Hi! Yes, we’re still here. Things have been a little crazy for us and it took me longer than expected to feel like I was back from Zambia. We’ve been busy refinancing our home loan, gutting our master bathroom (OK, not gutting – it just feels that way) and making some big-ish decisions. All will be revealed in time. Right now, we’re back in the swing of things by planning for Micah’s FAVORITE holiday – Thanksgiving.
I know, it seems like it’s too soon to be thinking about Thanksgiving as Halloween is still a week away, but it takes time to finalize a themed menu. For all our new readers out there, we do a themed Thanksgiving every year. We’ve done Chesapeake Bay (Maryland/Virginia area), Hawaiian, Chinese, New Orleans and Cuban. I was hoping for a Thai inspired Thanksgiving but the winner is a Pacific Northwest themed menu. The idea is to use flavors our region is known for and ingredients we can find locally. Thai is next year for sure.
I think PNW menu is hard because it’s hard to think of a flavor profile that this area is known for. When I think about food from here, I think of apples, salmon, Penn Cove mussels and apples. Did I say apples?
This year, we’ve decided Micah is in charge of the turkey. My original idea was an Alder smoked turkey but unfortunately I hear Alder makes the turkey taste sappy. Micah has a co-worker that smoke, grills and fried up the most amazing meats. He thinks that between the two of them, they can come up with something good.
I have the task of settling the rest of the menu. I also had a little help. A friend of ours, Jeremy, works in produce distribution. I went straight to him to figure out what to serve and what produce I could get that is Washington grown. He said onions, potatoes, apples, mint and hops. Probably pears too. That’s not a ton to work with but I think I’ve come up with some idea. Here is what I’ve got so far:
Smoked salmon on crackers
Green beans served with caramelized Washington Sweets onions
Washington Yukon Golds with beer (local) gravy
Smoked oysters and bacon stuffing
Beecher’s mac and cheese
Turkey w/ blackberry sauce
Washington Apple pie and Pumpkin Pie
Served with local beer, Washington wines and fresh cider.
The menu isn’t set in stone. Some variations I’m thinking about are instead of mashed potatoes, doing a warm potato salad with bacon (which I’d cure myself) and apple cider dressing. If I did that, I wouldn’t do the blackberry sauce for the turkey but serve it with the beer gravy instead. I’m also thinking about a Salmon bisque instead of smoked salmon. If I do the smoked salmon, I’d definitely want to smoke it myself. I know, I’m being ambitious. I wouldn’t smoke the oysters for the stuffing. I found a place that sells smoked local mussels that are delicious. Which makes me think that an option could be to serve smoked salmon and smoked oysters as an appetizer and then do an apple and bacon stuffing. To make it easier to digest, here are the options I’m thinking about.
1. Smoked Salmon on crackers
2. Smoked Salmon and Oysters on crackers
3. Salmon Bisque
1. Green Beans topped with caramelized Washington Sweets onions
2. Some sort of green salad with apples
1. Mashed Washington Yukons served with Beer (local) gravy
2. Washington fingerling potato salad with bacon, Washington red onions and apple cider vinegar dressing
1. Smoked oyster and bacon stuffing
2. Smoked Penn Cove mussels (if I can find them) and bacon stuffing
3. Bacon and apple stuffing
1. Beecher’s Mac and Cheese – I have no other option because this stuff is AMAZING!
1. Mt. Vernon blackberry sauce
2. Beer gravy
Pies – Think we’d probably do both Apple and Pumpkin, maybe
I think the beverage part will be easy as will the musical selections for the night. I think I can leave it to Micah to handle both of those items.
I’m not 100% committed to anything, so I’m open to suggestions. I don’t have rolls listed as I couldn’t think of anything. Seriously, we’d love recipe recommendations. I’d also love to hear which dishes you’d prefer from all the options.