Thursday, December 4, 2014

First Thanksgiving in the New House

I was quite sick on Thanksgiving. I had spent the Sunday before in the hospital on a breathing treatment, and was thoroughly exhausted every minute because of the lack of air and an exhausting cough.  So, a lot of projects didn't get finished.

All I managed to do was make up the guest room, clean the bathrooms, and set the table, before collapsing back into bed to nap until everyone showed up at 3:30pm.  There's two and a half now of the bathrooms, which is wonderful when you're having guests and everyone wants a morning shower.  We've run out of tile for the third shower, so we're having to wait over the holidays for it to come in.

Although the chandelier did not get hung, the new powder room did not get painted, and the stairs did not get polished [all my jobs that I was too exhausted to complete], Ben did spend some serious time in the new kitchen, and made some lovely food.  I think it was the most delicious Thanksgiving I have ever had - I didn't even get sick of the leftovers!

Here's the table:

And the menu, which thankfully I had planned far in advance:

My favorite dishes were the red onions, which were roasted in pomegranate molasses until they were the color of rubies.  Ben liked the stuffing - a lot of people at the table tried their first-ever chestnuts!  I also thought the cake, a last-minute substitution because neither of us had the time or energy to make pie, was both beautiful and delicious.  I would definitely make the cake again.

Pear and Crystallized Ginger Cake
Pear and Crystallized Ginger Cake- Recipe

  1. 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  2. 4 medium, very firm Bosc pears—peeled, cored and cut into eighths
  3. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  4. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  5. 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  8. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  10. 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  11. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  12. 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  13. 3 large eggs
  14. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  15. 3/4 cup milk
  16. 1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the pears and cook over high heat, stirring, until crisp-tender. Add 4 tablespoons of the butter, the brown sugar and honey and stir over moderate heat until melted. Off the heat, arrange the pears in an overlapping ring, with the pointed ends facing the center. Fill the center with pears and sprinkle with the crystallized ginger.
  17. 2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a large bowl, cream the remaining stick of butter. Add the granulated sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Add the vanilla. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the milk. Spoon the batter evenly over the pears, spreading it to the edge.
  18. 3. Bake the cake on the bottom oven rack for 30 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert a plate over the skillet. Quickly invert the skillet to release the cake. Replace any pears that stick to the skillet and drizzle any remaining syrup over the cake. Let cool before serving.
from Food+Wine 


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