I have not been doing much cooking lately, especially not cooking that involves trying out new recipes. I blame a lack of time, energy, and motivation. I miss it though. I miss shopping for strange ingredients, chopping up veggies, and experiencing different smells as I’m sauteing a new combination of flavors. I miss taking pictures and sharing them with you guys.
So having a day on Wednesday to devote to preparing some interesting sides for the next day’s Thanksgiving dinner was pretty exciting.
Even more exciting- going to Wegman’s at 9:30 am on Thanksgiving Eve, prepared for the worst, and finding the parking lot as empty as I have ever seen it.
My sister- and brother-in-law pretty much gave me full artistic freedom when it came to whatever I chose to contribute to dinner this year. I didn’t even give myself the option of looking through three or four years of old Thanksgiving features from Bon Appetit (and yes, I do have them all saved in a binder); I limited myself to the recipes in this year’s issue. There were plenty to choose from and I knew throwing more possibilities out there would just make it that much harder to decide. Do-ahead, transportable items were essential, since they’d be traveling with us across the Bay Bridge the following day.
Mashed Root Vegetables with Bacon Vinaigrette. I mean, come on- bacon vinaigrette?? How do you say no to that? I was also excited to follow their suggested blend of parsnips, celery root, and kohlrabi. I’ve only started eating parsnips in the last few years and I’m still warming up to them, and I have never prepared (or eaten, actually) celery root and kohlrabi.
Prepping the kohlrabi and celery root takes a little work. In the end, they should look like this…
I followed the recipe directly, so just check out the link above. One thing I will suggest. When you are simmering the mustard seeds in the cider vinegar, resist the urge to lean over the pot to sniff the aroma. Ouch.
Italian Mother-in-Law Dressing. This was another one that had ingredients I just could not resist. Swiss chard, golden raisins, olives… with scents of oregano and rosemary. It’s also supposed to have pine nuts, but I skipped those due to nut allergies in the family. I can’t imagine that the addition of pine nuts would do anything but make this more delicious than it already is.
My suggestion for this recipe- when you purchase delicious bread, be sure to keep it out of reach from little cats. Good thing I bought two loaves….
A full day of chopping, simmering, and sauteing…. by the evening, my feet and back were achy but I was satisfied that my culinary mojo was still intact.