Friday, November 20, 2009
Thanksgiving and This Week at Foraged and Found Edibles 11/20
Thanksgiving means family, friends, and celebrating the American cornucopia. Though many Thanksgiving food traditions have steered away from seasonality (green bean casserole), it still is at its core a harvest celebration. I love to hear about different traditions within families and regions of the US. I think it was James Beard who said - if you tell me what you eat for Thanksgiving I can tell you where you are from. If in New England the feast may include mashed carrots and rutabagas, from the South it may be scalloped oyster saltine casserole, sweet potatoes, and pecan pie. Here in the Northwest wild mushrooms, winter squash and apple pie are common.
There is a very interesting article on Slashfood about the decline of shellfish, specifically oysters, in the Thanksgiving repertoire. Pre 1950 it was a mainstay on holiday menus, but with the decline of the oyster harvest at that time and rising prices over the years it has been pushed to the back burner. With our oyster bounty in the Northwest we are perfectly poised to bring back this tradition - oyster stew, oyster Rockefeller, oyster dressing! - all of these would fit into the turkey dinner feast.
My family's Thanksgiving menu doesn't stray to far from the classic dishes, though over time the traditions change and evolve with the times and tastes in our ever expanding family. We play a bit with turkey seasonings, the salad, the cranberry sauce. Brussel sprouts are a addition in the last couple years, but my mom doesn't like them so we had a vote to keep 'em in or not. Brussel sprouts vs. my Mom - brussels won.
The Choi family menu- sherried pumpkin soup with croutons and chives (this is something my Grandma always fed us earlier in the day while we waited for the feast), roast turkey with herbs, chanterelle gravy sometimes with truffles, plain gravy (for the mushroom haters!?), mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts with lemon, shallots and hazelnuts, dressing with chestnuts, green salad with persimmons or pears, cranberry something (I like to play around with different recipes, two recipes for cran sauce coming soon on Nettletown), pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake. This year I am going to make that southern scalloped oyster casserole too, with the pre-shucked oysters from Taylor Shellfish to make it easy. And maybe it will become a new Choi family tradition.
Tell me what you have for Thanksgiving!
This weekend at the Farmers Market
Frozen white truffles
Frozen Mountain huckleberries
Matsutake - small amount available at the U District market
Also on Saturday from 3-5pm I am doing a calendar signing at Eat Local on top of Queen Anne. There also will be live music in the store from Pro Musica.
Also, this may be our last weekend at the West Seattle Market. Our harvest is dwindling and it is hard to support two Sunday markets. We may be at the one or two more before Xmas though.