As most of you know, yesterday was Thanksgiving in the U.S. It’s our national day of feasting, and some friends and I did just that. The menu included:
- roasted turkey breast for the non-vegetarians
- penne for the vegetarians and as a side
- mashed potatoes
- stuffing (boxed)
- gravy (from a jar because there weren’t enough drippings)
- cranberry sauce (from a can)
- cinnamon citrus carrots
- roasted asparagus
- crescent rolls (refrigerated dough)
The penne dish was made in the slow cooker and was based on this recipe, except I parboiled the pasta first and mixed some ricotta into the red sauce.
The asparagus was excellent, and I think roasting asparagus is the best way to cook it. Just chop asparagus into pieces; toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper; spread the pieces in a roasting pan, and roast at 325º F for 10-15 minutes.
The carrots were described by one of my guests as “the carrots from heaven,” so I thought I’d share what I did. I modified a slow cooker recipe and used the following ingredients:
a 1 lb bag of baby-cut carrots
3/4 cup of orange juice
1 or 2 T lemon curd
1 T butter
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t salt
freshly ground pepper
Put everything in the slow cooker and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high, stirring occasionally.
Unfortunately, there are no pictures. You’ll just have to take my word for it that everything looked and tasted great.
Edible French Garden by Rosalind Creasy
rating: 3 of 5 stars
Like the other books in Creasy’s Edible Garden series, this is a combination cookbook and gardening book. I think of this as a good way to whet one’s appetite, but it’s not a comprehensive reference—except perhaps on how to grow blanched vegetables like Belgian endive and white asparagus. After reading her instructions, I’ve decided that blanching in the gardening sense is not something I plan on trying anytime in the near future. Reading this book did get me interested in learning more about potagers, however, which strike me as having the potential to be both remarkably decorative and appetizing.
The varieties highlighted include French ones and American varieties that are similar to French types. I found at least a few of the recipes to be somewhat interesting, though, and will probably try making some. The braised endives and cherville buttered carrots come to mind. Most of the recipes are fairly simple and suitable for novice cooks. If you’re looking for more elaborate dishes, you’re better off going with a real cookbook.
The resource list is one of the best parts, in my opinion, since finding less common French varieties can be difficult. Likewise, I’ll be looking into many of the volumes she mentions in her bibliography. I also have to say that the photography is wonderful, and it’s worth at least flipping through just for the pictures.
I’ve decided that I want to read the other books in this series, but I know that I’ll be sifting for nuggets rather than considering them regular references.
Book source: Montgomery County, PA, Public Library System
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I added several new links to the sidebar. I’d particularly like to mention 101cookbooks, though. I made two recipes from the site tonight, and have made a few others as well. Everything I’ve tried from there has turned out delicious. I highly recommend checking it out.