Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Better-Late-Than-Never Thanksgiving Post

So, posts are few and far between these days...with the lead up to the holidays and all the extra cooking and knitting that entails, there has been very little time to actually blog about all this! But as a food blogger, and can't let Thanksgiving go by without a post.

As you know, I don't like to cook the same recipe more than once, and this includes Thanksgiving. My only real Thanksgiving "tradition" is that I make Cornish Hens instead of Turkey. We usually only have a small group of guests (just four this year), and even the smallest Turkey is overkill. Cornish hens, on the other hand, allow for a nice presentation, and have limited left-overs.

This year, I decided to have a Moroccan-themed Thanksgiving dinner. I started with some homemade hummus and babagannouj, with pita and vegetable for dipping. Our main course was Moroccan-style Cornish Game Hens served over Golden Couscous.

I prepared this pretty much as written...only a couple of exceptions. First, I decided to brine the hens in a solution that had hints of the Moroccan spices. I made a brine mixture, then threw in chunks of onion, a few orange slices, and some whole allspice, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and cardamom pods, and allowed them to brine for about 4-6 hours. Before making the spice mixture, I toasted spices briefly in a dry skillet for about 2-3 minutes until fragrant. The couscous was also prepared almost as written, except that I added golden raisins and chopped dried apricots, for added flavor and texture.

Sides included:
Tender Potato Bread rolls and Moroccan Focaccia

Moroccan Salad with Goat Cheese, Beets, & Oranges.My sister-in-law loved this salad, and would grab a little bit as a snack the few days following Thanksgiving. While I'm not normally a beet fan, this was pretty good.

And Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan Spices Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of this one, but it was yummy. But with that much butter and garlic, how can you go wrong?

Dessert was my favorite pumpkin pie recipe, from this book. It's sweetened and flavored with maple syrup, giving it a wonderful depth of flavor that you don't find in most pumpkin pies.

While the food was wonderful, the highlight of Thanksgiving was the family. My mom joined us for dinner, and Psycling's brother and sister-in-law came in from Louisville. We had a great weekend with them. We went to the Georgia Aquarium, watched movies, and My sister-in-law and I visited various craft and yarn stores, and spent time knitting while the guys did "guy stuff." It was fun.

I was reminded of how fortunate I am to have such wonderful family, both the family I was born into and the family I married into. Food is yummy, but you can't have a good meal without sharing it with loved ones!