up and serve it. For some reason, letting a smoked turkey chill overnight magnifies the smokey flavor by a factor of ten. The best part is that all leftovers go directly between two slices of bread with a touch of mustard for the best cold turkey sandwiches you've ever had.